Astana Calling, June 29, 2012
The Future Energy International Symposium addressing the issues of sustainable planet development took place in Astana on Thursday, June 28. The event was one of the main steps in Kazakhstan’s competitive bidding to host EXPO 2017.
As announced earlier, on June 12, Kazakhstan made a presentation at 151 General Assembly of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris. A week later, on June 20-22, Kazakhstan presented its “Green Bridge” initiative along with the Global Energy and Environment Partnership Strategy at the Rio +20 Conference in Brazil.
These days Astana has welcomed more than 130 BIE delegates, who will make a vote at the 152 BIE General Assembly in November 2012. Scientists, politicians and public figures from Kazakhstan and across the world met to discuss most crucial issues of future energy use, including energy efficiency, climate change, as well as the current state of the renewable energy market and ways of achieving sustainable energy.
Notably, the United Nations designated the year 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), the latter being a global initiative led by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to achieve universal energy access, improve energy efficiency, and increase the use of renewable energy.
Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Kairat Kelimbetov headed the Kazakh delegation and chaired the event. Among the Symposium special guests in attendance were BIE Secretary General Vicente Loscertales, Director of Solar Impulse Bertrand Piccard, Head of Energy Technology Perspectives Markus Wrake, former Executive Director of Greenpeace International Gerd Leipold, and founder of Solar Century and SolarAid Charity Jeremy Legget.
The International Symposium became a discussion platform for local and international experts on the role of future energy as the strategic key to create and develop opportunities towards environmental and international security, as well as social development and economic prosperity.
In his speech, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade Bakytzhan Sagintayev said “we hope that the theme of the Future Energy Symposium is common to all mankind and will help us find solution to the global environmental hazards and lack of energy in the world”.
Kazakhstan’s initiative has been supported by the leading experts from the energy sector, NGOs, scientists, and universities.
In his welcoming address, BIE Secretary General Vicente Loscertales said: “Everyone here today should agree that the theme proposed by Astana for 2017 is of great universal interest and deals with the issues of poverty, climate change, economic development, policy and innovation, to name but a few. The presence of Kazakhstan’s highest authorities and the engagement of major thought leaders from across the world in the Symposium demonstrate the power of Expo in joining our efforts against the challenges that we face today.”
Head of Energy Technology Perspectives Markus Wrake noted the transition to cleaner energy sources will bring huge economic benefits, while technology can play an important role in the transformation. “Decisive policy action is required,” he added.
According to Bertrand Picard, “today’s technologies – if only governments had the courage to promote them on a massive scale – would allow us to reduce our dependence on fossil energies significantly. It’s not only the environment that would be a winner. Job creation and purchasing power would also benefit from opening up these fascinating development perspectives.”
The event has contributed directly to the initiation of scientific development of future energy and brought EXPO 2017 Astana and its theme to the attention of the international community.