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Dialogue for Global Energy Security

23 October 2007

Moscow, Russia

It is an honour and pleasure for me to address and co-chair with Minister Khristenko this inaugural session on 'Global Energy Security and Efficiency' of the Second International Energy Week in Moscow. May I congratulate you on having established a major annual event in the mosaic of international activity that strengthens energy dialogue and co-operation for global energy security. You are providing a fruitful, recurring opportunity for governments, representatives of industry as well as academic and other energy experts to interact at a time of heightened energy security concern around the world. And very importantly at a time when Russia has re-assumed its global position as a super producer, exporter and consumer of the strategic commodities oil and natural gas in an energy-hungry world. 

Russia is blessed with natural resources. And with her competent and experienced 'Oil and Gas Complex', leading personalities of which are gathered in Moscow this week, Russia is, indeed, in a privileged position when harvesting her national endowment for domestic economic and social development. Your substantial and reliable exports of oil and natural gas are crucial for the economic and social development of your trading partners as well. Win-win interdependence and international co-operation in energy also strengthen wider economic and political co-operation among nations. 

Energy security was put in forceful focus by The Group of Eight industrialized nations under the Presidency of the Russian Federation last year. In their St. Petersburg Plan of Action on Global Energy Security, President Putin and other G8 Heads of State and Government highlighted the importance of dialogue and the role of the International Energy Forum in efforts to address common energy concerns. 

Complex backdrop

Looking ahead, I see the producer-consumer dialogue and international energy relations evolving against a complex backdrop, some features of which are that: 

  • Fossil fuels remain paramount for quite some time, but with increasing attention to development of alternatives.
  • Increasing energy demand and efficiency.
  • Increasing environmental and climate change concern. 
  • Increasing energy trade due to the geographical mismatch between centres of oil and gas production and centres of consumption.
  • Increasing competition for energy resources and among energy resources.
  • Resource nationalism. Governments wanting to make the most of their national endowment.
  • Policies of energy interdependence and energy independence for energy security. >
  • Innovative environmentally benign and cost-efficient technological breakthroughs.
  • Vulnerability of energy production and supply to politically motivated disruption, technical mishap and forces of nature.
  • Call for good governance and transparency. People expect their Governments to provide sufficient, reliable and affordable energy.
  • Energy poverty. Demands for equitable access to energy for the quarter of the world's population who do not have it, but who want it and need it for a better life tomorrow.
  • The shift to Asia of global economic gravity with geopolitical and energy implications.
  • Increasing awareness of long-term communality of interests among producers and consumers in a globalizing world.

Our day of heightened energy and environmental consciousness around the world is also a time of uncertainties and increasing interdependencies among nations. Countries and groups of countries are revisiting fundamental policies. And the policy tuning of one country to meet new challenges and to reduce its particular energy uncertainties can itself exacerbate or create new uncertainties for others. Not least considering the interrelationship between energy, environment and economic development. As well as the links between energy and geopolitics. Global producer-consumer dialogue acquires greater importance as nations revisit and modify established policies, and shape new ones, in their quest for energy security.

Energy Security a Shared Responsibility

In April next year, Energy Ministers from 60 countries will gather in Rome for the 11th IEF Ministerial to address energy security concern. IEF Ministers agree that energy security is not only their shared objective, but also their shared responsibility as energy-producing and energy-consuming countries. Their greater awareness of shared vulnerabilities and common interests developed through previous years of political-level dialogue will be further strengthened. This awareness stimulates also to frank discussion of issues where consensus agreement may now be lacking, where new understandings can be developed, uncertainties dispelled, and where concerted policy action can contribute to our common global energy security. 

The International Energy Forum gathers under one global umbrella Ministers not only of the industrialized, petroleum-importing countries of the IEA and Ministers of the petroleum-exporting countries of OPEC, but also, and very importantly, Ministers of key countries that are not members of those organizations. Such as Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and others that increasingly will impact not only the global energy scenario, but the global economic and political scenario as well. 

We are greatly encouraged by the Russian Federation playing an increasing active role in the on-going dialogue in the IEF on global energy security and the interrelationship between energy, environment and economic development. We are looking forward to Minister Khristenko again bringing Russian perspectives to bear on the co-operative dialogue in the International Energy Forum. A dialogue Ministers transcending traditional political, economic and energy policy dividing lines and affiliations in an ever more interdependent world. A world that will need more and cleaner energy, used in a more efficient way, accessible and affordable to a larger share of the world's population. 

I am confident that also this Second International Energy Week of interaction among representatives of governments and industry as well as other energy experts will give new insight and stimulate new partnerships promoting international energy co-operation. And I hope that the successful process of International Energy Weeks in Moscow will continue.