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At the discussions at the Maison Dorée, M. ADLER, an historian and journalist renowned as a leading authority on geopolitical matters, set out his vision of the future global energy situation.
He opened by saying that the transition to alternative energy sources would quite obviously take place in the 21st century, which would radically change the international scene.
A scenario in which prices soar to dizzy heights was therefore probably alarmist, especially since the economic factors behind the current rise in energy and raw materials prices should be able to be overcome.
The emergence of growth in Asia, and in China in particular, was accompanied by low productivity, which was giving rise to strong domestic demand and strong inflationary pressure on raw materials prices. Recent developments, however, suggested that China would be able to achieve the necessary reforms and would become a testing ground for nuclear power in order to solve its energy dependency problem.
The effects of exogenous factors, and especially those relating to the instability in the Middle East and the war currently being waged between the Sunnis and the Shiites, were more difficult to predict and control and might cause major and disruptive increases in prices, even though they could not radically change the energy landscape on any lasting basis.
The large-scale entry of Russia into the international market, the spread of nuclear programmes and the coordination of the energy policies of all of the developed nations should, in the absence of any major exogenous crisis, enable increasing demand to be managed by maintaining a modest and controlled increase in oil and raw materials costs.
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