From: Reuters
Published November 18, 2007 04:21 AM

Other OPEC members yet to join Saudi climate pledge

By Simon Webb

Riyadh (Reuters) - No other OPEC leaders at a summit in Riyadh have joined the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia in committing cash for research into helping the environment, Algeria's energy minister said on Sunday.

"We are not committing anything, we don't know what the proposal is," Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil told reporters. "As far as I am aware, nobody else has committed anything either."

Indonesia had also not made any financial commitment to the environment at the summit, Energy Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said on Sunday.

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Saudi King Abdullah pledged $300 million for environmental research on Saturday, but gave no further details.

"That was a Saudi initiative," Nigerian Oil Minister Odein Ajumogobia told reporters. "Nigeria hasn't taken a position."

The idea of funding research into ways to curb emissions while allowing the continued use of fossil fuels has been floated in forums ahead of the summit.

Khelil said that for now there was no OPEC-wide proposal for an environmental research fund, although such a proposal could still be made at the summit.

"It may become an OPEC proposal, we don't know," he said.

OPEC heads of state were meeting in the Saudi capital on Saturday and Sunday.

A draft final communique for the summit makes no mention of a fund. OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said this week the producer group would be willing to play its part in developing carbon capture and storage technology to help reduce emissions in the air.

(Editing by David Holmes)

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