ISTANBUL, Nov. 21 – Ministers, business leaders, opinion makers, and industry experts convened in Istanbul this morning (21 November) for two days of talks on the geopolitics of the energy revolution shaping the 21st century.

The Atlantic Council’s fifth annual Energy & Economic Summit began with a welcome by Ross Wilson, Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council and Brent Scowcroft, Interim Chairman, Atlantic Council and former US National Security Advisor.

Keynote speakers at the opening session at the Grand Tarabya Hotel on the Bosphorus were Taner Yıldız, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Republic of Turkey, H.R.H. Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and H.E. Abdullah Gül, President, Republic of Turkey.

Ross Wilson said: “We are at an inflection point in history and we set out to explore the new global energy and economic landscape,” and Atlantic Council Summit Director Orhan Taner explained why the event was being held where it was, as Istanbul is “the capital of a region leading the changes in the global energy and economic landscape.”

Brent Scowcroft said that regional stability was increasingly threatened by the Syrian civil war and events in Iraq.

Taner Yildiz said the priority was to continue to develop economies and energy resources while caring for the environment in the region and globally. He pointed to the importance of the summit agenda as energy demand will double by 2023 and so Turkey alone is investing $180bn in the energy sector to try and meet this.

Grand Duke Henri said the European Union “is at a critical junction” and will need to look at what to do next to ensure energy security and climate goals.

Referring to Syria, Pres Gül warned about the risk of not intervening in times of crises. He went on to say that Turkey and EU are strategic partners and energy chapter negotiations in accession talks should be opened.

The summit, which concludes tomorrow (November 22), also features keynote addresses by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley among the notable participants.

The two-day event features more than 300 policymakers and CEOs representing more than forty countries.

Topics being debated over the two days include:

  • What’s the future of European energy security and its impact on Russia-Europe relations?
  • Can Iraq’s political and security problems be resolved to facilitate energy development?
  • Are the latest technological breakthroughs in oil and gas only the start of what’s to come?
  • What are the best policies and practices for raising energy efficiency?
  • What impact could a major cyber attack have on the fragile global economy?
  • Is the international community any closer to helping bring Syria’s brutal war to an end?
  • How will Afghanistan’s elections and the drawdown of US troops impact the country and its neighbors?

View keynote sessions streamed live here.

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