Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to attend this important symposium during my State Visit to Japan. The topic that will be discussed today is, no doubt, crucial and urgent for the global community, for our generation as well as for our children and grand-children.
We all know that it is impossible to continue to acquire and consume energy in the way we are doing it now. The global energy system has to be transformed into a truly sustainable one.
By definition, such a system must be able to provide us with the energy we need for an unlimited period of time. We cannot forever rely on the exhaustible energy sources we are using now.
The environmental impact has to be low and must not result in inacceptable effects for the future. Everyone has to be able to afford the energy and it also has to cover the needs for the development of decent living conditions for all of mankind.
The goals seem evident, but how do we reach them?
The two major issues in this context to be discussed are global warming resulting in climate change and the role of energy efficiency.
Japan and Sweden have taken a clear stand on the necessity of taking urgent action against climate change. The world needs to join together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving global participation in this effort is certainly a crucial issue on the international agenda.
When striving for a sustainable future energy system we have to look at the total chain - from our choice of energy sources to how we finally use them. Energy efficiency is one of the most important factors when moving into a sustainable system. Higher efficiency means we get more for less.
Efficient energy technologies can result in high standards of services
- such as heating, cooling and transportation - with a lower demand for energy and a lower environmental impact. It is obvious that our two countries have the same interest in achieving energy efficiency. I am certain that the development of our cooperation in this field will be beneficial to everyone.
Striving to reach an international agreement on energy efficiency is important. A global framework may promote development and the introduction of better technologies in this field worldwide.
During today´s symposium we will be able to listen to experts who have a great knowledge and experience within their respective fields of work. I am convinced that it will provide us with valuable food for both thought and future action. Very soon we need to find the key for the global society to the door of a sustainable energy system. Let us hope that when we all leave today we have taken a few steps in the right direction.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for arranging this symposium which I have been looking forward to very much as one of the major highlights of this State Visit.
With these words I declare the symposium, Towards a Clean and Sustainable Energy System open.