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Russian G8 statement backs fossil fuels, nuclear

Written by: Staff

MOSCOW, Mar 16 (Reuters) Fossil fuels will remain the most important means of meeting growing world energy demand over the next half century, Russia said after hosting a meeting of G8 energy ministers in Moscow on Thursday.

An 11-point statement issued by Russia, which chairs the Group of Eight this year for the first time, also said ''safe and secure'' nuclear power represented a crucial alternative for those countries that choose to use it.

The communique was billed as a 'chair's statement', suggesting it did not necessarily reflect the views of all of the bloc's members as they seek a common approach to the theme of energy security at the G8's annual summit in July.

''Ministers are aware that the 21st century is sure to witness a significant increase of the global consumption of energy, primarily by dynamically developing economies,'' the statement said.

''Despite the increased presence of alternative sources in the energy mix, ... fossil fuels will remain the basis of the world energy industry for at least the first half of the 21st century.'' The statement went on to say that wider use of renewable energy would help diversify and reduce energy risks, but put renewed emphasis on developing nuclear power -- a line backed both by Russia and G8 heavyweight the United States.

G8 member Germany, by contrast, is phasing out nuclear power.

The statement also said the world needs to develop more efficient energy markets to increase energy supply and stem growth in demand, invest in production, transport and processing of energy and boost dialogue between producers and consumers.


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