LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, now seeking to coordinate a release of oil from emergency reserves to subdue prices, will co-chair a meeting of energy ministers from 22 big economies in London later this month on developing cleaner technologies.
Ministers from Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan will join counterparts from emerging economies Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates at the April 25-27 gathering, a British government statement said on Tuesday. The European Commission will also be represented.
The talks on speeding development of technologies that limit greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security will focus on how countries can collaborate on new investment and jobs in areas such as energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, solar and wind.
The gathering comes at a time when the United States, Britain and France are seeking cooperation from other consumer nations on a release of strategic oil reserves.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday in Riyadh sought an assurance from Saudi King Abdullah that the kingdom would not neutralize a release of inventories by consuming countries by cutting its oil production.
During the meeting in London, Brazil and Britain are expected to sign an agreement on clean energy, while the International Energy Agency (IEA) will publish a review of UK energy policy, the first since 2006.
On Tuesday, Britain relaunched a 1 billion pound ($1.6 billion)competition for one or more power plants to capture and store carbon, five months after the government's first attempt to finance the technology failed due to spiraling costs.
Results of the ministerial clean energy talks, to be co-chaired by Edward Davey, Britain's secretary for energy and climate change, will be fed into a United Nations' conference for sustainable development in Rio in June.
But time may be running out for world economies to act.
Last November, the IEA said the world may not be able to limit global temperature rise to safe levels if new international action is not taken by 2017, as so many fossil fuel power plants and factories are being built.
Around 80 percent of total energy-related carbon emissions permissible by 2035 to limit warming are already accounted for by existing power plants, buildings and factories, the IEA said in its World Energy Outlook.
(Reporting by Jeff Coelho; Editing by Anthony Barker)