Energy Diplomacy in the 21st Century


© photocredit


Energy is at the nexus of national security, economic prosperity and the environment. The Department of State’s work in national security, bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, commercial advocacy and development are widely affected by energy concerns.

The Bureau of Energy Resources integrates energy security interests into foreign policy decision making, putting energy diplomacy at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy along three pillars.

Energy Diplomacy

To identify opportunities for geostrategic cooperation through energy in interdependent markets, we:

Forge strong diplomatic relationships with major consumers and suppliers, anticipate the impacts of changing energy markets and leverage our role in energy-related international organizations as we recognize that energy disruptions anywhere can threaten economic growth everywhere.

Promote a stable and secure global energy economy by engaging foreign governments and the private sector to maintain the security of supply and pursue alternative energy options and diversification of energy types. Our efforts include effectively implementing sanctions as diplomatic tool.

Respond to major changes in natural gas markets as they impact current and future energy choices.

Energy World Of The Future

To stimulate the market forces that will sustain Energy Transformation in alternative energy, electricity development, and reconstruction, we: Foster the development of regional electricity grids and regulatory harmonization to create larger markets, enhance reliability and energy efficiency and facilitate integration and trade from clean energy sources and technologies. Encourage the establishment of financially viable electric power systems that can attract the huge private investment ($17 trillion by 2035) needed to meet growing electricity demands, especially in developing regions. Advance U.S. business partnerships for adoption and commercialization of efficient and innovative energy technologies for sustainable development.

Energy Governance and Access

To counter poverty and development issues due to lack of access to energy, poor resource management or both, we: Encourage responsible resource management by promoting global transparency standards, developing countries’ technical capacity and supporting accountable legal and regulatory regimes and sound financial management in line with international standards. Expand energy access through economic statecraft and partnerships with development agencies to help encourage creation of commercially viable models backed by private investment.


Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL): The U.S. is a key participant in the UN Secretary-General’s SE4ALL initiative, aimed at providing universal access to modern energy services by2030, while doubling the global rate of energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy.

U.S.-Asia-Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership: President Obama, along with the Chair of APEC and Chair of ASEAN, built this partnership to bring significant progress in addressing the needs of the estimated 387 million people in Asia without access to electricity.

Connecting the Americas 2022: An initiative to enhance electrical interconnections across the Western Hemisphere to achieve universal access in the next decade for 31 million people without electricity.

Power Africa: A public-private initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, helping countries meet critical energy needs and achieve greater energy security, develop newly-discovered resources responsibly to maximize the benefits to their citizens, make needed energy sector reforms and expand power generation and transmission capacity.

Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI): The initiative promotes transparency and accountability in natural resource management for citizens. The process is managed in-country by a multi-stakeholder group of government, civil society and company representatives.


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