WEC: Prodi urges producer-consumer cooperation

Italy's Prime Minister Romano Prodi called for producer-consumer cooperation and attention to climate change at the opening of the World Energy Congress (WEC).

Nov 13th, 2007

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

ROME, Nov. 13 -- Italy's Prime Minister Romano Prodi called for producer-consumer cooperation and attention to climate change at the opening of the World Energy Congress (WEC).

In a speech disrupted by Greenpeace activists protesting nuclear power, Prodi said, "The markets alone cannot guarantee success, and a global effort is needed. Strong-willed governments and multilateral agreements are needed so that mankind can have a future."

He blamed speculation in financial markets for driving up the price of oil, adding that "this speculation must be contained in the future."

But Chicco Testa, president of the WEC organizing committee, offered a different view.

"A stable high oil price is not necessarily a calamity," he said. Improved energy efficiency will help curb demand and increase supplies of renewable energy.

The energy industry needs to increase its investment, said Andre Caille, chairman of the World Energy Council.

"We must keep all of our options open, and the price of energy must stay high to encourage innovation and investment," he said. "We need to triple or even quadruple the current level of investment."

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message to the congress calling for dialogue and transparency in energy markets to establish trade rules based on the principles of justice and mutual respect. Russia's Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko led the Russian delegation to the congress.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said, "Discovering sources of alternative and renewable energy has become a serious priority if we are to ensure that the planet has a fair chance of progress. The role of research is therefore essential if we are to meet the challenge of sustainable energy use and to safeguard the global environment and ecosystem."

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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