OPINION: Let’s Get Serious About Our Collective Energy Security: Reflections from Davos 2024 — column on Kyiv Post

Naftogaz CEO
Oleksiy Chernyshov
"The world stands at a critical juncture, as WEF president Borge Brende aptly put it, where leaders must unite and devise solutions to common challenges."

As I reflect on WEF 2024, it's clear to me that energy is the cornerstone of our modern civilizations. The war in Ukraine has acutely underscored the fragility and interconnectedness of the global energy landscape, emphasizing the urgent need for collaborative efforts to fortify energy resilience and diversification.

This realization came about as it was clear that Russia uses energy as a weapon, making the pursuit of energy independence and security not just an economic prerogative but a matter of national security.

Despite the challenging backdrop of the war, here at Ukraine’s largest, state-owned energy company, Naftogaz, we have demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability with an abundance of lessons learnt we can share. We have managed to maintain and even increase gas production volumes, secure European partnerships for gas storage, and complete significant debt restructuring.

Driving corporate governance reform and market advancement during the war have made us pivotal in attracting investment for Ukraine’s recovery. Recognizing that crises catalyze change, our team is not just enduring today, but actively shaping a stronger future. This commitment of ours contributes not only to a stronger Ukraine, but can help to enhance the resilience and security of Europe.

Ukraine is in a strategic position to contribute significantly to Europe's energy security as potentially the EU’s largest gas producer as we are poised to join the bloc. Though we are not yet supplying our gas and green energy resources, our potential as a future supplier coupled with our ability to store strategic reserves marks us as an invaluable ally in fortifying Europe's energy framework.

The world stands at a critical juncture, as WEF president Borge Brende aptly put it, where leaders must unite and devise solutions to common challenges. Ukraine and Naftogaz are prepared to be at the forefront of these efforts, showcasing how collaboration and strategic partnerships can pave the way for a more secure and sustainable energy future.

(From L) World Economic Forum (WEF) president Borge Brende, US climate envoy John Kerry, China's special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua, Royal DSM Co-CEO Geraldine Matchett, Green Generation Initiative founder Elizabeth Wathuti and Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff attend a session at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on May 24, 2022. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

WEF 2024 offered a platform for dialogue and more importantly, has also served as a clarion call for unity and action. We must get serious about our collective energy security, carrying with us the spirit of cooperation and determination that characterized the forum, and channeling it into tangible efforts to secure a stable, sustainable, and prosperous future for all. The challenges we face are formidable, but so too is our resolve to overcome them, together.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.