G8 leaders adopt global energy security document

Iran Materials 17 July 2006 10:39 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - Leaders of the industrialized world adopted Sunday a document on global energy security, one of the three main issues on the agenda of their current summit in the second largest city in Russia.

The other two priority issues proposed by host nation Russia are education and efforts against disease, but this year's Group of Eight summit was always likely to focus on energy and the statement stressed the importance of energy security in the modern world and set out the organization's objectives, principles and approaches to the issue, reports Trend.

"Energy is essential to improving the quality of life and opportunities in developed and developing nations. Therefore, ensuring sufficient, reliable and environmentally responsible supplies of energy at prices reflecting market fundamentals is a challenge for our countries and for mankind as a whole," the statement said.

The statement was published against the background of oil prices hitting a record high Friday of $78.4 per barrel as violence flared in the Middle East and traders raised fears that the prices could rise to $100 per barrel.

The G8 leaders adopted the St. Petersburg Plan of Action on Global Energy Security as part of the document to face effectively the current energy security challenges and reaffirmed their commitment to implement and build upon the agreements related to energy reached at previous G8 summits.

"We will enhance global energy security through actions in the following key areas: increasing transparency, predictability and stability of global energy markets; improving the investment climate in the energy sector; enhancing energy efficiency and energy saving; diversifying energy mix; ensuring physical security of critical energy infrastructure; reducing energy poverty; addressing climate change and sustainable development," the document said.

G8 leaders called for increased transparency and predictability of global energy markets.

"Transparent, predictable national energy policies and regulatory environments facilitate development of efficient energy markets. We invite the International Energy Forum (IEF) to study ways of broadening the dialogue between energy producing and consuming countries on these issues including information exchange on their medium- and long-term respective policy plans and programs," the statement said.

G8 leaders urged all countries to support the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, and observe agreements on the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the non-proliferation regime.

The IAEA has been particularly proactive in the last 18 months in efforts to defuse the controversy around Iran's nuclear programs, which some nations suspect of being a cover bomb-making activities.

The leaders pledged in the statement to reduce risks in the nuclear energy sphere, for which a stable non-proliferation regime was needed, and a reliable security system for nuclear materials and facilities.

However, they said neither global energy security, nor the Millennium Development Goals can be fully achieved without sustainable access to fuels for the 2.4 billion people and to electricity for the 1.6 billion people currently without such access in developing countries.

"We will help vulnerable countries overcome the macroeconomic shocks related to energy prices, and the longer term challenge of facilitating access to energy for the poorest populations," the statement said.

G8 leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to implement additional measures to ensure reliable access to low-enriched uranium for use in nuclear power plants in line with non-proliferation obligations.

"We reaffirm the objective set out in the 2004 G8 Action Plan on Non-Proliferation to allow reliable access of all countries to nuclear energy on a competitive basis, consistent with non-proliferation commitment and standards," the statement on global energy security said.

The G8 action plan on non-proliferation, adopted by leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States on June 9 2004, outlines measures and activities designed to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation and the acquisition of nuclear materials and technology by terrorists, while allowing the world to enjoy the benefits of the civilian nuclear energy.

"Building on that plan, we intend to make additional joint efforts to ensure reliable access to low enriched uranium for power reactor fuel and spent fuel recycling, including, as appropriate, through a multilateral mechanisms provided that the countries adhere to all relevant international non-proliferation commitments and comply with their obligations," the joint statement said.

The G8 countries also pledged to continue efforts to fight the greenhouse effect and resolve the problem of climate change.

"We will continue to work to reduce greenhouse gas and deal effectively with the challenge of climate change," the leaders said at the summit near St. Petersburg.

"We also affirm our commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's ultimate objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system," the document said.

UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994 and has been ratified by 189 countries. It sets out a framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.

G8 leaders called for extensive use of alternative and renewable energy sources in the energy mix and innovative energy technologies to reduce the adverse impact on climate.

"Diversification of the energy mix reduces global energy security risks. We will work to develop low-carbon and alternative energy, to make wider use of renewables and to develop and introduce innovative technologies throughout the entire energy sector," the statement said.