Dmitry Medvedev Speech at 2009 Global Energy International Prize Award Ceremony
Dear friends and colleagues,
First of all I would like to say that I will be taking the results of your vote on the fair price of oil to my partners at the G20. [During interactive voting on what would be a fair price for oil today, conducted during the discussion The Price of Oil, most voters set the price at 70-80 dollars a barrel.] I mean that all the important decisions have already been taken and that we now need to strive to reach the parameters that have been set.
I hope you will support me in this respect.
I would like to welcome you all and to warmly congratulate the winners of the 2009 Global Energy International Prize. Every year, it highlights the most outstanding achievements in the field of energy and practical science. It is awarded to scientists and experts from various countries. And it is good that our compatriots are among the prize winners along with their international colleagues.
Energy is the determining factor for the stable development of our civilisation and for progress on our planet. Perhaps there is no other sector where we find scientific, geopolitical, economic and other interests so deeply intertwined, in which so many different countries are involved, and in which so many different peoples are represented. We are certainly aware of this now, at a time when the whole world is affected by the global financial and economic crisis. On the other hand, there is the increasing realisation that only a joint partnership, only our concerted efforts can solve energy problems that are becoming more acute.
I talk about these issues quite often, not only in direct exchanges, but also when formulating the policies of the Russian Federation. I think that today we are aware of an absolute truism: only with concerted efforts can we hope to resolve our various difficulties and find an effective way to solve global energy problems. Hence the extraordinary interest in the work done by scientists in the energy sector, because what they are doing increases the prospects for developing new fields and technologies that can expedite the extraction of energy resources. The creation of the most advanced energy technologies, including those aimed at improving energy efficiency, resolving the fundamental issues of energy supply for humankind in the new century, ensuring environmental security, and facilitating the search for alternative energy sources – all of this depends on them.
Without exaggeration we can say that the energy future of our planet is in the hands of the scientists and Russia will continue to support this kind of research, invest in this work and assist the various institutions in which it is conducted. The Global Energy International Prize is an example of this. Today it is a one of a kind award that is recognised world-wide.
Just now our young colleagues talked about who received the award, how they won it, and what they received it for. I am sure that the number of people nominated for this award will increase every year. Besides the Global Energy Prize we have implemented a number of special projects, including the Global Energy Youth Programme, which our colleagues also talked about. The project already involves 100 young scientists who have received 15 million rubles as fellowship from the Global Energy Fund. Another initiative, the Global Energy Children’s Programme, helps prepare future energy sector personnel.
Today the award was given to researchers who enjoy worldwide recognition. You have just heard about them: [Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences] Alexei Kontorovich, [vice president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician] Nikolai Laverov and Professor Dudley Brian Spalding from the UK are known in the energy sector, in business community and to major companies who are engaged in energy projects. I hope that after this award their names will be known in even wider circles, because they are responsible for genuinely outstanding scientific achievements which will define the way the energy sector functions for decades to come.
Once again, I would like to congratulate the winners. I wish them success, good luck and good health. And of course I want to thank those who administer the Prize for the work they have carried out during the year.
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Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to again congratulate our winners, to thank them for the contribution they have made to the development of energy and of science.
At the same time, by returning to what was just said and to certain reflections made during the plenary session, I would like to once again focus the attention of all present on the fact that the current crisis is likely to result in a change of leaders: leaders of industry, leaders of production, leaders in terms of economic performance. None of the representatives of the world’s major energy companies here today is guaranteed an eternal place in the sun. We all have to prove our competitiveness in these difficult circumstances, when the economy is influenced by a variety of conflicting factors. I think this is probably no bad thing in general terms. Perhaps the largest energy companies will also come to the same conclusion about events currently taking place in the world.
We all want energy prices, including oil prices, to be genuinely fair. Achieving such fair prices is a somewhat more complex process than the vote we just took. Nevertheless, I hope that we’ll soon achieve a certain pricing equilibrium. This would strengthen the overall economic situation and help to stabilise national economies and the global economy.
In any case, we must draw all the necessary conclusions from what is happening and come out of this very complex endurance test stronger, more resilient and more unified. We should also set an energy regulation system that will govern energy sector trade in the 21st century.
This is our joint task. I would like to wish all of us every success with it. Let me once again congratulate our winners and wish them health and creative longevity. We are very pleased to congratulate you on this auspicious day.