When it comes to securing future energy supplies, Germany and Europe are facing considerable challenges which can be described with the key terms climate change, secure access to sources of energy, and extensions of the infrastructure. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges for the international community of states. Therefore in the global context a sustainable energy policy is needed by means of which energy can be conserved and renewable sources of energy developed.
But even if we increase our efforts with respect to regenerative energy sources and energy efficiency, in twenty years time the European Union will be reliant on importing 70 percent of its fossil fuel requirements in the form of crude oil and natural gas. The European Union has merely three percent of the world’s natural gas reserves and less than two per cent of the oil reserves. These limited resources can only provide for a fraction of its needs. Therefore a dependable supply of energy for Germany and Europe is a central task.
We Europeans should realise that in view of the increased global demand we are facing stiff competition for energy resources. Russia plays a central role when it comes to the question of how we Europeans can secure equitable and above all peaceful access to these reserves. With regard to energy supplies, Russia has been a reliable partner for Europe for three decades.
In order to meet the strongly growing demand for energy and to avoid international conflicts over energy, increased investments are needed in the infrastructure for exploration, transport and distribution. Joint infrastructure projects such as the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream strengthen the security of Europe’s energy supplies. Germany is Russia’s most important economic partner in Europe. This partnership must be consolidated, among other things through closer cooperation with the Russian energy industry. These are confidence building measures which increase political stability and establish the foundations for our future well-being.