On 21 March EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete attends the high-level EU-OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) meeting in Vienna. The meeting will focus on the challenges caused by the recent downward trends in oil prices and analyse possible future trends in the oil market in the light of a sharp decline in investment in oil exploration and production. The discussions will also reflect on how the current times of low oil prices can be an opportunity to phase out environmentally harmful fossil fuel subsidies, and to promote measures on energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Commissioner Arias Cañete said: “Excessive oil price volatility is harmful for the economies of both producing and consuming countries. As we demonstrated in the Paris climate talks last year, Europe’s commitment to a clean energy future is non-negotiable. Eliminating fossil fuels subsidies worldwide is certainly a step in the right direction. I look forward to discussing with OPEC countries how we can best work together to ensure the global clean energy transition.” The EU’s oil imports are expected to account for more than 90% of its total oil consumption by the next decade. OPEC comprises 13 oil producing nations which account for over one-third of the global oil supply all together. The EU has held meetings within the EU-OPEC dialogue since 2004.