What are the threats, what do we have to worry about these days? There are lots of things we do not have to worry about these days. But there are new threats to our comfortable life, threats to our standards of living. At the Munich Conference for Security we were reminded today that energy security is one of them.
So many things we take for granted in our western societies. But, if we want to keep our standard of living, we in Germany but also Europe as a whole will have to think of energy security. It is energy at the very basic, that secures the comforts we have, the coffee machine that brews our morning coffee, and the computers that run our public transport.
New states are rising to be important, with new money and hunger for western lifestyle. We cannot take for granted, what we have, but we will need good diplomacy not to get into fighting about remaining resources. Oettinger, EU minister for energy, made a strong appeal to all European states to get together and find common ground in energy matters. We need it, especially Germany needs it.
Do we really want to rely on only one partner delivering more than half of all the gas we need? Can we rely on sun and wind to produce more than half our energy needs? We cannot afford to go our ways all alone, but we need to act as a unit within the European Union, especially in energy topics. Several countries can each add a share to the whole. We need to secure and diversify the sources for energy. We are not be able to make many choices about different politics of the countries we have to deal with, other religions other ways of leading a state. The wide range of views of the men (why no women?) discussing, President Aliyev for Azerbaijan, Oettinger for the EU, Naidoo for Greenpeace, President Janukovic for the Ukaine made it very clear: We will have to compromise.
A new step in the conference: NGO Greenpeace was invited. Kumi Naidoo, head of Greenpeace international, reminded all that those, who do not share the luxury and comfort of western lifestyle, are the ones who suffer the most from the ills and wastes and the CO 2 of the overabundance we enjoy. They are suffering from climate chance, lack of water and draughts in some areas, or, in other areas suffer from the rise of the global water level. Our politicians are sleep-walking towards a catastrophy, Naidoo said. There is no time left, actions had to be taken now, he said. If we want to keep our standard of living, we will have take action now. They will make themselves heard, if we don´t, as is shown in the countries in northern Africa. The sad thing is, that Naidoo did not say, how to do it!
Oettinger had a good approach, stressing that European states need to get together to define common politics for energy. They, and that is we, need to give up some of the national politics and home rule and transfer it to a European level. Common ground is hard to find, but needed!