The Office of International Affairs (IA) coordinates Department of Energy (DOE) participation in the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), a key multilateral mechanism to advance energy security, accelerate clean energy deployment, and reduce the climate change impacts of energy use in the Western Hemisphere. ECPA provides a platform for governments in the Western Hemisphere to lead multi-country or bilateral initiatives on a voluntary basis. For example, the United States announced $1.5 million in funding in September 2016 to sponsor two projects that will enhance the capacity of countries to capture Greenhouse Gas Emissions data and standardize energy efficiency regulations for applicances in Central America. Since its founding in 2009, over 40 technical meetings, workshops, and policy dialogues have been conducted under the ECPA umbrella.
The ECPA platform comprises seven pillars of activity: energy effieciency; renewable energy; cleaner and more efficient use of fossil fuels; energy infrastructure; energy poverty; sustainable forests and land use; and adaptation.
ECPA was announced at the Summit of the Americas in 2009. The United States hosted the first ECPA Ministerial in Washington in 2010; Mexico hosted the second ECPA Ministerial in 2015. At the Mexico Ministerial, the Hemisphere's Energy Ministers established a Steering Committee (composed of six countries including the United States) to develop guiding principles and governance frameworks for ECPA and its activities. ECPA partners expect to review and endorse the guiding principles at the next Ministerial in 2017 in Chile.
The Organization of American States (OAS) hosts the ECPA website, which contains details on ECPA's activities and serves as clearing house for projects and events targeting energy and climate issues in the region. DOE and the State Department's Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs are the U.S. focal points for ECPA.