A conference organised by the Western nations on ways to conserve energy and cut oil consumption opened in Paris on Monday (21 May).
A conference organised by the Western nations on ways to conserve energy and cut oil consumption opened in Paris on Monday (21 May). It began with a plea to the United States -- the world's biggest energy consumer -- to reduce its imports of oil.
SYNOPSIS: Delegates arrived for the two-day conference just after new increases in oil prices. Kuwait joined two other Arab states in a rise that brought the increase in the crude oil price to 34 percent since the beginning of the year.
Ministers from 20 countries of the International Energy Agency were told that the world's monetary system and economy could not sustain American oil imports at their present rate. Already the fuel shortage has caused long queues at American service stations, and there are fears that the problem could spread to other countries.
According to the agency, oil supplies are about four percent below expected demand. They say the outlook for the next 18 months is very serious. Pressure has been mounting on the Western nations to introduce stringent measures to counteract the shortage and price rises. A five percent out in consumption has already been decided -- but may not be enough.