Spring til indhold

Udenrigsministerens tale ved Baltic Development Forum energikonference

Speech by Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard at the Baltic Development Forum conference on energy security May 6 2015 in Copenhagen.

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Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, dear Lene Espersen,

I am delighted you could be here today, and I would like to warmly welcome you all to The Energy Dialogue in the Baltic Sea Region. I’m also happy that it coin-cides with a meeting I’m hosting for my Nordic and Baltic colleagues and that my Latvian colleague could participate today in this important regional dialogue. In this context, I would like to extend a special thanks to the Latvian EU Presidency for placing the Energy Union and energy security high on the agenda this spring. Furthermore, I am very pleased to welcome the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Rasmus Helveg Petersen, who will provide us with some valuable perspectives on the regional energy market during the first panel discussion. 

This conference is a partnership between the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Baltic Development Forum. Our aim today is to create a platform for government representatives, the private sector and regional organisations to discuss the challenges related to regional energy security as well as possible solutions. 

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The global energy landscape is changing fast: Importers are becoming exporters; New technologies emerge; Global energy demand and competition for resources are intensifying; And due to the conflict in Ukraine and turbulence in parts of the Middle East, energy security is now at the top of our agenda.

Therefore, my main messages for you today are: We must join forces to increase our energy security.  We must increase cooperation with the private sector. And we must do it in a sustainable way. This will improve our security, our climate and our competitiveness.
First of all, we must improve our regional energy cooperation and interconnectivity. Because despite all the achievements in strengthening our infrastructure and diversifying supplies, our current energy policies remain unsustainable:

• Our energy system is ageing and fragmented.
• We are over-dependent on imported fossil fuels.
• And still too much energy is wasted every day.

The way ahead is a well-functioning, cross-border energy market with diversified supplies and solidarity in times of crisis. A well-connected energy market is the only realistic tool to maintain a healthy and competitive energy sector in the future.

A recent study by the Commission confirms this. The study estimates the net eco-nomic benefits from completion of the internal market to be up to 40 billion Euros per year. This corresponds to about 10 per cent of the EU’s external energy bill in 2013.

We should, however, not stop there, but also take the internal energy market to the next level by developing a new, flexible market design. Together with enhanced regional cooperation, this will contribute to increased security of supply as well as improved integration of renewable energy sources.

The political challenges over the last year have shown that diversification of energy sources, suppliers and routes is crucial for our security. This is an issue that concerns every Member State, even if some are more vulnerable than others. For the same reason, Denmark and Poland are cooperating on a feasibility study of the so-called Baltic Pipe to clarify the perspectives for a possible integrated Nordic-Baltic gas market. We are looking forward to sharing the results with you in 2016. 

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This leads me to my second point today: We must continue to engage the private sector. Cooperation with private businesses is absolutely critical for turning words into deeds. Therefore, I welcome all the business representatives here today.

On one hand, the public sector must provide certainty and incentives for businesses and institutional investors. On the other hand, the private sector must ensure the required innovation and sometimes be willing to take risks in new markets.

The recent financial crisis has shifted the focus towards wise, long-term invest-ments. And European businesses have already contributed much to making Eu-rope one of the most energy efficient regions in the world. Because it’s good business.

To put it bluntly, future growth must be driven with less energy and lower costs. To achieve this, we need to fundamentally rethink energy efficiency and treat it as an energy source in its own right. This will provide a solid foundation for a competitive and sustainable economy that is designed to last.

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My third message today is that we still need to remind ourselves that green transition goes hand in hand with economic progress. The Danish case shows that.
For the very same reason, the Energy Union is the right initiative at the right time. It constitutes a unique opportunity to break with EU’s historic – and very expensive – dependence on imported fossil fuels, promote the transition to a low carbon economy and improve the interconnectivity between member states.

However, if the project is to succeed, everyone must do their part. We all need to take responsibility and show effective action and we need to do it now! It will affect us all – but the less integrated regions such as the Baltics more than most.

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In the global energy transformation, it is no longer an option for any stakeholders to act in isolation. The Energy Dialogue in the Baltic Sea Region brings together governments, private businesses and regional organisations to explore solutions that can enhance our access to secure, competitive and sustainable energy in the future.

This region already cooperates a lot. But we can and should do more. I look for-ward to your input on how we can extend our already close cooperation in the Bal-tic Sea Region.   

Thank you.