Paris, 18 November 2015
Two bilateral agreements signed yesterday in Paris at the International Energy Agency (IEA) biannual Ministerial Meeting mark the strengthening of ties and growing cooperation between Ireland and France in the field of energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy security.
This follows the successful development of the Ireland France roadmap including the establishment of the Ireland France Sustainable Energy Forum which was agreed by French Prime Minister Valls and An Taoiseach in May 2015. The roadmap identifies areas for collaboration in the energy sectors role in the transition to a low carbon future.
In the context of the Ireland France roadmap the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) signed an interagency agreement providing for cooperation in the areas of renewable energy, and marine energy in particular, smart grids and energy efficiency.
Minister for Energy Alex White and his French counterpart Ségolène Royal signed a bilateral agreement on the reciprocal holding of emergency stocks of crude oil and petroleum products. The new agreement with France gives additional flexibility to Ireland's National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA), which manages these stocks.
Minister White said " These two agreements build on existing cooperation between Ireland and France in energy security. They also mark a deepening of our partnership on energy efficiency and renewable technology, in particular in the area of marine energy and smart grids."
Minister White and other energy ministers and heads of delegation to the IEA meeting signed a book of condolences, which was presented Mme Royal. Minister White said: "The tragic and horrific events of Friday evening have naturally overshadowed today's important meeting of the International Energy Agency, organised in advance of the COP21 climate change talks, which also take place in Paris later this month.
"The Ministers and other heads of delegations to the conference signed a book of condolences to express our deep and sincere solidarity with the people of France at this terrible time. The decision to go ahead with this meeting of energy ministers from around the world gave us an opportunity to demonstrate our absolute belief that this atrocity, which was committed in the cradle of the Enlightenment, was an attack on all of us who believe in tolerance, democracy and freedom."