President Vladimir Putin: Ladies and Gentlemen,
Even though the end of the award ceremony has just been announced, I cannot but add a few concluding remarks.
All of us around the world face problems of one kind or another, or challenges, as is the fashionable word these days. All of us, each and every inhabitant of this world, feel the impact of these problems in our daily lives even if we do not think about them on a daily basis and even if we are not even aware of their existence. A considerable number of these problems are related to the energy sector. One of the greatest global challenges is that non-renewable energy sources are declining while demand for energy continues to grow, and careless use of traditional energy sources, to put it mildly, leads to serious and often irreversible environmental consequences.
But the Earth’s environment, the whole ecological system of the Earth and the Sun, to take a more global view, everything that surrounds us, is very vulnerable, so vulnerable that any careless action can potentially destroy it. This is why, as I said in my opening remarks, we made energy the main item on the agenda of the G8 summit in St Petersburg last year, and why, on our German partners’ initiative, we devoted considerable attention to climate change and environmental protection over the last two days in Heiligendamm in Germany. This was the initiative of our German friends and I saw how the federal chancellor, Mrs Merkel, fought to ensure that these issues are addressed at international level. Not everything that had been hoped for was accomplished because different countries have different approaches regarding these problems, but I think that the main issues were nevertheless resolved.
The different interests involved make these problems difficult to resolve at the political level, but without the help of scientists it will not be possible to resolve them at all. Without the solutions that science can offer, there would not be any basis for addressing these challenges. And the reverse is also true: the more effectively we promote scientific and technological efforts to develop renewable energy sources, energy saving technology and the transition to alternative energy sources, the greater the hope that not only will we be able to develop and provide a decent life for millions of people, but that we will be able to preserve our planet itself. It is for this reason that we founded the Global Energy Prize to recognise the work of people who are devoting their entire lives to resolving these paramount issues.
I would like once more to congratulate this year’s laureates, thank them from all my heart and wish them continued success.
Thank you very much.