Ambassador Holger Standertskjöld, Head of the EU Delegation in Singapore, delivered the opening keynote. The Ambassador said that climate change and energy security policy are “intrinsically linked” in EU policy. The EU attaches importance to partnership with Asian countries. “Cooperation with third partners” is “fundamental” to energy security policy.
The Ambassador highlighted the strides that the EU has made. The European Commission has existing partnerships with ASEAN, China, India and Japan with energy security as a central theme. Last year, the EU-ASEAN Energy Dialogue agreed to a work plan on, inter alia, biofuels, energy efficiency and infrastructure investment. Furthermore, the first Asia-Europe Meeting Ministerial Conference on Energy Security in June 2009 concluded with a joint statement for the first time, which sends “a very strong political message of EU and Asia’s willingness to cooperate together to enhance energy security.”
As for climate change at large, the Ambassador said the EU’s aims after the global climate conference in Copenhagen last December remain for a legally binding, international and post-2012 (post Kyoto Protocol) agreement. He pointed out the weaknesses of the non-legally binding Accord that concluded the conference. But he remained upbeat that the statement still provides for a review of the 2°C objectives and action by 2015.
The EU itself remains committed to its 20-20-20 targets, knowing a 25-40% emission reductions by 2020 are needed, and to “fast start” aid for developing countries of €2.4b a year (2010-2012). This contribution will not reduce development funding- in fact- “climate action will play a key role” towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Over two days, experts, policy makers and NGOs gathered to address post-Copenhagen dimensions of climate change, energy security and sustainable development. The meeting also discussed how Southeast Asia can move from dependence on fossil fuels to biofuels and nuclear energy, while analysing the possible adverse impacts of non fossil fuels.
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