“Energy strategy decisions cannot be taken by select ministries; they must emerge at the Saeima and with broad political participation, as decisions concerning energy are a matter of national security, the lifeblood of economy, attracting investments, and growth,” emphasised Edvards Smiltēns, Speaker of the Saeima, on Monday, 22 May, at the opening of an energy forum at the Parliament.
“Nowadays, energy policy has many dimensions. In addition to the obvious economic dimension, there are also the security and foreign policy, sustainability, and green policy dimensions,” said Smiltēns, calling for an agreement on a long-term energy policy plan. “To secure major long-term investments, we need a clear strategy and rules,” noted the Speaker of the Saeima.
At the Saeima, participants of the energy forum “Does Latvia need a sustainable energy strategy suited to its economic interests” discussed energy challenges and sustainable solutions. President of Latvia Egils Levits also addressed the audience.
“If we do not set our own strategic objectives, we can only serve the goals of others,” stated Andris Kulbergs, Chair of the Environmental, Climate and Energy Subcommittee of the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee of the Saeima. It has cost us a high price in the past and we can no longer afford it, noted Kulbergs.
“Economic development is a matter of our security, and energy has to become our number one priority if we want successful economic recovery,” underlined Kulbergs, calling on the forum participants to agree on the development of a clear, sustainable energy sector framework so that all actors could rely on it and implement it together.
Smiltēns and Kulbergs stressed the role of the President in the implementation of a sustainable energy strategy. Latvian presidential candidates Elīna Pinto, Uldis Pīlēns, and Edgars Rinkēvičs were invited to the forum to assess the state of play in energy policy-making and share their visions of Latvia’s energy strategy.
Minister for Climate and Energy Raimonds Čudars, ministry and parliamentary representatives from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Spain, as well as foreign diplomats, energy industry representatives and other experts also participated in the forum.
Concluding the forum, the parliamentary groups of the 14th Saeima signed a memorandum of cooperation on the development of Latvia’s energy strategy 2023-2050.
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Saeima Press Service