Press Release 13 November 2007
DIALOGUE AND COOPERATION, THE RECIPE FOR THE FUTURE, ENERGY MINISTERS SAY
Rome, 13 November 2007 - Countries that consume and produce energy have the common goal of guaranteeing the safety of both supply and demand, according to a Ministerial Forum held at the 20th World Energy Congress attended by representatives from Algeria, India, Italy, Qatar, Russia, the United States and the European Union.
"We have a global problem, but not a global governance," said Pierluigi Bersani, Italy's minister of economic development. The world must quickly resolve the question of "energy security and the environment, but it's an illusion to address one without the other. We need to open our markets to each other's investments," to ensure the production of energy at a reasonable price and the dissemination of new technologies.
"There is a global market for energy consumers and producers," said Charib Khelil, Algeria's energy minister. "The crisis has affected everyone. Geopolitical problems, financial speculation and the devaluation of the dollar" impacted the price of oil. "But today it is more correct to speak of peak production than peak demand".
On the one hand, importing countries are seeking security of supply while on the other producer countries want security that there will be demand in the future, Khelil said, adding that he believes in the interdependence of Algeria and Europe and that there have not been supply interruptions.
During the forum, moderated by CNN reporter Fionnuala Sweeney, Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, minister of energy and industry of Qatar, also spoke of the importance of having the security of future demand.
"Producers and consumers must talk," he said. "Those buying complain about the costs, but also production is very expensive. We have built offshore terminals in Italy with ExxonMobil and we will build ships to guarantee supply, but the ships are very expensive".
Andris Piebalgs, the European commissioner for energy, stressed the need for a "strong framework in which to make big investments."
Energy partnerships that the European Union has done with many countries must support the development of trade and provide a framework for investment that will lead to mutual benefits, he said, adding that energy efficiency will also benefit from stronger international cooperation.
"A global energy dialogue is the only way to achieve the end to energy insecurity, but it's hard to find a single solution," said Viktor Khristenko, the minister for industry and energy of the Russian Federation.
The dialogue must be structured in different formats according to different requirements, he said. The important thing is not to get into confrontations and to share solutions because though risk factors are uncontrollable, through dialogue insecurity in the energy sector can be reduced.
"The challenge is clear and it is to have safe and clean energy," said Samuel W. Bodman, the United States energy secretary who went on to quote the IEA report. "By 2030 energy consumption will increase by 55 percent and 73 percent of the demand for coal will be come from China and India. Meeting this challenge requires heavy investments and on this issue the current US administration has done a lot, investing $40 billion in the last few years."
"In India there are 600 million people who do not have access to electricity," noted Sushilkumar Shinde, India's energy minister. "Clean technology must be a priority, but the security and salvation of the planet should not be considered only for financial gain".
"Nobody should be left behind," Shinde said. "Those who can make investments in clean technology should do it and those technologies should not be entrusted only to market forces."
The World Energy Council in partnership with Oliver Wyman (global consulting firm) has over the past year worked on its third Assessment of country energy and climate policy aiming to identify key areas for policy improvements and to understand how successful policies can be transferred from one country to another. more >