INTERNATIONAL

Ensure food, energy security: G-5 nations

Stress on access to clean energy technologies for developing countries

SAPPORO (Japan): Leaders of China, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa — also known as the G-5 — on Tuesday called for a shared responsibility to address the world’s food security and an overall cooperation by the international community to boost energy development and utilisation.

“We call upon the international community to devise better ways and means of producing and distributing food,” said a joint declaration after the leaders met on the sidelines of the Group of Eight (G-8) Summit.

“Multi-billion agricultural trade-distorting support in developed countries have hampered the development of food production capacity in developing countries, critically reducing their possibilities of reaction to the present crisis,” said the leaders. They stressed the “imperative of creating an enabling international environment for agro-produce related trade, establishing a just and reasonable international trade regime for agricultural products and concluding the Doha Round with meaningful commitments to agricultural subsidies reductions.” They also urged developed countries to “increase their emergency aid at an early date,” noting the food security crisis demands “a rapid and substantial increase in the allocation of resources to support rural development and combat hunger and poverty.” These leaders said they “encourage collaborative action for better seeds and farm outputs that are sustainable and environmentally sound as well as a comprehensive approach in all fields, including finance, trade, aid, environment, intellectual property rights and technology transfer, so as to create a conductive international environment for food security.”

On biofuels, they said: “It is essential to address the challenges and opportunities posed by biofuels” and the current food security crisis has “multiple causes whose assessment requires objectiveness.” Biofuels, if developed sustainably, “can effectively contribute to generating opportunities and achieving food and energy security altogether,” they said. “To this purpose, it is important that public policies for production of biofuels contribute to sustainable development and the well-being of the most vulnerable people and do not threaten food security,” they concluded.

On energy security, which “is essential to ensure the steady growth of the global economy,” the leaders said the world should emphasise on renewable energy and energy efficiency and give “adequate consideration to solar, wind and hydro-electrical power, and biofuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel without adversely affecting food security.” They called for “an integrated approach to energy cooperation, ensuring access to energy by developing countries on an equitable and sustainable manner,” they said. — Xinhua

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