The following are the conclusions to a speech given by Maria van der Hoeven on energy security.
Leading the way
‘I want to say a few words about resilience, climate change and the need for the US to provide global leadership. The is no longer any doubt that our energy system is contributing to climate change. Yet what goes around comes around: the changes in climate resulting in large part from our dependence on fossil fuels will threaten energy security here in the US and across the globe in the decades ahead. Increased air and water temperatures, decreased water availability and increasingly intensive and frequent storm events and sea level rise have, and will continue to, disrupt energy systems.’
‘Action must be taken now to stop making matters worse in terms of emissions and to build up the resilience of the energy system to limit the impacts and costs of climate change.’
‘When infrastructure is installed, it must be in areas that face low climate impact risks or otherwise can be made robust enough to withstand extreme events when they hit. This approach must be taken across the system so that gas, electricity and liquid fuels in particular are less likely to be disrupted by hurricanes and other extreme weather events.’
‘System resilience also improves when markets are better connected and designed. Regionally, in the US, we see good and bad examples of this, so there is more work to do. So energy security is both about addressing the impact of climate on energy and about addressing the impact of energy on climate.’
‘Every state, country and region must put in place the policies that work best based on their individual circumstances. China is doing so through five year plans. The EU is setting targets for 2030. Both include carbon pricing in the policy mix. President Obama is doing so through the Climate Action Plan, the centrepiece of which is the new proposed EPA rule on carbon emissions from existing power plants.
‘Our view is that implementing the EPA rule can be achieved without damaging economic growth and while maintaining, or even improving, energy security. Crucially, it also sends a very clear signal to the international community ahead of the make or break climate talks in Paris next year. However, it is also clear that the EPA rule alone is not compatible with minimising the global temperature rise to 2 °C. While it is a very important first step, it must be followed with further steps. The stakes are high for a meaningful deal in Paris that will set us on a 2 °C pathway. Our long term energy security depends on it.’
‘Renewables and energy efficiency may well take centre stage, but real action is required on CCS and other low carbon technologies to pave the way for oil, gas and coal to play a full role in a secure global energy system for decades to come. So, if you have investments in these sectors, the best way to protect them is to push for action.’
Adapted from speech by Claira Lloyd
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