|Opening Remarks at the BAC Dialogue with the Bundestag Committee on Environment, 21 Nov 2011, Berlin|
|Written by Philippine Embassy Webmaster|
|Tuesday, 22 November 2011|
H.E. Maria Cleofe R. Natividad
21 November 2011, 15:30 – 17:00 H
Sehr geehrte Mitglieder des Ausschusses für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit des Deutschen Bundestages,
(Distinguished Members of the German Bundestag Committee on Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety,
Im Namen des Berliner ASEAN-Komitees (BAC) und in meiner Eigenschaft als amtierende Vorsitzende, möchte ich dem Bundestagsausschuss für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit meinen herzlichen Dank für die heutige Veranstaltung zum Ausdruck bringen. Mein besonderer Dank gilt der Vorsitzenden, Frau Eva Bulling-Schröter, dafür, daß sie die Diskussion und den Gedankenaustausch des heutigen Nachmittags ermöglicht hat. Das BAC veranstaltet politische Dialoge mit Regierungsinstitutionen und Universitäten in Deutschland mit dem Ziel, ein besseres Verständnis und die Kooperation zu fördern.
(On behalf of the Berlin ASEAN Committee BAC and in my capacity as the incumbent Chairman, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Bundestag Committee on Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, for meeting us today. I would like to thank in particular Chairperson Madame Eva Bulling-Schröter, for making possible this afternoon’s discussion and exchange of views. The BAC has been holding and pursuing policy dialogues with official government institutions and the academe in Germany to foster better understanding and cooperation.)
The global challenge of climate change, and its implications for energy and development, requires the active engagement and participation of all national governments and stakeholders. We in ASEAN are taking this challenge seriously. We have made security of energy supply and sustainable development one of our central concerns. Energy demand is increasing in our region due to the region’s robust economic and demographic growth.
This increase in energy consumption needed to sustain the high economic growth will inevitably result in corresponding growth in CO2 emissions. Thus, the key challenge for us in the ASEAN is to ensure long-term energy security and to achieve sustainable growth, that is green and with low-carbon emissions. We need to diversify our energy supply and develop renewable energy sources. For this reason, we are greatly pleased to have this opportunity to dialogue with you this afternoon, to explore opportunities for further cooperation and active engagement on common policy goals.
To give our dialogue some structure and flow, we have agreed to focus on three interesting areas to guide us in our discussions:
• First, Germany’s policies on renewable energy in the light of the Energiewende and the decision to accelerate the phasing out of nuclear energy by 2022. The Atomausstieg of Germany has been viewed by some concerned sectors with considerable amount of scepticism. Once all the 17 nuclear power reactors of Germany will be replaced by coal- or gas-fired power plants in eleven years, the additional CO2 emission would inevitably increase the price of electricity and the price of carbon emission certificates. It could also lead other neighbouring European countries to increase their production of electricity from, among others, nuclear sources. We are interested to hear more from you how does the German government plan to address this valid concern and to reconcile these issues.
(We in ASEAN find this quite interesting for our setting as a regional entity, because we also confront national energy issues with wider regional implications.)
• Second, Germany’s climate initiatives and technical assistance to developing countries. Germany’s leadership in the field of renewable energy is globally recognized. Germany has passed a comprehensive renewable energy law which, in just a decade after its passage in 2000, has rapidly brought up the share of renewable energy to 16% of the national mix, way beyond the target of 10%. We in ASEAN look up to Germany’s leading example, and envision the possible transformation of ASEAN into a hub for renewable energy.
In particular we are very pleased with the initiative of the Bundesministerium fur Wirkshaft und Technologie (BMWi) to support the “Renewables- Made in Germany” program that promotes German renewable energy investments in the ASEAN region, such as solar energy in the Philippines, wind energy in Vietnam, and bio-mass energy in Indonesia.
On the Philippines side, I am very pleased to inform you that under the “Renewables-Made in Germany” program, a delegation of eight (8) German companies are in the Philippines on a 5-day visit right this very moment, to explore business and investment opportunities in the Philippines in solar energy. The eight companies were among those present in Berlin on 12 September 2011 during Philippine Solar Energy Workshop hosted by the GIZ (Ge-ee-tsed) GmbH (Ge-em-be-ha). The visiting German companies will hold two sessions of the “Philippines-Germany Solar Energy Forum” in Manila and in Cebu, to dialogue with and find potential partners and projects there. I am sure that my ASEAN colleagues will also brief you on their respective cooperation activities with Germany in the field of renewable energy.
We believe that Germany can be ASEAN’s strong partner in the field of renewable energies through business partnerships and joint projects that could facilitate transfer of technology and assistance.
I wish everyone a fruitful exchange of views and an animated discussion this afternoon, our very first dialogue with your Committee.