27-05-2024 05:57 PM Jerusalem Timing

Rouhani Highlights Importance of Energy for Sustainable Development

Rouhani Highlights Importance of Energy for Sustainable Development

The Iranian president Hassan Rouhani stressed the need to pay due attention energy within the framework of sustainable development.

RouhaniThe Iranian president Hassan Rouhani stressed the need to pay due attention energy within the framework of sustainable development.

He made the remarks during his inaugural address at the third Summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) here.

The full text of his message reads:

In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset and as the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and on behalf of the people of Iran I would like to bid welcome to you excellencies, the Heads of States and Governments, ministers, the honorable Secretary General and other distinguished delegations the Third GECF gas summit in Tehran. There is no doubt that GECF is one of the most important events pertaining to energy and especially the gas industry. This Summit aims to find ways to support the collective interests of the member states and to develop cooperation between countries on various areas such as exploration, production and commerce in natural gas and to coordinate policies in line with raising the share of natural gas in global energy consumption and promote the stranding of GECF internationally. I hope that this summit will be able to provide us with an opportunity to confer with each other on the goals and views of the GECF.

Despite the importance and the necessity of using fossil energies, certain social harms have become visible and negative impacts have been left on the environment because such energies have been exploited in an unsustainable way. This has led the world to a dangerous situation where it has to choose between using energy for economic development or to preserve the environment. Therefore energy needs to be paid attention to within the framework of sustainable development.

That is why we have proposed that this summit send a message to the Cop21 conference which is scheduled to be held next week in Paris and aims to achieve an international agreement on issues and policies related to climate change. In the aforesaid message the gas exporting countries may announce their readiness to coordinate their policies with those emanating from international accords on environment. Moreover, fortunately and as the result of the recent UN Sustainable Development Summit which was held in New York and led to the adoption of the 17 goals related to sustainable development and a development agenda for 2030, energy, too, was noted as one of the challenges faced by the international community.

In order to respond to the two challenges of climate change and the security of access to the primary energy resources, many advanced communities that consume energy, have decided to make use of renewable energies. However, according to valid energy forecasts, renewable energies will have only a limited share in meeting the energy needs of the world for the foreseeable future and we are still a long way from leaving behind the fossil energies and turning to renewable ones. Therefore, the question is: what should we do to have cleaner and more cost-effective energies in these times of transition?

I believe that an important part of the solution to this problem is at hand. This is something that grants the GECF and the this summit a global significance. Natural gas as a clean source of energy with rich harvestable sources for the future decades now has a considerable share in the world energy consumption. The economic, technical, and environmental advantages of the natural gas compared to other fossil energies have made it a very important source of energy. It is expected that the consumption of natural gas will see a significant rise in upcoming decades.

All countries specially the developing ones are of the belief that natural gas may serve as a desirable bridge to help us move from the traditional use of fossil energies towards the era of more efficient use of renewable energies. Furthermore, the increase in natural gas transactions has resulted in more solidarity amongst communities and helped stability, security and integration in the international relations between countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Energy markets are phenomena which are dynamic by nature and the natural gas market is no exception. Such dynamism is created by advancements in technologies and innovations in gas supply such as increasing the production of non-conventional gases, gas shale and the development of the production of alternative fuels and also by changes in demand like innovations in the use of natural gas in producing electricity, transportation, petrochemical industries etc. Hence, promotion of global standing of GECF in energy markets requires a more pervasive approach towards the issue so that we will be able to devise the right plan for the future which may pave the ground for natural gas to play an enhanced role in meeting global energy needs.
Some of the initiatives which may help us to achieve the above-mentioned goal are : strengthening cooperation between the member states, institutionalizing the exchange of experience and technical know-how between them as well as adopting well-coordinated policies in the realm of production and market. Organized cooperation based on understanding between gas producing countries in regional markets is considered a pillar of long-term interaction between the member states and can prepare the ground for more efficient economic use and extraction of the limited renewable energies.

In the atmosphere of interaction between the friendly countries with aligned interests and in an intergovernmental forum which was established 15 years ago in Tehran thanks to the synergy of its members, increase in the profits of one country does not necessarily mean the loss of another country. Actually, the profits of every member can become more easily achieved when there is one single strategy based on collective profits.

GECF ‘s wisdom would lie in the fact that it would respect the obvious right to ownership of gas resources of the member states which is naturally also extended to the use and commerce of this important source of energy. This way, the grounds will be prepared for coordination and further adaptation of energy policies and cooperation of the GECF members states.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Iran as one of the countries with the largest natural gas reserves in the world, has very high capacity for the production and export of the natural gas and is ready to have a bigger role in supplying the energy security in the world. In the past years, my country has been pursuing the policy of replacing fossil energies with gas and presently gas accounts for about 70 percent of the energy consumed in Iran and about 90 percent of the Iranian families in the cities and villages have access to the nation-wide gas distribution network. However, if one pays attention to the ratio of our production level and our level of exports, he will see that due to the international limitations imposed on Iran, we have not been able to utilize the full potential of our resources.

Of course we believe that the situation will rapidly change with the recent agreements achieved between Iran and P5+1 regarding our peaceful nuclear program. The preparatory stages have been completed by the government so that the needed investments will be made in the gas sector. In the last two years, we have continued to rapidly boost Iran’s capacity for gas production which enables us to raise our export levels to the neighboring countries via pipelines and to other parts of the world via LNG. It is our strategy to increase production and export of natural gas through investments in our oil and gas fields.

Naturally our first and foremost priority in this regard is to cooperate with the countries of GECF. Here I would like to invite the respectable Heads of States and Governments of the friendly member countries of GECF who have assembled in this summit, to enter partnerships with Iran in investments to be made in Iran and promote cooperation based on mutual interests so that the huge gas reserves of my country will be developed. Needless to say, this will enhance GECF’s share in global transactions. I would also like to remind you that new oil and gas regulations in Iran provide a very attractive incentive for investments in the oil and gas sector. My government announces its support for international investments in our oil and gas industries. Apart from efforts to boost its production capacities, Iran also has on its agenda other big plans to use gas more domestically and at the same time enhance the energy efficiency and use its resources in a more thrifty manner so that, on one hand, it will be using gas more domestically and on the other boost the level of its gas exports.

In conclusion, I deem it necessary to once again thank all the excellencies who have honored us by participating in this glorious event. I wish success for this summit and a pleasant stay for you all in Tehran.

The third summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) under chairmanship of President Hassan Rouhani opened in Tehran Monday afternoon attended by nine heads of states.