The oil for development annual report 2009


In 2009, climate change was widely recognized as the most serious environmen-tal problem facing the globe. Still, fossil fuels remain our most important source of energy. in order to prevent a rise in global temperatures of more than two degrees Celsius, we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. this can only be achieved through cleaner extraction of energy from fossil fuels, together with increased deployment of renewable sources of energy.

Energy is vital for developing countries in their fight against poverty. At the same time, the planet will not withstand poor countries copying the energy history of the developed world. this is a challenge in all energy-related development policy. norway has expertise in the management of both fossil energy and renewable energy sources. We are thus well positioned to address these dilemmas when we provide assistance in the energy field.

Energy has been at the core of norway’s development assistance policy for many years. this has resulted in the Clean energy for Development initiative and the Oil for Development initiative. Both initiatives can help to increase economic growth and prosperity in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The current annual report presents some of the activities and key achievements of the Oil for Development initiative in 2009. through this initiative we assist developing countries, at their request, in their efforts to manage petroleum resources. the main aim is to generate economic growth and promote welfare for the whole population in an environmentally sustainable way. Demand for Norwegian assistance with petroleum sector management is growing rapidly. We now cooperate with more than 24 countries, mostly bilaterally, but also through regional and multilateral initiatives. each country has its own particular chal-lenges and there are no “quick fixes”.

Our approach to petroleum sector management is broad, as we also include envi-ronmental and revenue management. this is necessary if oil is to be a blessing and not a curse. We mainly build capacity within government institutions, because a competent public sector is crucial for ensuring good governance of the petroleum sector. However, we also support civil society and the media. these must be strong enough to monitor their governments.

Time, patience and many factors beyond the Oil for Development initiative’s control are required to turn oil in the ground into broad-based improvements in livelihoods. this report shows how the Oil for Development initiative makes use of norwegian and other relevant experience and expertise to contribute to this important process in our partner countries.

Erik Solheim
Minister of the environment and international Development
Oslo, may 2010