Saudi Says Fossil Fuels Still Needed despite Global Warming Fears


Leading crude exporter Saudi Arabia supports efforts to limit global warming but believes fossil fuels should remain part of the world energy mix, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said Wednesday.

Naimi was speaking at a meeting of major fossil fuel producer and consumer nations in Riyadh ahead of a U.N. conference on climate change in Paris later this month.

Saudi Arabia is seen an opponent of a proposed treaty to be discussed at the conference that would demand legally binding commitments from signatory countries on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Naimi did not refer specifically to the conference but said he believed improving the technology for reducing emissions from fossil fuel plants was as important as boosting the use of renewable sources of energy in meeting emissions targets.

"I believe all the nations represented (at this meeting), and many beyond, share a belief that carbon capture and storage is a critical part of the global quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

"We believe all forms of energy will be required to help meet the needs of future generations," said Naimi, whose country sits on 16 percent of world oil reserves.

"Renewable forms of energy, such as nuclear, solar and wind are increasingly utilized, and they complement fossil fuels."

The November 30-December 11 U.N. summit in Paris aims to unite all the world's nations in a single agreement on tackling climate change, with the goal of capping warming at two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.