KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called for a strong political will and investment in resources to develop new solutions for the environmental challenges being faced globally at the Asia Oil & Gas Conference today.
"As the global demand for energy is expected to increase exponentially over the coming years, we need to invest the political will and the resources necessary to develop new solutions for the environmental challenges that we now face," he said at the conference opening in Kuala Lumpur today.
"We must go for beyond the rhetoric that we have become accustomed to, towards actual movement and execution of urgent action plans to save our environment," he told 1,300 delegates from over 40 countries at the annual conference.
He also called for bold and brave decision-making by the industry, facing high oil prices in the midst of difficult economic environment.
The industry needs to take stock of is future, especially in the immediate term, he added.
The Prime Minister highlighted two other issues – energy security and fuel subsidies.
Fuel subsidies in the past were given to provide quality of life for the people. But this is no longer the case, he pointed out.
"With oil prices breaching levels of $130 per barrel, governments the world over are staring into a financial abyss, as fuel subsidies threatens to run amok," said Abdullah, recalling his government's anguishing decision of reducing fuel subsidies last week.
Since the first major global oil crisis in the 1970s, concerns over energy security have remained at the forefront of intense debates.
"Clearly energy security is a universal issue which affects both producers and consumers alike," he pointed out.
He called for mutually beneficial solutions to the geopolitics in the Middle East, the main supply centre for global oil and gas demand.