World energy congress to debate on sustainable development of energy


The World Energy Congress, which was kicked off here in Rome of Italy on Sunday, is to debate on the sustainable development and the prospects of the energy industry.

The conference, organized by the World Energy Council (WEC) every three years, lasts till Nov. 15. It is the first time for Italy to host the congress. The ever-growing oil price, soaring recently close to the benchmark of $100 per barrel, has sent an alarming warning to the international economy, which led to widespread debate on energy. “The price of crude oil has been doubled in 2007. The world economy is being jeopardized by high oil prices,” Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi warned when addressing the opening ceremony of the conference. The Italian prime minister said the growing oil price is being driven by speculation in the international financial market. “This speculation must be contained in the future,” he said. He also attributed the soaring energy prices to lower investment by energy businesses, like power generation, electricity and gas companies. He said that compared to other industrial sectors, energy businesses had invest less, and “now we are paying the price.” Prodi admitted that the high oil price has brought “great difficulty” to some countries, businesses and people's life as well. He urged the international community to attach more importance to the energy issue and explore “global solutions” to the issue.

The prime minister also called for more eyes on energy supply, energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy. Under the theme of “The Energy Future in an Interdependent World,” the Rome conference attracted a lot of ministers, scholars and bosses from international energy businesses, including European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the WTO. Among the leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday sent a congratulatory message to the congress, calling for more transparency of the international energy market. “Only successive and open dialogue may create more transparency energy market and establish trade rules,” Putin said in the written message. As a major energy producing country, Russia is a big energy provider for Europe.

Quarrels often arise between Russia and some European countries over supply of oil and gas. In January this year, the quarrels between Russia and Belarus had led to the supply disruption of Russian oil to Germany and Poland. In his message, the Russian President also stressed that “the principles of justice and mutual respect” should be adhered to in dealing with energy trade issue. During the upcoming five-day conference in Rome, security of energy supply is among the agenda for the speakers.

Apart from exchanging views on the future of the energy industry, a major exhibition on energy technology and equipment was being held in parallel with the congress. According to the organizers of the conference, over 4000 delegates from around the world attended the event. Big energy giants, like General Electric, E.ON and Eni, sent top leaders to speak at the debate. (xinhuanet)

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