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Joining Hands: Common Goals and Partnerships across Borders Valedictory Session

4 February 2004

New Delhi, India

I am happy to be back to yet another very successful Delhi Summit on Sustainable Development. Being here gives a unique perspective on sustainable development. Not only because India is facing within her borders most of the challenges that have been addressed, but also because developments in this country will increasingly impact the global scenario. Let me thank Dr Pachauri and his staff at TERI for their impressive contribution to keeping the challenges of sustainable development alive and kickng on the international agenda. 

Two months ago, I took charge as the first Secretary General of the International Energy Forum to head its new international secretariat that is now being set up in Riyadh. My remarks will therefore focus on the energy dimension of sustainable development. I would also like to briefly present the International Energy Forum. The IEF is an informal forum for global dialogue on energy at the level of ministers. It involves, at present, the key countries on the global energy scene, some 60 countries and the relevant international organisations dealing with energy. 

Energy is crucial

Energy is crucial for economic and social development in individual countries. Energy is important for commercial and political relations between countries. It fuels the world economy. Production and consumption of energy impacts the global environment. Energy influences, and is influenced by, international politics. 

I agree with previous speakers that economic growth is essential for sustainable development. I would add that energy is essential for economic growth. It is natural that energy is an integral part of sustainable development and the follow-up of Johannesburg, a WEHAB element. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation has key commitments with regard to renewable energy, access to energy, energy efficiency and energy markets. A number of initiatives were announced in Johannesburg to follow up these commitments, not least from the UN family. 

The multi-year Programme of Work of the Commission on Sustainable Development designates focus on Energy for Sustainable Development in 2006/2007 along with industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change. 

Is enough being done?

The second plenary session of this year's Summit addressed the theme "Energy for Sustainable Development". The question was asked whether enough is being done by way of policy and institutional and technological initiatives. The answer was, not surprisingly considering the level of ambition of Summit participants, a clear "no". 

Rising energy demand

Let me highlight a few long-term trends that energy experts see, forecasts that I believe should form part of the backdrop for assessments of the energy dimension of sustainable development. The figures are from the International Energy Agency. 

25 years from now, world energy demand is expected to be 2/3 higher than it is today. The good news is that the Earth's energy resources are adequate to meet such rising demand. 

Yet, there are many reasons for concern. Concern about security of energy supplies, concern about investment in infrastructure, concern about the threat of environmental damage caused by energy production and use, and also concern about the unequal access of the world's population to modern energy.

Fossil fuels will remain the primary sources of energy. They are expected to meet more than 90% of the projected increase in energy demand. Demand for oil will increase by 60%. Demand for natural gas will double up to 2030. Consumption of coal will also grow, though more slowly than that of oil and gas. 

The role of nuclear power will peak at the end of this decade. Its share of world primary energy demand will then decline gradually to 5% by 2030. 

Renewables will play an increasing role. Hydropower will hold its share in global primary energy, but see its share in electricity generation fall. The group of non-hydro renewables will grow faster than any other primary energy source. Wind power and biomass will grow most rapidly. But non-hydro renewables will still only make a small dent in global energy demand, a 4% share. 

More than 60% of the increase in world primary energy demand will come from the developing countries, especially in Asia, as they industrialise with growing economies and population. Almost all the increase in energy production will occur in countries outside the industrialised OECD area. 

A quarter of the World's population (1.6b of 6.1b) has no access to electricity and two fifths rely mainly on traditional biomass for their basic energy needs. In 2030, a projected 1.4 (of 8.3) billion people will still be without electricity. 

Global energy related emissions of carbon dioxide will grow slightly more quickly than primary energy demand. 70% more than today. 2/3 of the increase will come in developing countries. China alone will account for a quarter of the increase in CO2 emissions, but remain well below those of USA. Most OECD countries face a real challenge in meeting their Kyoto-commitments. OECD countries that have signed the protocol will be 29% above target in 2010.

World Energy Demand


Other renewables




Investments needed

According to the International Energy Agency, total investments in the range of USD 16 trillion are required for the energy supply infrastructure needed to satisfy expected demand in 2030. Developing countries, where production and demand increase most rapidly, will need almost half of the projected USD 16 trillion. USD 2.3 trillion in China alone, 14% of the world total. 

That is a lot of money. But more good news is that total world financial resources should be sufficient to finance the substantial investments needed. Yet, there are challenges, economic and political. 

The economic challenge will be to mobilise these new investments. How will necessary investments find their way to the energy sector considering competition for funds also from other important sectors of the economy? Who will invest how much, in what, and where, in order to manage supply and demand for both present and future generations? 

The political challenge will be to ensure a common energy future where energy supply and demand are balanced in such a way as to promote, and not jeopardise, the goal of sustainable global economic, social and environmental development. This is no less than a mega-challenge that must be addressed in dialogue not only between nations at political level, but also in dialogue between governments and industry. And other stakeholders should also be on the ball and be included. 

We will need more and cleaner energy, used in a more efficient way, and accessible and affordable to a larger share of the World's population. 

The International Energy Forum

Against this backdrop, let me say a few words about the International Energy Forum and its new international secretariat. 

International developments, and especially the Gulf War in 1990-91, once again highlighted the political importance of oil and interdependencies in energy. A more co-operative atmosphere between energy producers and consumers ensued. The process of a global energy dialogue at political level across earlier diving lines could start. The first Ministerial was held in Paris in 1991. It was followed on a more or less biannual basis by meetings in Norway, Spain, Venezuela, here in India in 1996, then South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Japan, attracting an ever-increasing number of ministers in what came to be called the International Energy Forum. Discussions have focused on security of energy supply and demand as well as on the links between energy, environment and economic development. 

Convergence of views

The series of IEF ministerial meetings has contributed to a convergence of views. There is growing awareness of the simple fact that we are all in the same boat. Greater stability and predictability in energy developments are increasingly seen as a shared goal that can facilitate long-term economic planning and have a positive influence on political developments as well. The mutual sense of interdependency, vulnerability and win-win opportunity has improved the atmosphere for long-term co-operation. And difficult short-term issues are being addressed in a more co-operative way than before when the atmosphere was confrontational. 

Energy Ministers from some sixty countries, including India, and heads of international energy organisations have been invited to meet at the 9th International Energy Forum hosted by the Netherlands in Amsterdam in May. Their main theme will be Investments in Energy. A theme of cardinal importance to any strategy for sustainable development. 

Unique in participation and approach

The producer-consumer dialogue at political level in the IEF is unique in its global participation and perspective. It is a meeting place not only for ministers of IEA and OPEC countries, but also for ministers of important countries outside these two main producer and consumer organisations; India, Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa to name a few, that already have, and will increasingly have, substantial impact on the global energy and environmental scenario. In the IEF, these countries can participate on an equal footing with their peers in OPEC and the IEA. This gives the global energy dialogue added forward-looking force and relevance. 

The IEF is unique also in approach. It is not a negotiating or decision-making body. It is a forum for discussion, exchange of information and policy views, as well as informal contact at political level. These exchanges have contributed to greater mutual understanding, enabling more enlightened national decision-making and closer co-operation within and between energy organisations. 

New international secretariat

At their meeting in Japan a little more than a year ago, Ministers endorsed the proposal of HRH Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to set up an international secretariat, headquartered in Riyadh, to further strengthen the process of global dialogue on energy at the political level. 

The new IEF Secretariat will assist countries hosting the biannual ministerial meetings. We will also organise, and co-organise with others, a series of supporting seminars and roundtable discussions at political as well as experts' level with global or regional scope. This will help ensure continuity of the dialogue also in periods that bridge the biannual ministerial forums. Furthermore, the Secretariat will contribute to enhanced data collection and transparency. It will interact with governments, industry and organisations with a view to channelling and generating workable ideas for strengthening the global energy dialogue in rhythm with, and in anticipation of, evolving global circumstances. 

The International Energy Forum Secretariat will be keen to interact with global efforts to follow up Johannesburg. We will follow the progress of CSD with great interest. Our focal areas of activity will also include issues highlighted at this summit, such as clean fossil fuels, the link between energy and environment as well as energy as a tool for economic development and poverty alleviation. 

We will consider not only how we can provide relevant energy sector input into discussions and policies for sustainable development, but also look into what role we might usefully play as a forum, and a partner, for exchange of information and policy views. In other words, joining hands, as is the theme of our Valedictory Session. And in tune with the call of the Johannesburg Declaration for strengthening and facilitating dialogue forums among regional, national and international producers and consumers of energy. 

In conclusion, let me mention that the International Energy Forum Secretariat will want to establish a network of regional co-operation partners within the scope of its global outlook and activity. My first choice is TERI. In the fringes of this year's Delhi Summit, Dr Pachauri and I are discussing how TERI and the International Energy Forum Secretariat might co-operate.