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British PM Gordon Brown Calls For Action On Energy

PM calls for action on energy

The UK must work with oil suppliers such as OPEC and diversify its own energy sources to deal with rising oil prices, the PM has said.

Writing in the Guardian newspaper today, Gordon Brown called the current price rises "the third great oil shock in recent decades". He said he was aware of the impact the price hikes were having on families in energy bills and filling up at the petrol station.

The PM said:

"The global economy is currently facing the third great oil shock of recent decades. The oil price, just $10 a barrel a decade ago, has reached $135 in recent days, pushing up the price of petrol and domestic heating as well as contributing to higher food prices.

"...every country must find ways of being more efficient and diversifying supply. And as continuing high oil prices present us all with an immense challenge, the way we confront these issues will define our era."

Mr Brown highlighted two ways the UK should meet the energy challenge: first, to encourage an "enhanced dialogue between consumers and producers, such as OPEC, in order to maximise supply streams; secondly, to "accelerate" development of alternative, renewable energy sources and reduce oil dependency.

Later today the PM and the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, will meet senior representatives of major UK energy companies in Aberdeen to discuss ways of dealing with the price surge. In today's article he also said the UK was pressing to make oil and energy prices one of the key issues to be discussed at the G8 summit in Japan in July.

***

PM'S 'ACTION ON ENERG'Y ARTICLE

(GUARDIAN, 28 MAY 2008)

EXTRACT

We must all act together

The oil crisis is a global problem requiring global solutions. And the Opec cartel has to play its part

Gordon Brown The Guardian, Wednesday May 28 2008 Article historyThe global economy is facing the third great oil shock of recent decades. The oil price, just $10 a barrel a decade ago, has reached $135, pushing up the price of petrol and domestic heating as well as contributing to higher food prices. And I know that families up and down the country are feeling the impact in the cost of filling up at the petrol station and in the rise in gas and electricity bills.

As every country faces increased costs, it is now understood that a global shock on this scale requires global solutions. This is why the UK is arguing that at the top of the economic agenda for the forthcoming G8 summit in Japan should be a global strategy for addressing the impact of higher oil prices.

The cause of rising prices is clear: growing demand and too little supply to meet it both now and - perhaps of even greater significance - in the future. Higher demand is one of the major results of the scope, speed and scale of globalisation as Asian economies, as well as Opec countries themselves, demand more oil. To take one example: by 2020 there could be as many as 140m cars in China - more than three times as many as today. Overall, by 2020, global demand for energy will rise by 50%.

It is the market's belief that ever-growing demand will continue to outstrip supply that has pushed up the oil price. And we are becoming increasingly aware of the technical, financial and political barriers to the production of more oil. Every country must find ways of being more efficient and diversifying supply. And as continuing high oil prices present us all with an immense challenge, the way we confront these issues will define our era.

--SNIP--

Go To Original Article (Guardian.co.uk)

ENDS

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