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Rede von Staatsekretär Stephan Steinlein zur Eröffnung der Wanderausstellung „The German Energiewende“, Islamabad

22.09.2016 - Rede

Ladies and Gentlemen,

„Man to the Moon“ – this is how German Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has described Germany’s Energiewende. The similarities are striking: A project which is ambitious, yet planned very well and building on new and innovative technologies.

The exhibition we will be opening today will not travel to the moon and back. But the journey will be almost equally long in the coming years. In order to promote a more sustainable energy supply around the world, this show has already been to China, the US, Colombia, Mexico and Serbia. And now I can say: „Next stop: Islamabad!“

Ladies and Gentlemen,

the Energiewende indeed is a unique project. Our target is to generate 80% of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020 (in comparison to 1990) and to cut energy consumption by 50% compared to 2008 levels by 2050. This is even more ambitious than the agreement of the COP21. The reactions around the globe have accordingly been twofold: Admiration as well as scepticism has been result of our announcement.

However: Structural change poses major challenges for any society. Challenges may sometimes be cumbersome and uncomfortable. Yet every challenge also brings with it opportunities. The good progress made to date on the Energiewende demonstrates that:

More than one third of Germany’s electricity is nowadays generated from renewable energies.

More than 350,000 people work today in new jobs linked to the Energiewende.

At the same time, we see every day in the context of global economic cooperation that renewable energies are one of the most effective means of fostering sustainable development.

Now, what is the link to Pakistan?

Renewable energies are the simplest, cheapest and most sustainable way to provide rural areas with electricity. Moreover, they guarantee the stability and reliability of the entire energy supply. I am thus deeply convinced that Pakistan’s challenges in energy supply can be solved with renewable energies in a very efficient way.

Last year I had the honour of visiting Pakistan already. I saw many interesting German-Pakistan cooperation projects and watched them being developed. I have now come back to help giving these promising projects a long-term perspective. The business delegation accompanying me this year shows that interest in cooperation and investment in Pakistan remains very high. The German business community believes that Pakistan offers opportunities. We want to work with you to promote sustainability.

Some business people (Kaiser Chaudhary) have joined the delegation for a second time. Most of the companies which have come with me to Pakistan already have a lot of experience with partners in this country: whether it be the development of Tarbela hydroelectric power station by Voith (Martin Andrae), the support for improving the train connection between Kotri and Attock City by ILF (Stefan Beck) or the construction of several wind farms by Nordex (Ibrahim Özarslan).

The many opportunities offered by the exchange in the Energiewende branch are also illustrated by the Pakistan-German Renewable Energy Forum in Lahore. Since its opening in spring this year, it has provided important impetus for the exchange between our two countries on renewable energies. The task now is to work as quickly as possible to provide the forum with the formal foundation it needs to work effectively.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

energy transition is something going beyond the remits of industry and technology. It is the key to economic, ecological and socially sustainable development. Other sectors such as education or health benefit from it. And all branches are interwoven: Only by coordination and cooperation such a project can become reality.

International cooperation however means: All countries are equally in the driver’s seat. They have to assist and help each other. The challenges which the Energiewende is intended to help master are global: climate change, sustainable development and the rise in demand for energy. Hence we have to also find a global solution which is to the benefit of everyone. I believe the Energiewende can offer this path. It is a path which is feasible and affordable for all countries. Technology has made ahige leap in the past years and will continue doing so. For example the average price for electricity from photovoltaics has decreased by more than three quarters in the past ten years. This shows: There is a strong business case for the Energiewende. It is something that today virtually any country can afford.

* * *

Almost exactly a year ago, the United Nations in New York adopted the Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals. For the first time, the entire international community made a joint commitment (in Goal 7 of the Agenda) to ensuring a more sustainable energy supply all over the world.

This exhibition is intended to highlight Germany’s contribution towards resolving this task. The aim is to underscore that Pakistan and Germany are key partners in the quest for a more sustainable energy supply.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We all have seen that the man on the moon is not a utopia. Equally, all of these projects here show it is possible to end our dependency on fossil fuel with innovative and efficient solutions. At the same time, ever more people can have access to electricity.

These projects are an important pillar of the cooperation between Pakistan and Germany.

Our two countries are strong partners who can master the many global challenges ahead.

Let us tackle this challenge together. Thank you.

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