HRH Crown Princess Victoria's speech at World Future Energy Summit
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Your Royal Highness, Your Highnesses, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to once again visit the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, to be given the opportunity to take part in the World Future Energy Summit is a great honor for me. I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, for hosting this important Summit.
The Earth's resources are not inexhaustible. Changes in nature are taking place around us. It is important to have the will and the knowledge to acknowledge these big problems. Reality is catching up with us, and it is our mutual responsibility to not ignore but instead take concrete action to meet the challenges that climate change poses.
I am encouraged to see initiatives such as MasdarCity, a unique effort both within the region and globally. The concrete examples of renewable energy solutions and energy efficiency that will be applied in MasdarCity are key elements in combating climate change. The implementation of sustainable solutions throughout society on as global level is of great importance.
My country, Sweden has the highest share of renewable energy within the European Union. Both Sweden and Europe have high ambitions to further increase our share of renewable energy by 2020. In the area of green technology and sustainable cities, Sweden has well developed and extensive district heating networks, which can use the local available energy sources such as waste heat and other renewables. Heating may not be the most dire need here in the United Arab Emirates but the same principle may be used in the district cooling networks, which I know are more useful in this region. So one could say, that cooling is a hot issue.
Furthermore, over the past decades the economy in Sweden has continued to grow. This growth has occurred at the same time as our energy efficiency and share of renewable energy have increased significantly.
But nothing happens in isolation — we need to work across national borders. We have many things in common and important lessons to learn from each other. Both success stories and mistakes are of value in this process.
Access to sustainable energy gives potential for economic growth. In order to achieve such sustainable growth, and break the link between economic growth and carbon emissions, international cooperation is crucial. For our part, we are proud of our track record of eco-efficient growth and believe we can both learn more in this field and share the experiences of our development so far.
An example of such needed cooperation is the International Renewable Energy Agency, established recently here in Abu Dhabi. This intergovernmental organization will be able to deliver important contributions to meet global challenges, both climate and energy related.
To meet these long term objectives we will need new products, new services and new entrepreneurs. Here all actors of society have important roles to play; governments, business, academia, civil society organizations and individuals. Improved conditions for entrepreneurs in the energy and environmental technology business, especially small and medium sized enterprises, contribute new and interesting innovations. The human capital - your daily work and thinking - is the most valuable tool for a knowledge-based and innovation-driven development.
But innovation is not the only answer. Being aware of what is at stake, we all - you and I - also must take an individual responsibility to adapt our way of living to cope with climate change. Consequently that responsibility is ours. We all need to reflect on our own actions and the footprints we make.
To be able to meet the long term challenges of climate change and also to address global and regional energy challenges, we need to work closely together.
To conclude: I look very much forward to this summit as well as the coming days in the United Arab Emirates. It will be very interesting to share the outcome of this week's discussions that I hope will result in innovative conclusions, give new impulses, and most importantly — lead to concrete measures toward a more sustainable future. I would like to wish you good luck in your deliberations over the coming days!