Participation of M. KESTERIS
at the “Third OPEC
International Seminar 2006”
Vienna, 12 September 2006
SUBJECT : “European Union’s energy outlook : what are the
challenges ahead ?”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me say first of all that I feel honoured to have the opportunity on
behalf of Commissioner Piebalgs address such a prestigious audience to a
Seminar organised by OPEC and to share with you the ideas of the
European Union on the energy challenges.
The energy challenges that the world is facing have never been greater.
Allow me to highlight three of these challenges to put my later comments in
• The first and most obvious challenge is, of course, global warming. It’s
happening, it’s caused largely by man-made carbon-dioxide emissions and its
effects will be very serious. However, the present response of the global
Community is to increase the rate at which carbon-dioxide is emitted, not
reduce it. Few countries actually have a concrete plan to limit, let alone
reduce emissions. This is simply irresponsible.
The real issue is that every year that goes by without an adequate response at
global level will make the problem more difficult to solve. A truly
international - global - agreement to address this is therefore vital and urgent.
I strongly believe that we owe it to future generations to create a sustainable
• The second main global energy challenge we are facing concerns how to
deal with rapidly growing world energy demand and its effect on energy
In recent years global energy demand has increased at almost unprecedented
rate. While much of this growth has come from the developing world,
demand has in fact increased across the board. Chinese demand for oil
increased by almost 16% in 2003 - almost one million barrels of oil per day -
but presently accounts for only 8,2% of global oil demand. India’s oil
demand grew 5,5% in 2003 but only represents 3,2% of global demand. If
these growth pattern