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Opening Statement by
ABDULLAH GÜL (President of Turkey)
 

Professor Sarıçiftçi,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to welcome you all in İstanbul at the Conference on “Solar Energy for World Peace”.
 
I particularly extend my thanks to Professor Sarıçiftçi for organizing this important event. I highly appreciate the participation of many prominent scientists from all corners of the world. Your timely deliberations, I believe, will shed light on various aspects of renewable energy resources and world peace.

I will not preach the already converted, but rather make a few comments on renewable energy.

Distinguished Participants,

In today’s world, energy security has become a matter of survival for nations and states. Many countries view their energy policies as a fundamental element of their foreign, economic, defense and science policies.

The energy issue is no longer a technical policy area but a subject matter of both geopolitics and political economy shifting the balances in the world.

Moreover, the issues of climate change and environmental degradation have increasingly been linked to the wellbeing of humanity and world peace.

Thanks to the enormous technological advancements during the past two centuries we, as humankinds, have done our utmost to defy the rules and balances of nature.
We have not hesitated to deplete the limited resources of Earth without paying due attention to the notion of sustainability.  

Eventually, the world has become more populous, more affluent and more disaster prone place.

We have learnt with bitter experiences in recent decades that nature would respond our abuses by inflicting disasters on us. 

Therefore, it is high time for us to make peace with nature for the sake of our own wellbeing and that of next generations. That peace also means doing justice to nature and the next generations.

Through the effective implementation of responsible energy policies we can avoid the fatalistic consequences of climate change and environmental degradation.  

Climate change and environmental problems have already hit hard the most disadvantaged societies of the world. Millions of people have become ecological refugees in their own countries and abroad.

Scientific studies suggest that in the coming decades this situation will further worsen, and that it would eventually trigger new civil and interstate wars.

Therefore, energy security and climate change will be the key issues for maintaining world peace and human security.
   
On the other hand, energy is a key input for economic growth and prosperity which are vital for ensuring freedom and stability.

 

Thus, energy policies should be sensitively dealt with as they are directly related to economic growth and sustainable development. Investment in energy infrastructure across the world plays a key role in achieving these objectives.

Distinguished Guests,

Energy supply security is a common global concern. Limited energy resources and growing energy demand have made energy security more crucial.

Therefore, it has become “a must” for all countries to diversify their energy mix by increasing the share of renewables.

As I mentioned earlier, global climate change poses an unprecedented threat to humankind. It is already taking its toll and the cost of inaction is rising each day.
Today we all face a challenge: How are we going to balance the growing energy need with the depletion of sources and implications of climate change and ensure energy security?  

First and foremost it entails taking necessary precautions on global scale to prevent its irreversible consequences. We need to address this issue in a globally coordinated fashion.

We are all aware that combating climate change in an effective manner and ensuring energy supply security necessitate a shift to a low carbon society.

This will be based on a low carbon economy that will bring major changes to our way of life. It necessarily means the deployment of more renewable energy resources and lowering the share of fossil fuels in our energy basket.

I am fully aware that the transition to a low carbon economy will require massive new investments and additional infrastructure with scaled up finances.

The solar energy will play a key role in achieving this transition.

We know that the solution is there: But, how are we going to achieve it?

The solar energy is not cost efficient yet. The feasibility of this enormous source of energy primarily depends upon the efforts of you, as scientists.

It is only through your innovations that solar energy would become cheaper, viable, and more accessible to the use of billions of people.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of your work on solar energy  for poverty alleviation, economic growth, welfare and energy security which will all ensure the world peace.

We are also aware of our responsibility, as the governments. We have to support and extend every incentive to facilitate your Research and Development efforts. At the same time, we need to improve international cooperation in order to create synergy in improving the prospect for an efficient use of solar energy.

It is because of the great significance that I place on solar energy and your admirable work that I decided to have this important conference to be organized under my auspices.  I also decided to personally attend this opening session this morning.

I look forward to seeing major breakthroughs in the advancement of solar energy technologies.

With these thoughts, I would like to once again warmly welcome you in İstanbul and wish great success for this important Conference.

I hope your presentations, the debates here and the synergy of this conference will contribute to enhancing energy supply security as well as world stability and peace.

Thank you.