|US President George Bush arriving for the first working session in a GEM. Credit: G8russia|
Following the first working session of the G8 summit in St. Petersburg, the group of eight leaders adopted a document on energy security that—among the other principles it embraced—emphasized diversification of energy supply and demand and energy sources; energy saving and energy efficiency measures on both national and international levels; and deployment and transfer of clean energy technologies which help to tackle climate change.
The document does not specify quantitative goals or reduction targets for any elements of the outlined 55-point action plan.
Transportation received specific mention and its own section of the plan.
Since 2/3 of world oil is consumed by the transportation sector and its fuel consumption is outpacing general energy consumption we will pay special attention to this sector of energy demand.
Specific actions mentioned in the document include:
Sharing best practices to promote energy efficiency in the transportation sector;
Developing programs in the respective countries, consistent with national circumstances, to provide incentives for consumers to adopt efficient vehicles, including clean diesels and hybrids;
Introducing on a large scale efficient public hybrid and/or clean diesel transportation systems, where appropriate;
Promoting diversification of vehicle energy systems based on new technologies, including significant sourcing from biofuels for motor vehicles, as well as greater use of compressed and liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and synthetic liquid fuels;
Promoting wider use of modern technologies, materials and devices on traditional vehicles, leading to lighter, more aerodynamic and more efficient engines and other transport components such as transmission and steering systems, tires, etc.;
Increasing research to develop vehicles using gasoline/hydrogen fuel and hydrogen fuel cells to promote the “hydrogen economy”;
Facilitating the development of trans-modal and trans-border transportation, where appropriate; and
Studying further the Blue Corridor project [a project to establish international corridors in Europe for natural gas vehicles] by the UN Economic Commission for Europe;
Continuing to consider the impact of the air transport sector on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions noting international cooperation on these issues.
The document also highlights the importance of diversifying the energy mix, and developing low-carbon, alternative energy and renewables.
A large-scale use of renewable energy will make a significant contribution to long-term energy supply without adverse impact on climate. The renewable solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and geothermal energy resources are becoming increasingly cost competitive with conventional fuels, and a wide variety of current applications are already cost-effective. Therefore, we reaffirm our commitment to implement measures set out in the Gleneagles Plan of Action.
The document also encourages the activities of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) aimed at preparing and implementing demonstration projects on CO2 capture and storage and on the development of zero-emission power plants.
In this context we will facilitate development and introduction of clean coal technologies wherever appropriate.
The assembled leaders declared their support for the transition to the Hydrogen Economy, “including in the framework of the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE).”
While recognizing that some of its members are not that enthusiastic about nuclear power, while others are, the G8 document emphasized managing the process of the expansion of nuclear energy.
We recognize that G8 members pursue different ways to achieve energy security and climate protection goals. Those of us who have or are considering plans relating to the use and/or development of safe and secure nuclear energy believe that its development will contribute to global energy security, while simultaneously reducing harmful air pollution and addressing the climate change challenge.
We reaffirm the objective set out in the 2004 G8 Action Plan on Non-Proliferation to allow reliable access of all countries to nuclear energy on a competitive basis, consistent with non-proliferation commitment and standards. Building on that plan, we intend to make additional joint efforts to ensure reliable access to low enriched uranium for power reactor fuel and spent fuel recycling, including, as appropriate, through a multilateral mechanisms provided that the countries adhere to all relevant international non-proliferation commitments and comply with their obligations.
The G8 also stated that it expects hydrocarbons will play a leading role in the energy mix well into the century.
Therefore we will work with the private sector to accelerate utilization of innovative technologies that advance more efficient hydrocarbon production and reduce the environmental impact of its production and use. These include technologies for deep-sea oil and gas production, oil production from bitumen sands, clean coal technologies, including carbon capture and storage, extraction of gas from gas-hydrates and production of synthetic fuel.