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China urges global energy cooperation

  |   Jan. 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called for concerted efforts among countries to secure the world's energy supply.

"To reduce the problems and inequality brought by the energy and resources issues, countries in the world should take further action and exert more effort," Wen said in a keynote speech Monday at the opening of the Fifth World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Wen, in a report by China's state-run news agency Xinhua, suggested a four-point strategy to achieve his objectives, including increasing energy efficiency; promoting the development of renewable energy by adopting more favorable policies and encouraging new technologies to enhance energy efficiency, with developed countries helping developing and underdeveloped countries to advance technology transfer initiatives.

Lastly, the premier proposed a global energy market management mechanism for mutual benefit, under the framework of the Group of 20.

Wen said renewable energy represents 11.4 percent of China's energy mix, compared to 8.4 percent in 2010.

Touting his country's accomplishments in clean energy, Wen said China's share of power from hydroelectric sources, now at 200 gigawatts, is larger than any other country in the world.

Wen said China has shut down 80 gigawatts of small coal power plants, which he said was equal to the power supply of a mid-sized European county, saving 12 million tons of coal that otherwise would have been burned.

"China will work with the nations in the world to step up international cooperation and promote sustainable innovation to build a new world with green development and sustainable growth," the Chinese premier said.

Wen's visit to the United Arab Emirates, part an official tour of the Persian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, comes amid growing tensions over U.S.-led sanctions imposed on Iran because of its ongoing nuclear program. Last week China said it wouldn't restrict the amount of oil it imports from Iran.

Also speaking Monday on the opening of the four-day World Future Energy Summit, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on world governments to address energy poverty and to foster sustainable energy as part of 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

"Widespread energy poverty still condemns millions to darkness, to ill health, to missed opportunities for education," Ban said, noting that 1-in-5 people in the world today lack access to modern electricity.

"It is not acceptable that 3 billion people have to rely on wood, waste and charcoal for their energy needs," he said.

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