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Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned Wednesday that the world faced an era-defining oil "shock" that required urgent action, as European leaders argued how best to contain protests over soaring fuel prices.
"It is now understood that a global shock on this scale requires global solutions," Brown wrote in The Guardian newspaper.
Record oil prices of around 135 dollars a barrel have contributed to protests worldwide over the rise in fuel and food costs, with fishermen and truck drivers taking the lead in Europe, blocking ports and road access to oil depots.
"However much we might wish otherwise, there is no easy answer to the global oil problem without a comprehensive international strategy," Brown said, adding that the problem should be made a "top priority" at the EU summit next month and the gathering of G8 leaders in July.
"The way we confront these issues will define our era," he said.