RIYADH- Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources Eng. Ali bin Ibrahim Alnaimi called on all countries to commit to cooperation with International Energy Forum for it to achieve its purpose and boost it structures at the regional and international levels.
He stated that the forum could be leaner and stronger and that “I think there is an argument for taking the IEF to the level of a full international organization, which would reflect the vital importance of energy in the world today.”
This came in a speech before the 14th International Energy Forum held today in the Russian capital, Moscow, under the title “The new geography of energy: business as usual or a new era for energy supply and demand?”
The minister stated, “The world is changing, the global economy is expanding and the global middle class is increasing. This rising level of prosperity is having a fundamental impact on long-term global energy demand. So it is clear to me that the energy challenges of the 21st century will not be business as usual.
New sources of energy are coming on stream, technological innovation is increasing and global energy markets are becoming ever more complex. Mitigating supply disruptions and understanding demand growth are global issues. We can only fight climate change together. And no single country can ensure global energy poverty is eradicated. Achieving these shared goals requires us to enter a new era of cooperation and transparency, with new thinking and creative solutions.
The minister added, “Over time, the IEF has become an ideal place for testing new ideas and exploring the possible impacts of new energy developments. The Joint Organizations Data Initiative has brought a step-change in terms of the integrity of data – vital for oil market stability. It is increasingly gaining acceptance and trust.
So progress has been made, which is good, because we’re not living in the 1970s any more. Today, there is a new geography of energy. It cannot be business as usual. We are grappling with issues that simply were not on the agenda 40 years ago. Issues such as Asia’s economic rise, the growing importance of gas, the energy market’s interaction with financial markets, and the increasing debate on climate change.
The IEF’s strength comes from its non-political nature. It is not producers against consumers. It is not north versus south. It is not the West versus the East. I believe it is already playing a truly positive role in global energy affairs, and it is needed now more than ever.
Energy will continue to be the foundation for economic growth and development around the world. We all need modern forms of energy to live. Believe me, I once lived without it and I wouldn’t recommend it. We need energy to help feed us, clothe us and keep us warm – or in our case, cool. We need it to help educate our young people, for transport and to enable mankind to communicate like never before.
So energy is vital and it requires the highest priority. I hope all nations can commit themselves to working with the IEF to enhance its purpose and structures, regionally and internationally. Clearly, it could be leaner and stronger. And I think there is an argument for taking the IEF to the level of a full international organization, which would reflect the vital importance of energy in the world today.
Of course, the IEF Secretariat itself needs to clearly articulate its vision to members going forward. But it also requires commitment from countries, from policy makers, from business and from the world of academia. The IEF is the sum of its parts, but it can be so much more.
To conclude. The IEF provides the ideal architecture for policy makers and the global energy industry as it heads into the 21st century. It is only together that mutual energy issues can be tackled and resolved, and I believe the IEF should become the principal organization for energy debate in the 21st century. The time for dialogue is when there is relative market stability, not when there is an emergency. Let’s not wait until the next crisis. Let’s act now.-SPA