Civil G8 2006

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The International Forum Civil G8-2006. The Round Table Global Energy Security Round table. Short reporting.


The round table on the question of Energy Security was attended by lots of NGO representatives. The chairman, Leonid Grigorev was not surprised as this question is evidently the major one out of the three. With the respect to the questions of education and infection diseases, he pointed out that it is useless discussing them unless we solve the global energy problems. He also stressed that they are tightly connected.
Most of the participants were present at the forum held on the 16th February. Though there were some who came for the first time.
The discussion moderators again stressed the point that the aim of this meeting is a list of suggestions and recommendations, not a consensus, because the paper can include even opposite opinions on the questions. Another request was to be short and up to the topic in ones speech.
Steve Sauwer, the Holland Green Peace representative, believes that the problems that need attention are energy efficiency and steady development in this sphere, which concerns primarily with energy policy and economy. He suggested to discuss the issues deducated to the global economy and policy as well as to the liberalization of the markets, as some of the developed countries, like the USA, UK, Japan have not done it yet.
His idea of the global policy was supported by many participants, including Alexander Shokhin, an authoritative representative of the business community. He believes that it would help to transfer from reaction to action. Speaking about economical aspect of the energy security, he means security stability of the supply as well as demand, which can be insured by the long term contracts. (The same suggestions came from the corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Science Evald Shpilrain, representing the Moscow International Energy Club). Alexander Shokhin also touched upon the considerable usage of the natural sources. The question of the energy sources priorities was discussed with most hot emotions.
ANPED (North Alliance for the Stable Development) representative Andrei Azkharovsky said that when speaking about steady development we cannot forget that the energy sources can also be divided into steady ones and unsteady. The first group would involve nuclear power. He suggested that its present role can be minimized by 1) financial support reduction, 2) pointing that it is not meet the steady development criteria, 3) stopping its publicity, that is publicly insisting that nuclear energy is a satisfying solution of the energy problems. As for the steady sources, he sees them in the renewable ones and suggests that every country should take obligations to develop them and share their experience.
Urgen Meyer from the Forum of German NGOs for Environment and Stable Development set the example of his own country. Its government was worried that electricity sector does not invest into technological innovations. That made them invest many, as a result it proved that the shift to the new energy sources does save not only ecology but also economy as it creates a whole number of new working places. So the only thing that world needs is to acknowledge the lack of legalized basis for such actions and not to cross out the possibility of its creation.
Another expert from Germany, Peter Schultze, holds another opinion about the global policy. He believes that the global energy policy is a mere illusion. from his point of view it is necessary to develop national and regional policy programs. It may be worthy to set Energy Charter within each country or certain region, for instance Europe.
The participants did leave behind the topic of the Islam world and the threat of the acts of terrorism that may lead to global catastrophes.
Many of Russian organizations were preoccupied by the questions that concern mostly Russia. Most of the representatives insisted that the possibility of the world nuclear power waste storage in Russia should be publicly discussed. Green Peace insisted that one of the suggestions on the list should touch upon this topic. Literally they insisted that each country would keep the nuclear waste that they produce on its own territory.
Another question that troubles most of the Russians is the bad state of the Nuclear power stations and high risk of another Chernobyl.
The participants also raised the topic of the third world countries debts that have been forgiven by the developed countries. A number of representatives believe that the develop countries should insist that this money would go to the ecology financing and support. For instance, there is a problem of the uranium plants being built in Tomsk region, just 70 km away from Tomsk. Aleksei Toropov from The Siberian Energy Agency (Tomsk) said the government could at least find money to carry out some counting on its long-term profit efficiency, not to mention the polls among the residents.
Mr. Solomantsev suggested that the government should launch some kind of competitions on the regional energy usage efficiency, as it will be a good stimuli to raise the efficiency of energy sources usage. He also believes that present day petrol prices are too low and it is necessary to raise them, other wise it will happen anytime in the near future but very sharp and can result in a crisis.
As it was expected, due to the opposite opinions of the participants, the final part of the discussion was especially hot. Nonetheless, the final document was formed and it can be found at the www.civilg8.ru

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group