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Speaking points to the opening of the Copenhagen Energy Security Dialogues 2014

Udenrigsminister Martin Lidegaards tale ved åbningen af Copenhagen Energy Security Dialogues den 2. november 2014.

Mr. Secretary-General, Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, Honored you could be here today and I would like to warmly welcome you all to this conference of The Copenhagen Energy Security Dialogues – the first of more to come.

The Copenhagen Energy Security Dialogues is a partnership between the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Marshall Fund of the United States that brings together experts, policy makers, private sector and civil society from across the globe.

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We are here to create a constructive, honest and hands-on dialogue on energy security that addresses some of the key challenges when it comes to energy consumption and availability.

The challenges are many: In Europe we are looking to replace our aging and, in some regions, ineffective and not fully connected energy infrastructure; in Asia and emerging markets countries are dealing with the difficulties of coping with increased demand for energy, while many developing countries face challenges to human security and development due to the lack of access to reliable energy sources.

And we must not forget that dependency on few suppliers could limit political autonomy and potentially destabilize economies and regions. To enable a stable energy security environment, we must now look to diversify our regional and domestic supply of energy and explore sustainable ways of doing so.

Currently, about 80 percent of the world’s energy is supplied through the combustion of fossil fuels. The carbon dioxide and pollutants resulting from this accelerates climate change.

Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world which ultimately can result in political instability and social tensions.

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While the regional challenges may differ, energy security is at heart global and new technologies, improved political cooperation and a gradual transitions towards sustainable energy sources and improved energy efficiency has improved energy security.

The solutions exist! We will not only take stock at some of the most significant challenges, but we will also discuss some of the most promising solutions and technologies.

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The Copenhagen Energy Security Dialogues bring together governments, private business and civil society to explore solutions that improve energy security in the context of climate change, achieving development goals and ensure affordable energy to industry and households. Too often the energy, climate, defense, and development communities remain in their silos and do not see the need to work collectively to achieve their common goals.

For this reason, Copenhagen Energy Security Dialogues will share the most pressing challenges and promising solutions identified today and in our future work with established institutional players such as the World Bank’s ESMAP and the Secretary-General’s initiative Sustainable Energy for All.

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To offer his valuable insights into the multifaceted challenges of energy and climate change and what tools are available to us in addressing these challenges, I am honored to introduce our keynote speaker, the Secretary-General of the UN, mr. Ban Ki-moon. Your presence here today and tireless commitment is truly a testament to the importance of today’s topic

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