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Call to invest in renewable energy sources

Nearly 80 top representatives take part in the Energy Forum in Doha Keystone

Energy Minister Moritz Leuenberger has called for sustained efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions in a bid to combat global warming.

Speaking at an international meeting in the Gulf emirate of Qatar he pleaded for close cooperation in the search of new technologies and renewable energy sources.

“We are now at the dawn of a new energy era. As with any period of profound change it is fraught with uncertainty and risks, but it is also a source of opportunity,” he said during his opening speech of the International Energy Forum in Doha on Sunday.

The conference, which takes place every two years, brings together ministers from 65 countries, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) as well as senior executives from major oil companies.

The two-day meeting which comes amid a recent surge in oil prices aims to discuss ways of improving energy security and creating a suitable environment for the oil industry.


Leuenberger praised the Kyoto Protocol as a key factor for investors to decide on energy technologies.

“Kyoto must be prolonged beyond 2012 and extended to emerging economies if efforts to combat global warming are to continue,” he added.

Leuenberger recalled that $17 trillion (SFr21.7 trillion) are needed to cover the world’s energy requirements until 2030.

Investors needed predictable framework conditions for their technological choices and these conditions had to take into account external costs, such as those of climate change, he added.

Leuenberger also called for close cooperation between governments, energy producers, consumers and private investors to bolster energy security.

On the fringes of the two-day meeting the Swiss delegation is also due to hold talks with members of the European Commission and other energy trading partners.


Switzerland has pledged a 10% reduction in CO2 levels (compared with 1990) by 2010, the equivalent of four million tons of CO2.

In 2004 CO2 emissions stood at 41.4 million tons compared with 41.1 in 1990.

The Swiss CO2 law formally took effect in 2000 and foresees additional measures if the targets can’t be met with voluntary means.

Last October the authorities agreed to introduce a levy on petrol and diesel on a trial basis, following opposition against a mandatory CO2 emission tax.

Property owners are challenging plans for the CO2 tax on heating oil, arguing instead for a voluntary levy.

The International Energy Forum is the top-level biennial informal ministerial meeting, bringing together energy producing and energy consuming countries.
Representatives from about 80 countries and organisations are taking part in the meeting in Doha, Qatar.
The Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the UN Convention on Climate Change, was approved in 1997 and came into force in 2005.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR