Faced with record-high oil prices, the world’s leading economies and oil consumers yesterday pledged greater investment in energy efficiency and green technologies to control their spiralling thirst for petroleum.


Energy ministers from the Group of Eight countries, joined by China, India and South Korea, also urged oil producers to boost output, which has stalled at about 85 million barrels a day since 2005. The 11 countries account for 65 per cent of the world’s energy consumption, But the focus of yesterday’s meeting was on what wealthy countries should do to rein in consumption, while reducing carbon emissions.


Energy experts say most producers have little ability to expand output. The exception is Saudi Arabia, which is producing about 9.4 million barrels a day and has the ability to increase by about two million barrels a day, but has not done so.