197. Notes of Summit Preparatory Group Meeting1

Notes on Summit Preparatory Meeting Tokyo Summit

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to energy.]

There was a brief discussion of the impact of Iran on the world energy picture. Hunt added that because of Iran, and for other reasons as well, the United States’ energy situation took on even greater significance than it did in Bonn. The United States should indicate what it had done since Bonn. Owen agreed that the United States should be prepared, and will be prepared, to provide information on developments in its energy program. He further added that six points should be covered in the energy paper:2 1) efforts to reduce consumption, 2) increased investment in energy either through target pledges or increases in specific types of investment, such as coal, 3) an understanding on trade and coal, 4) R&D paper, multilateralizing the Japan-U.S., US/EC arrangements, 5) a progress report on INFCE and 6) aid to LDC energy production including R&D, support for new World Bank exploration and financing programs and greater bilateral efforts. Froment-Meurice said he was “pleased” that the United States will explain how it has fulfilled its commitments at Bonn. The Summit at Tokyo should say more about energy than Bonn. Amaya’s target for reduced oil imports is a good idea. We should also attempt to have our efforts to build more nuclear plants supported by the Summit. We should agree on a stepped-up energy dialogue with the developing countries, but the question is how to do it. This is a Saudi proposal and we should not forget about it.

Cooper stressed that energy might be the theme of the Summit. Owen agreed that the United States should provide a paper on this subject, explaining what we had done, along with other countries. Miyazaki said it was his impression that on the dialogue point Denmark is exploring the issue with the Saudis. There are risks. If the atmosphere is friendly we should encourage the dialogue, but we should avoid [Page 626] alarming noises. In any case our own conservation efforts must be pressed.

Owen added that we should point out that energy is a long-term problem, but we must begin confronting it in the short-term. Hunt indicated that we should deal with this issue quietly and do all we need to do at the Summit to strengthen our individual and collective efforts. This will build confidence. The IEA has been helpful. We need to do something in addition to what we are doing and it would be helpful to focus on this issue at the Summit. The situation will be bleak in the next year or two. We need to strike a note of confidence. I am encouraged that the U.S. will provide a paper.

Schulmann said he agreed with the thrust of the discussion. Some progress had been made in reducing consumption, but we will have to figure out how we can do more. On production, the Summit might give a strong commitment to nuclear energy. A focus on coal might be useful—for instance, improved mining and trade arrangements. We should also discuss the LDC aspects of the energy problem and consider the idea of a dialogue, including an assessment of its pros and cons.

Tickell pointed out a danger in duplicating the IEA and the EC. He pointed out that the European Council had discussed this problem, and the EC was taking fundamental action. Hunt said this was not a problem; the Summit could give things a push. Owen stressed that the paper should not, as last year,3 be a consensus document. It should not drop promising ideas just because one or two countries cannot agree with them. Miyazaki indicated that Amaya will chair the group.

Johnstone pointed out that a lot of things were happening in the energy field. Energy people will meet in the context of the OECD and in the period leading up to the IEA. The Summit should go beyond the work of other occasions and not be brought down to the level of other organizations. We should raise our sights above other institutions. Owen, responding to a question by Johnstone said the group should not deal with INFCE.

Froment-Meurice said that the energy group should deal with the 1979–82 energy situation. Hunt agreed with Owen that the Amaya group should avoid trying to seek the lowest common denominator. Hunt argued that there should be only a small number of people, say three, working under Amaya to avoid the lowest common denominator approach. Schulmann indicated that all participants should be represented. It was agreed that the paper should be presented by the end of April. There would be a meeting of one or two from each [Page 627] country to help Amaya with the paper. Johnstone said that the key energy people will be getting together in Paris in April so that Amaya might hold his meeting in conjunction with that gathering.

Schulmann indicated his concern with the lack of progress in following up the Bonn commitment to coordinate programs in the area of renewable energy. In his view progress had been too slow; we should speed up progress so that a report will be ready for the Tokyo Summit. Cooper indicated that there was an important distinction between the coordination of bilateral programs, which in his view was what the group established at Bonn was supposed to do, and a coordinated program. Schulmann agreed that Cooper’s formulation was accurate.

Johnstone indicated that he was satisfied that while the group had begun slowly it was now well on its way to completing its report.4 Hunt said that the group had already exchanged valuable information on programs in this area and had good potential. Tickell reported that a Commission official who was a member of the group was reasonably pleased with progress, and that a meeting will be held on April 3 to examine drafts which contain a description of the needs of the developing countries and how developed countries should respond. Schulmann underlined again two concerns: first, that the Bonn Summit undertook a commitment to coordinate efforts within one year, and that unless we did this we would have a credibility problem with the developing countries, and second that sometimes countries are reluctant to get into new fields, so that an international effort will be needed to help squeeze adequate sums out of ministries in the capitals. Miyazaki said that the Amaya group will need to examine the work done in this area to make sure that adequate progress has been made.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to energy.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, Staff Office Files, Council of Economic Adviser File, Box 86, Tokyo Summit, 1979–1. No classification marking. Drafted by Hormats. The full text of the notes of this meeting is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, volume III, Foreign Economic Policy. The Preparatory Group for the Economic Summit met in Hakone to draft papers for the Summit. See Document 203.
  2. Not found.
  3. Reference is to the Bonn Declaration; see footnote 3, Document 157.
  4. Not found.