Justin Lin speaking at Global Development Network 2009

Justin Lin speaking at Global Development Network 2009

World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin was the keynote speaker in the opening session of the Global Development Network’s 10th Anniversary Conference in Kuwait City today. Lin suggested that a long run, stable, oil price of about $70/barrel would create incentives for investment in renewable energy sources, maintain incentives for continued investment in oil, and protect poor countries from sudden surges in price.  He explained that very high oil prices (over $70/barrel) and uncertainty over future prices could accelerate development of highly polluting synthetic fuels until, at least, there are stronger international agreements in place to curb carbon emissions.

Lin also called for research into the possibility of insuring poor, oil-consuming countries against price shocks and argued that action was called for to create a price mechanism to prevent a potential climate change “tipping point”.

The panel was chaired by Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico.  It included opening remarks by H.E. Mohammed Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kuwait and Abdlatif Al-Hamad, Director-General and Chairm of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD).  AFESD is hosting the conference in their facility in Kuwait City.

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