Видение мировых энергетических вызовов Евросоюзом

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Бонифасио Гарсиа Поррас, член кабинета Еврокомиссара по энергетике, Европейская комиссия, Бельгия

As Spaniard and as citizen of the EU, it is for me a great honour to be here to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Capital of Kazkhstan, Astana, which gives name and support to the Astana Cycling team of the famous cycling winner of the Giro de Italia, Mr. Contador, another Spaniard.  

Let me first of all express the gratitude of Mr. Piebalgs, EU energy Commissioner for your invitation to attend this great Conference. Unfortunately and because of previous commitments (he will be travelling this week to a Commission tour to Africa) he could not make it. He deeply and sincerely apologises for this and would like through my humble words wish you all the best success with the organisation of this event today and tomorrow.

1. The new International context of oil

The world of energy is changing. And the world is changing with it. This is why this Conference is rightly called: Global challenges - Energy solutions. Those received wisdoms we relied on in the past are no longer valid for these new global challenges.

Worldwide there is more and more interest on energy and climate change issues. Thisconference, celebrated here in Astana, in Central Asia, is clearly an evidence of such a worldwide interest.

We can no longer think simply in terms of producers and consumers. Producing countries are among those most determined to tackle rising demand. Commissioner Piebalgs has been in many oil producing countries and has taken good note that it is not easy to produce. It costs billions. These countries therefore have some of the largest potential for energy efficiency. On the other hand, consumer countries have new horizons for renewable energy production which could turn them into energy exporters. Both producers and consumers have an interest in making today's oil and gas reserves last as long as possible, so that future generations can also benefit. Both producers and consumers have an interest in more stable oil and gas prices.

Furthermore, we can no longer divide the world simply into developed and developing countries. Some developing countries are investing in the world's most advanced technologies. And some of the largest consumers, in volume terms, are developing countries.

Therefore, there is really only one solution. We must recognise our shared responsibilities, whether as producer, consumer, and whatever our stage of economic development is. We must acknowledge, and demonstrate, that only international action will help drive an effective, efficient and equitable response on the scale which today's energy challenges require. And we must all play a part in driving this response. This Conference can certainly be an excellent opportunity to help define such a response worldwide.

We must use our influence to improve the framework for energy markets, making them fiscally sound, legally robust and socially responsible. Investors need to know that their money is being used in a fair and proper manner. This applies at all stages of the energy chain, from permits for test drilling, to the distribution network to final suppliers.

Greater transparency is also crucial to improve energy market functioning. Better access to information, that is factual and up-to-date information, can increase confidence among all stakeholders. When we improve the regulatory framework and transparency of global energy markets, we will have helped tackle one of the greatest barriers to new investment: that is uncertainty. And we need to do this urgently. Without new investment - not just in the oil and gas sector, but also in energy efficiency and renewables on a large scale - there will be no sustainable energy security.

Today's oil and gas prices are a symptom of a much more fundamental change which affects everyone in this room, whether as politicians, industrial decision makers, or financiers. For instance, over the last 3 years, prices in US$ have more than tripled. In such a context, the recipes we used in the past are no longer relevant for future energy policy. Pumping ever more oil and gas is not a sustainable option. Nor are widespread unreasonable price subsidies, or tax reliefs. Energy isolation helps no-one in the longer term. And protectionism does little to protect the most vulnerable. High oil prices have a complex impact on the world economy, but one thing is sure: it is the poorest who are most affected.

In short, we need to develop a new toolbox of policies to rise to today's challenges. We already have a number of effective options available to us: energy efficiency and demand management, more efficient technologies, intelligent networks and land-use planning, more renewable energy and local energy services, as well as international efforts to increase solidarity and reduce geopolitical tension.  We need to make much better use of them.

All these policies and measures are by no means anti-oil, or anti-fossil fuel. In the EU, even when we have reached our renewable and greenhouse gas emissions targets, we are likely to be importing more oil and gas than today.

Before presenting you the efforts and the full commitment of the EU at international level and more particularly within the Caspian Region and in Central Asia, I would like to briefly recap the main principles of EU energy policies.

2. EU energy policies

In the EU, the above toolbox of policies is the route which our leaders have already agreed to follow. Even before oil and gas prices reached triple figures, other factors drove the EU to action: climate change, a level playing field in energy markets, and geopolitics. Early in 2006, EU leaders agreed, in principle, that the only way forward was for the EU´s 27 Member States to work together, in solidarity, for more sustainable, more secure and more competitive energy.

In March 2007, the EU became the first region in the world to agree ambitious energy and climate policy targets. The 27 Heads of State and Government committed themselves to binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, rising to 30% with an international agreement, and to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% of energy demand over the same period.  The first instrument to make this happen must be energy efficiency, so we have also set ourselves the objective of achieving energy savings of 20% by 2020.

The EU is now implementing an intensive programme of action to change the course for energy in Europe.

Let me quickly recall what we have achieved in the last twelve months:

- a new package of legal measures, to open up the European gas and electricity market;

- a draft law, or directive, guaranteeing 20% renewables in our final energy consumption by 2020 and the increase consumption of sustainable energy in the transport sector;

- an agreement to consume sustainability biofuels in all Member States;

- new rules to expand and strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System, ensuring that we meet our target of a 20% greenhouse gas reduction by 2020;

- the proposal for reducing CO2 in cars and the fuel quality Directive that will oblige oil suppliers to progressively reduce the CO2 in the products that they sell,

- implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Action Plan, covering all economic sectors, at all levels;

- diplomatic contacts to speed up new infrastructure construction, and the appointment of European co-ordinators for some of the more complex projects;

- the development of early warning and solidarity mechanisms, to ensure the EU is well prepared to respond to energy security threats;

- a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan, to enhance the impact of Europe's investment in Research energy;

- and proposals to tackle administrative barriers to Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage.

These proposals represent an unprecedented change in the legal framework for Europe's energy markets, involving almost half a billion people.

It is not only climate concerns which are driving the timetable forward. It is also supply security. Energy security is closely aligned with the climate issue. Both have their roots in the same issues: rising global demand for limited fossil fuels. The solutions are also related - energy saving, alternative fuels and clean technologies. And the outcomes are complementary: secure, low carbon energy and sustainable economic development. It is only right that the two issues are being tackled in tandem at the highest level.

Indeed, global energy demand is growing; it is far from clear that there will be sufficient oil production to satisfy such global demand. The era of cheap energy is over and in this era we have an absolute obligation to future generations to move to clean, carbon free energy sources for heat, power and transport due to climate change. These challenges require intelligent long-term solutions.

In the long-term, the measures currently proposed by the Commission which I referred to you before are a good start. We need more to face the great challenges in front of us.

In particular, the Commission will therefore:

- scrutinize the functioning of the oil, gas and petroleum markets in the European Union and make suggestions for possible further policy actions in the second Strategic Energy Review later this year.

(the Commission will also) continue leading efforts in an increased drive for Energy Efficiency. This will remain the highest priority for the remainder of this EU Commission. This means better legislation internally in the EU, but also to push for a more effective international energy efficiency partnership which was formally adopted last June at the G8 Energy Ministerial in Japan.

- last but not least, the Commission, the EU will continue the work at international level, notably contributing to build up a constructive dialogue between the main oil and gas producing and consuming countries.

In this context of international cooperation, let me now briefly stop here and present you how the EU sees the EU cooperation with Central Asia and in particular with the Caspian Region.

Firstly, it is worth stating that energy is at the top of the EU political agenda and within that context, energy relations with Central Asia are of paramount importance. (see in particular the Strategic objectives outlined in the Commission Communication on "An Energy Policy for Europe" (January 2007) on developing the external dimension. Enhancing energy security of the EU and its Member States reaffirmed at 13-14 March 2008 EU Council).

In this context, it is also clear from the EU side the privileged character of EU-KZ relations. I am personally convinced that the EU Strategy and KZ program "A way to Europe" as well as the chairmanship of OSCE in 2010 will further strengthen such cooperation. In the eyes of the EU, KZ can usefully play an active and stabilizing role in the region.

In the energy context, I must point out the potential of mutually beneficial energy cooperation. This cooperation, which has already delivered good results, continues to be build on three main elements: the Baku initiative/Inogate cooperation, notably to implement the Road map agreed at the last Ministerial meeting in Astana in November 2006 and with a view to take stock of progress at a Ministerial meeting this coming November; the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Energy signed with Kazakhstan in December 2006 as well as formal co-operation in the nuclear sector; and the general policy principle in favour of diversification of energy sources and transport routes.

On the basis of these commonly agreed principles, it is worth mentioning the progress underway and already achieved.  

Ø      In terms of the Baku initiative, we have organised a number of training courses for energy regulators and provided assistance, amongst other areas, in the convergence of enrgy markets on the basis of EU internal energy market principles. We consider this extremely valuable as a market based approach to investments guarantee the best prices for all stakeholders. Just this past spring we also had a very successful training in Brussels n energy efficiency and renewables. We welcome Kazakhstan's participation in this process.

Ø      In order to facilitate the transportation of Caspian energy resources to the European market, the Commission continues to foster, in co-operation with its partners, a trans-Caspian trans Black Sea gas corridor. We have sponsored various studies and have examined several technical options for additional gas exports to Europe.

Ø      We have worked closely with industry and our Kazakh friends in following developments concerning the Kashagan oil field and the negotiations taking place between the consortium and the Kazakh authorities.

Ø      We are also pleased with the progress made with EU companies in co-operation in the nuclear sector.

Ø      We held a Seminar on Development of Renewable energies in Central Asia in Almaty in April.

Ø      We have completed a Study on the establishment of an EU-Central Asia Technology Know-how and Transfer Centre (with special focus on Kazakhstan). We are now looking at financing options.

  • The Commission has also intensified the relations and contacts with the key countries of the Region (Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan for example); Just to quote few examples:

o       Commissioner Piebalgs has remained in close contact with the Azerbaijan Government regarding for example the development of the Shah-Deniz gas field. We are also actively implementing the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of energy via an Energy Reform Support Programme.  

o       EU-Turkmenistan relations have also intensified significantly with a view to enhance the possibilities for development of new gas resources in the country.

Ø      Certainly, there are also on-going technical energy projects such as the Studies on the harmonisation of gas and oil technical standards and practices, safety and security of main gas infrastructure.

Ø      Other upcoming projects worth mentioning are: the harmonisation of technical standards, rules and practices in the electricity sector, the EU support to Kyoto Protocol implementation, the supply for the safety and security of the main gas infrastructure, energy saving initiative in the building sector in the Eastern European and Central Asian countries.

All these efforts and developments show the commitment of the European Union towards good cooperation with the countries of the Region.


Let me now conclude. What is true at EU level is also true globally and it is also true for the Caspian-Central Asia Region. Fully exploiting every country's potential for energy efficiency and clean energy production, as well as an appropriate fiscal policy to reaching such potential, is fundamental to our energy future.

Energy brings us together. We all have common interest in sustainable energy. We have a common interest in clean technology, and we have a common interest in secure energy supplies.

That is why the EU applauds international collaboration towards sustainable energy: international collaboration to ensure the most efficient use of energy and the most efficient production of energy; international collaboration to develop the energy sources which best serve our economies, society and environment; and international collaboration to ensure transparent energy trade. As referred to before, the EU is fully committed towards such cooperation in the Caspian Region.

In the EU we have the benefit of 50 years of cooperation, based on legal transparency. 27 Member States accept that by working together they can be more effective than working apart. But we are also willing to learn from our partners, and share expertise and experience.

A sustainable future is in our hands. Through international commitment to more transparency, efficiency, solidarity, technology development and equal access to energy, we can prevent today's energy uncertainty from becoming tomorrow's energy crisis.

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