Leaders seek energy security

By Le Tian (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-16 07:30

CEBU, The Philippines: Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday called for East Asian collaboration on energy security to push forward "common development and prosperity".

He made the remarks at the 2nd East Asia Summit, which concluded yesterday in Cebu with a Declaration on East Asian Energy Security signed by the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six dialogue partners.

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With the cost of energy casting a shadow over the economies of the region, leaders of the ASEAN plus China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand agreed to strengthen regional cooperation on energy security to ensure a stable and affordable supply over the long term.

The declaration calls for moves to improve energy efficiency and reduce dependence on fossil fuels; and urges countries to expand renewable energy systems and biofuel production.

It also calls for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring a stable supply of energy "through investments in regional infrastructure such as the ASEAN power grid and the trans-ASEAN gas pipeline."

"Dialogue and policy coordination should be strengthened between producers and consumers to guarantee a stable energy market in the region," Wen said.

"We should also raise energy efficiency and develop clean, renewable and new energy."

The East Asian leaders agreed that alternative sources of energy are needed to sustain economic expansion.

They acknowledged "the worsening problems associated with the environment and health, and the urgent need to address global warming and climate change."

Besides energy security, other topics on the summit agenda were finance, education, avian influenza and disaster reduction.

Wen put forward three proposals at the summit:

East Asia cooperation should enhance common development and prosperity of the region.

The cooperation should lead to harmony among all countries in the region.

Diversified development of social systems and cultures should be respected.

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