A New World: The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation

Statement by Ambassador Mari Skåre at Presentation of the Report of the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, 29 March 2019.

| Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation

The Norwegian government is extremely pleased with the work of the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation as a key founder and funder. Let me from the outset thank the Chair, President Olafur Grimsson, the commission members, IRENA, the Secretariat and all experts that have provided input to the work.

I would also like to thank Germany and the UAE for excellent cooperation.

The growing deployment of renewables has set in motion a global energy transformation with significant implications for geopolitics.

So why did we embark upon this work?

As diplomats, our job is to try to understand how developments around the world affects us and develop foreign policy to address these. We need to prepare ourselves for the disruption in the energy sector that is occurring.

So far, most geopolitical analyses of energy related issues have focused on conventional fuels such as oil and gas. Few have analyzed how the energy transformation driven by renewables will affect geopolitics.

“A New World” is the first-ever comprehensive analysis of the geopolitical implications of the global energy transformation driven by renewables.

The report states that the geopolitical and socio-economic consequences of a new energy age may be as profound as those, which accompanied the shift from biomass to fossil fuels two centuries ago. This will include changes in the positioning of states; we will see new energy leaders, more diversity of actors, changed trade relationships and the emergence of new alliances. The world will change.

The energy transformation will change energy statecraft, as we know it. Energy security and greater energy independence can be achieved. New dependencies and trade patterns will be created. Oil and gas-related conflicts may decline, as will the strategic importance of some maritime chokepoints.

The transition will lead to frictions, within states and between states. We need to be prepared to handle these through multilateral cooperation.

Nevertheless, the reports makes it clear that the benefits of the global energy transformation will outweigh the challenges.

We hope that UN member states and other stakeholders will find the report useful as the first analyses of the geopolitical changes we can expect.

The Norwegian government intends to take this work forward and we would encourage interested stakeholders to work with us.

Finally, since I believe this is one of the last public event that Director-General Adnan Amin is attending as DG of IRENA. On behalf of my government, I would like to sincerely thank you for your outstanding leadership. We also highly appreciate the strong cooperation Norway has had with you. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Thank you.