World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2008

  • Scenarios Series: Fuelling the Future

    Monday 19th May 2008 - 10:30am - 11:30am

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  • Scenarios Series: Fuelling the Future

    • Juan G. Aguiriano• Connie Hedegaard • Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber • Sauat Mynbayev

    Scenario Champion:

    • Tony Hayward


    • Nic Frances

    Wednesday 19 May

    The world faces a huge challenge to satisfy the ever-rising global demand for energy and also cut emissions of greenhouse gases. While there is no simple solution, participants agreed that among the necessary steps are setting a price for carbon, improving energy efficiency and diversifying sources of supply, including renewable energy development.

    Tony Hayward

    , Group Chief Executive, BP, United Kingdom, told the session that energy demand will rise 50% by 2013. “I believe the challenge is very big, bigger than any faced and bigger than anyone appreciated five years ago.” Consumer countries need to diversify their sources of energy and become more efficient users. Greater efficiency alone can cut emissions by 30%. At the same time, producers must speed the development of energy resources. They should tackle domestic subsidies on energy prices, lowering them as their economies grow.

    But, the most important thing is to price carbon through some market mechanism so businesses can base their decisions on it. Development of alternative energy sources should be subsidized along the lines of the wind power programme in Germany and solar energy initiatives in Spain and California. The Middle East must diversify because soon it will not be producing enough gas to meet domestic consumption and the quantities of gas needed for enhanced oil recovery, he added. Nevertheless, Hayward is “optimistic that with the right leadership, the ingenuity of technology will find solutions.”

    We need a change in mindset, said

    Juan G. Aguiriano

    , Safety Resources Global Director, Sustainable Solutions, DuPont de Nemours International, Switzerland. He said Du Pont launched its zero policy in the 1980s, which included zero emissions among its goals. “Leadership is about changing the mindset of organizations,” he said. “Sustainable growth is profitable for all stakeholders.” Despite the urgency of the situation, he noted that the word “crisis” implies a threat and an opportunity in Mandarin. Meeting the challenge will imply lots of opportunities for local investment, he added.

    For Sultan

    Ahmed Al Jaber

    , Chief Executive Officer, Masdar, United Arab Emirates, the time has come to stop debating the climate change question and start taking action, which is just what Abu Dhabi is doing. He went on to outline the US$ 15 billion Masdar project, a new, carbon-neutral city that is rising out of the desert and which is the world’s largest single investment in renewable energy. “The ultimate goal is that this be replicated around the world,” he said. Abu Dhabi is investing heavily in human capital, working closely with MIT in the US and setting up a number of special institutes for research into renewable energy.

    After detailing his country’s sizeable energy output and reserves,

    Sauat Mynbayev

    , Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan, said he doubts that renewable energy will ever cover a significant part of the world’s energy needs. “The answer is nuclear energy,” he said. As it will soon produce around 30% of the world’s uranium, Kazakhstan has a particular interest in the adoption of this solution. It also has the second largest reserves of uranium ore after Australia.

    Connie Hedegaard

    , Minister of Climate and Energy of Denmark, said all countries have to contribute even though the developed world must do the most. She called for the setting of a global price for carbon, because this will speed the implementation of emission-cutting initiatives in all countries. “If we do not do it now, it will become more expensive,” she said, referring to the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Even without the challenge of climate change, things must change because we do not currently have the resources to meet the needs of the world’s population at the end of the century. Denmark is an example of what can be done, with the country’s GDP rising 70% in the last 25 years, while energy use has remained stable. “It is possible to achieve a lot focusing on efficiency,” she said.




  • Tony Hayward Tony Hayward
    Interim Chairman, GlencoreXstrata, Switzerland

    1982, PhD in Geology, University of Edinburgh. Since 1982, with BP including: Exploration Manager, C...

  • Connie Hedegaard Connie Hedegaard
    Commissioner, Climate Action, European Commission, Brussels

    Master's in Literature and History, University of Copenhagen. 1984, Member of the Danish Parliament ...

  • Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber
    Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MASDAR - Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, United Arab Emirates

    BSc in Chemical Engineering and MBA, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; PhD in Business...

Moderated by

  • Nicolas Frances Nicolas Frances
    Executive Chairman, cool nrg International, Australia

    Formerly: experience in corporate hospitality, stock broking; Founder, Furniture Resource Centre; Fo...