G8 countries to cut oil consumption
To counter this, they pledged to invest massively in energy efficiency and low carbon technologies such as renewable energies, nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
This is an important event as the eleven countries present at this meeting account for nearly two thirds of the world energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
According to the IHT :
The world’s top industrialized nations and leading oil consumers pledged Sunday to fight surging energy prices by increasing efficiency and accelerating investment in new technologies while urging producers to expand production.
Energy ministers from the Group of 8, joined by China, India and South Korea, voiced concerns over record oil prices and said producers and consumers would benefit from greater market stability.
The ministers, meeting in the northern Japanese city of Aomori, focused Sunday on how they could diversify their energy sources to both control rising demand for oil and rein in emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
“We simply must increase the level and breadth of investment all around the world,” said Samuel Bodman, the U.S. energy secretary.
“That means promoting aggressive investment in renewable energy and other alternative energies technologies, as well as the development of tradition hydrocarbon resources.”
The 11 nations, which account for 65 percent of the world’s energy consumption, are grappling with oil prices that have hit record highs. Prices surged more than 8 percent Friday to $138.54 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The G-8 countries – the United States, Russia, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Britain – laid out ways of cutting their dependence on oil in a statement.
They pledged to begin 20 demonstration projects by 2010 on so-called “carbon capture and storage,” which would allow power plants to catch emissions and inject them into underground storage spaces.
There were clear rifts, however, on how to approach the expansion of nuclear energy. The carefully worded joint statement called for assurances on safety and security of nuclear materials, but several nations said they were enthusiastic about building new reactors.
“I think we’re on the verge of a new nuclear age and that will be a positive thing for the world,” said John Hutton, the British secretary of state for business enterprise and regulatory reform.
(…) The G-8, China, India and South Korea also established the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation to promote best practices in conserving energy.
The ministers met amid rising concerns that soaring oil prices could trigger global economic troubles.
“The situation regarding energy prices is becoming extremely challenging,” said Akira Amari, the Japanese trade and energy minister. “If left unaddressed, it may well cause a recession in the global economy.”
As the Agence France Presse notes :
The European Union’s energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs warned that high oil prices were a fact to be reckoned with and major economies needed to come up with alternative energy.
“The era of cheap energy seems to be over and no economy should gamble on a potential return to low prices,” Piebalgs said.
“It is far better to make the right investments in clean, efficient energy technology and energy resources now, and to reap the benefit later.”
(…)“Climate change and energy issues are two sides of the same coin,” Amari said. “It is indispensable to solve these problems together.”
“What action we take amid the current hardship will greatly affect the solution to the world’s energy problems,” he said.
Personally I rejoice that the G8 is willing to tackled the energy-climate equation with the above-mentioned means. But I am doubtful of the rapidity of this leading to actions. In any case, be sure that I will keep you posted on the advances made.
This occurs two days after the IEA released its last report.