§ Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement of the Paris meeting of the International Energy Agency.
§ Mr. David Howell
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 23 May 1979;Vol. 967, c. 141], gave the following answer:
The governing board of the International Energy Agency met at ministerial level under my chairmanship in Paris on 21 and 22 May.
Discussion concentrated on the grave outlook for oil supplies and prices. Ministers confirmed the decision by the IEA countries to reduce their demand for oil on world markets by about 2 million barrels per day or 5 per cent. and decided that: (a) they would take immediate and effective measures to achieve that result; (b) they would pay particular attention to stock levels; (c) demand restraint measures would need to be continued into 1980; (d) the IEA should undertake an analysis of the workings of the oil and particularly the spot markets.
With regard to medium and long-term energy prospects, Ministers concluded that, without further action, available energy supplies would be insufficient to support even moderate economic growth. Consequently, greater efforts must be made in energy conservation, coal, nuclear, and natural gas use, and in new and renewable energy sources. Ministers adopted the principles for IEA action on coal and decided on procedures for reviewing IEA countries' coal policies. I am arranging for the full text of the communique to be placed in the Library of the House.