Buenos Aires 2001
Mr. Chairman, Argentina Organising Committee, members of the executive assembly of the WEC, members of the World Energy Council, and all distinguished guests.
First of all we would like to express our gratitude to the WEC, Argentine Organising Committee, and the University of El Salvador. They have given us the opportunity to not only represent our countries but also to interact in a constructive manner to gain a deeper understanding of the energy issues and how they affect our respective nations.
During this week of the 18th World Energy Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, almost sixty students from industrialized and developing countries gathered to discuss a major topic: Energy for Tomorrow's world. Energy consumption is increasing: as industrialized nations demand greater sources for their growing economies and developing nations strive to meet their basic energy needs. Economic, environmental, health, and social stability are the problems that require the attention and the urgent action of all nations. All world citizens need to be aware of the energy issues that the world currently faces and will face in the coming decades. This will require increased education of the energy issues from those who turn on a light without a second thought to those who have never consumed modern energy in their life.
The three goals: accessibility, acceptability and availability of energy, in conjunction with the ten policy actions of the WEC, encompass many energy issues. A major step to accomplish these goals is educating the public and providing information regarding current and future energy challenges. The public requires education of energy issues, so appropriate action can be taken, and concrete decisions made regarding the future of energy development. To provide this education at a local level, governments, national member energy committees, and academic institutions must all share the responsibility at both planning and implementation phases. The delivery of this education should encompass both technical and social aspects. It is not only important to educate people of the actions that are required, but also about the technical advancements that move us towards providing safe and sustainable energy. Eliminating misconceptions of varying energy sources will encourage more productive research and development in pursuit of this goal.
In some cases, energy education will require the provision of general education in order for the energy issues to be better understood. Only when educational goals are being successfully achieved can energy issues be effectively resolved. Basic education should always be a priority.
As public awareness increases, environmental issues will be more appreciated. As a result, improvements from production to consumption of energy will help reduce environmental footprints being left behind.
More progress in the direction of international environmental agreements, such as the Kyoto protocol, need to be made. For an improved global environment, regulations must be implemented and complied with by both industrial and developing countries. All stakeholders should respect the ideals of responsible energy use and development by pursuing concrete and constructive actions.
We understand that effecting change regarding these vital energy issues is no easy task. But if we work together, success will be ours.
On behalf of all students participating in this 18th World Energy Congress, thank you very much.