G8 pledge to fight oil prices with efficiency

Faced with record-high oil prices, the world's leading economies say they are turning to greater investment in energy efficiency and green technologies to rein in their consumption of petroleum.

In a joint statement, energy ministers from the Group of Eight countries, joined by China, India and South Korea, also urged oil producers to boost output. But with little prospect for a surge in production, the focus was on reducing demand and promoting efficiency.

Cutting greenhouse-gas emissions was also high on the agenda, as was shared technology and the promotion of alternative power sources. 

The G8 countries — the United States, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada — pledged to launch 20 demonstration projects by 2010 on "carbon capture and storage" technology, which would allow power plants to capture climate-warming emissions and inject them into underground storage spaces.

There was less agreement about controversial nuclear technology, however. A joint statement called for assurances on safety and security of atomic energy, but the US, Canada and Britain all said they were determined to build new reactors.

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