Meeting future demand for energy, particularly in non-OECD countries, would require innovative approaches across a range of energy sources, the In the Zone conference at The University of Western Australia was told today.
Desmond King, President of Chevron Technology Ventures, said that over the next 20 years most of the increase in energy demand would come from non-OECD countries, where energy needs were critical.
"It's all about quality of life and we cannot deny the developing world a better quality of life," he said.
Mr King quoted International Energy Agency (IEA) research that showed global energy needs would increase by 30 per cent by 2030.
"We need all the sources we can get if we are going to meet demand."
Statistics showed that 81 per cent of energy needs in 2030 would be met by fossil fuels - the same percentage as today.
"So what we have to do is work out how to use fossil fuels in ways that help the environment," Mr King said.
He said CO2 emissions were predicted to grow by 45 per cent by 2030, again with most of the increase coming from non-OECD countries.
"We cannot have a solution to climate change unless all countries are at the table, playing their part," he said, pointing to Australia's challenge to lower its emissions by 60 per cent by 2030.
Mr King said Chevron's pursuit of meeting low-carbon future energy demand included natural gas, energy efficiency, geothermal and renewables.
The massive Gorgon and Wheatstone projects in Western Australia would drive major supply of natural gas around the world.
The Hon Eric Ripper MLA, Leader of the Opposition in WA, said governments had a clear responsibility to maintain robust regulatory systems that served as a forum for energy negotiations.
He said innovation was the key to meeting future energy needs, and governments must accept their responsibility to play a central role in building innovation, both in developed societies and emerging economies.
Mr Ripper called on governments to embrace the challenge of energy outcomes in the region, or risk losing out on opportunities as others aggressively pursued their own interests.
IN THE ZONE is a major public policy conference initiated by The University of Western Australia positioning Western Australia as a thought leader within the time zone it shares with 60 per cent of the world's population and the nations which promise the greatest economic growth for the 21st century.
2009 marks the inaugural IN THE ZONE Conference. This will become a biennial event and a strategic meeting point for the Australian and wider regional community to engage in dialogue about the zone we inhabit and to deepen the policy, trade and investment relationships.
Information about In the Zone, including the conference program: http://www.zone.uwa.edu.au
NB: MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES MUST REGISTER TO COVER THE CONFERENCE. GO TO: http://www.zone.uwa.edu.au/news/media_registration