DETROIT - More private investments are needed for developing new sources of energy and technology for cleaner power production and use, energy ministers from eight major industrialized nations said Friday.
The ministers met behind closed doors on the final day of their two-day meeting — the first Group of Eight gathering to focus on energy since a Moscow meeting in 1998.
In a joint statement, the officials said research, development and the use of different energy technology options are key to "diversifying the energy mix and reducing the environmental impacts of energy production and use."
To that end, they said the delegates agreed that significant financial investments and open markets are needed.
"Everyone who participated here recognizes there are vast reserves around the world that could potentially be developed, but it needs private investments," U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham (news - web sites) said.
Abraham and Herb Dhaliwal, Canada's minister of natural resources, said that increasing energy efficiency and using a mix of sources, including nuclear, can support energy security, economic growth and environmental protection.
Loyola de Palacio, vice president of the European Commission (news - web sites), said governments play a vital role in supporting research and development of advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
De Palacio said with the world's increasing dependence on road transportation, the need to develop alternative fuels and technologies have become a major concern.
"In the majority of industrialized countries, we cannot simply drill our way out of oil dependency," she said.
Abraham said delegates also stressed that oil-consuming countries must maintain emergency stocks especially during volatile times.
"A number of us talked today about the need to encourage other countries who don't have reserves, but are consumer countries, to developments so that we are in a better position to deal with serious disruptions," Abraham said.
The countries participating in the summit are the United States, Canada, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy and France.
All eight countries face similar energy challenges, Abraham said. Over the next two decades, world oil consumption is projected to increase from about 75 million barrels per day in 1999 to roughly 120 million barrels per day in 2020, he said.
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