This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 03, 2002

G-8 Energy Ministers Emphasize Energy Efficiency, Renewables

A meeting on May 3rd of the energy ministers from the Group of Eight (G-8) countries resulted in a published statement that shows considerable support for the roles of energy efficiency and renewable energy in meeting the world's energy needs. The ministers from the leading industrialized countries noted that energy security, economic growth, environmental protection, and sustainable development are supported by improved energy efficiency and diversified energy sources. They also reaffirmed the importance of renewable energy for diversifying energy supplies.

The ministers committed to explore areas where existing cooperation among their countries in energy science and echnology could be strengthened, particularly in the areas of merging renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaner energy technologies. They also vowed to continue to encourage the development and introduction of these technologies, and noted that significant investments will be needed. They noted that private investments could be facilitated by sound policies, and affirmed the importance of working with developing countries to help them develop such policies.

Brian Wilson, the U.K. Minister for Energy, gave a keynote speech that emphasized the role of renewable energy in eliminating poverty, noting that 1.7 billion people still have no access to electricity. "Renewable technologies offer huge opportunities to reduce that figure," said Wilson. "We need to adopt the scale of vision which the G8 Renewable Energy Task Force recommended. They concluded that a billion people could be supplied with renewable energy over the next decade." See the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry press release.

The G-8 countries include the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States, which was represented by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. The meeting, held in Detroit, Michigan, was co-chaired by Secretary Abraham and Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Herb Dhaliwal. See the statement from the co-chairs on the DOE Web site.