The importance of energy efficiency and its relation to a cleaner environment was already underlined in the 1991 Energy Charter. The subsequent Energy Charter Treaty, and in particular Article 19 of the Treaty, requires that each Contracting Party minimise, in an economically efficient manner, harmful environmental impacts arising from energy use.
Thewas negotiated, opened for signature and entered into force at the same time (16 April 1998) as the Energy Charter Treaty. Building on the provisions of the Treaty, PEEREA requires its participating states to formulate clear policy aims for improving energy efficiency and reducing the energy cycle's negative environmental impact.
By way of contrast to other activities in the Charter process, the emphasis in the work on energy efficiency is not on legal obligations but rather on practical implementation of a political commitment to improve energy efficiency. This is promoted through policy discussions based on analysis and exchange of experience between the member countries, invited independent experts and other international organisations.
Through the implementation of PEEREA, the Energy Charter provides its member countries with a menu of good practices and a forum in which to share experiences and policy advice on energy efficiency issues. Within this forum, particular attention is paid to such aspects of a national energy efficiency strategy as taxation, pricing policy in the energy sector, environmentally-related subsidies and other mechanisms for financing energy efficiency objectives.
The Working Group on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects is the institutional body in the Energy Charter process for the discussion of all matters related to energy efficiency. The Working Group has developed into a valuable forum for policy debate and exchange of experience, and many of the transition economies have used this cooperative process to develop policies, legislation and other measures supporting improvements in energy efficiency.
In March 2013, the Energy Charter Conference appointed Mr. Sergey Katyshev from Kazakhstan Chairman of the PEEREA Group. Mr. Katyshev is Adviser to the Chairman of the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC). The Group's Vice-Chairman is Mr. Johan Vetlesen from Norway.