31 May 2007 - 18:11
  • News Code: 106025
EU, OPEC See World Still Hooked on Oil

BRUSSELS -- Oil will remain the world"s major energy source, despite Europe"s recent efforts to shift toward renewable energy, the European Union and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Wednesday.

Despite EU moves to widen the types of energy it depends on and where it comes from, both said they expected no major change to global reliance on oil, and said there was still enough to meet demand.

 

"While both parties welcomed an enhanced diversification of the energy mix, they also noted that, under all reputable scenarios, the world would continue to rely on oil as its dominant source of energy, to foster economic growth and social progress," said a statement from the European Commission after talks with oil-producing nations.

 

Although Europe knows it would still be hooked on oil for a large part of its energy in coming years -- particularly as a transport fuel -- it has set out plans to make major changes in the long term, setting targets to ramp up renewables, to use less energy overall and to switch to cleaner sources to reduce the bloc"s contribution to global warming.

 

By 2020 it wants to generate a fifth of all energy from renewables -- such as wind and biofuels -- while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20 percent.

 

EU and OPEC also said cleaner fossil fuel technologies should be promoted and carbon capture and storage should be made commercially viable since it had a vital role to play in limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

 

But they noted that new rules on the environment and cleaner fuel production have an impact on consumers -- without going any further in detailing how this might affect future oil demand or prices.

 

OPEC and some of its member nations described what they were doing to increase capacity, the EU executive said. This is a key demand from oil consumers -- in Europe and elsewhere -- to prevent sudden oil price hikes.

 

EU and OPEC ministers meet next in Vienna on June 21.

 

PIN/AP

News Code 106025

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