Historical archive

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

Welcome Address at Energy for All Conference

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Office of the Prime Minister

Oslo, 10 October 2011

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg held the opening address at the Energy for All Conference in Oslo today.

Your Royal Highness,
Secretary General,
Prime Minister Meles,
Prime Minister Odinga,
Excellencies,
Honoured guests,

Welcome to Oslo and to our conference on energy for all.

Together with the International Energy Agency we have invited partners from all over the world to take part in a new initiative.

An initiative to provide energy for all
and about how to finance it.

Energy is about light and cooking.
About reading, learning and communicating.
About jobs, growth and prosperity.
And it is about gender equality.
In sum, it is about decent living conditions.

Without affordable energy,
there is less hope,
fewer economic prospects,
and no sustainable development.

For many of us,
when we switch on a light,
charge our mobile phone,
or prepare our dinner on a modern and safe cooking stove,
it is easy to forget that for all too many this is still not possible.

1.3 billion people – roughly 20 %  of the global population – don’t have access to electricity.

Twice as many - 2.7 billion – are without safe, accessible and clean cooking fuel.

Traditional cooking stoves are responsible for 1.5 million premature deaths each year due to indoor air pollution.
They also contribute to deforestation and black carbon, both of which are major causes of climate change.

For too many people, energy access equals access to wood.
Women and children spend hours collecting wood.  
Time that could have been better spent
on education, on other household tasks, on a paid job.

Over the next two days, we will hear more about what access to energy would mean for households, for communities, for business opportunities and for general economic growth.

***

I am very pleased that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon, is with us here today.
We share a deep sense of urgency. 
The Secretary-General’s “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative is an important response.

To achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we need access to modern energy services.

The UN family must take part in that effort.
We need results.
Norway will do its share.

***

Providing universal access to modern energy by 2030 means investments.
Almost 50 billion dollars per year.
More than five times the level of today.

These investments must come from different sources:
from governments of developing countries,
from multilateral and bilateral development actors,
and from the private sector.
They must provide affordable, safe and reliable energy to the poor.
We must mobilise private capital and encourage entrepreneurship.

Norway has an advanced energy industry with world leading companies.
I know they are ready to participate.

Achieving energy for all can seem like a daunting task. 
But each year the world spends more than 5 trillion dollars on energy.
We need a mere 1% of this.

It is doable.
If all key players pull together.

Last year I had the pleasure of co-chairing, together with prime minister Meles, the UN Secretary General`s Advisory Group on Finance .
Our task was to make recommendations on how to mobilize 100 billion US dollars per year for climate finance in developing countries by 2020, from a variety of sources.
Since we delivered our report many developed countries have faced, and are facing, even more serious fiscal constraints.
A key conclusion in the report is even more important today;
Without a carbon price, the goal can’t be met. By putting a price on carbon we can achieve three objectives at the same time:

We will reduce carbon emissions.
We will raise revenue for climate action.
And we will promote the development of sustainable and clean energy sources.

***

To ensure investments we need a reliable policy framework.
Rules and regulations must be attractive.
The public sector must provide a supportive investment climate in which private actors are willing to operate.
And public funds must be invested to benefit the public.  

There is no single way to achieve energy for all.
Policies and technologies will vary from place to place.
Ranging from solar panels in rural India
to hydropower in Liberia, Ethiopia and Nepal,
clean cook stoves in Tanzania
and kerosene free lighting in Kenya.
I am looking forward to hearing from Prime Minister Meles and Prime Minister Odinga about their experiences,
And how we together can change the lives of millions of people in their own countries.

 

***

The world’s need for energy will only increase.
Meeting this need will be demanding.
We need huge investments
in traditional energy
and in the development of new technologies.
We must promote and fund research and innovation
to help us mitigate climate change.

Carbon capture and storage is one of several environmental technologies that can help us achieve this.
This will continue to be an important area for the Norwegian Government.

Renewable energy is also key.
Hydropower, wind power, solar energy and biomass.

And above all we must realise the huge potential for energy efficiency.

 

***

Today, we launch Energy+
an international energy and climate initiative
for access to energy services, renewable energy and low carbon development.
Through Energy + we aim to demonstrate how we can mobilize private capital. This was a key recommendation to the Secretary General from the High Level Advisory Group.
Through smart use of public funds and attractive policy frameworks we can attract private investments.

With Energy + we intend to do the same as we have done with REDD+ the deforestation initiative
that is successfully limiting and preventing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

Halting deforestation
and ensuring cleaner and more effective use of energy
can reduce emissions in developing countries, not counting China, by as much as 65% .
Energy+ is our main contribution to universal access to energy,
to doubling energy efficiency
and to introducing a much higher share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

It is possible.
It is necessary.
And it is urgent.

Together with our partners, we will promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

As the Secretary-General stated so clearly in New York last month: there is no time to wait, there is no need to wait!

Thank you.