U.S. President Barack Obama says his administration will support the efforts of private individuals and companies in the pursuit of "clean energy."

He made the comment Monday at the White House complex to a gathering of clean energy entrepreneurs and leaders of research in the field.

Mr. Obama has proposed a clean energy program that will draw in part on a $787 billion stimulus package.

He says $39 billion from the package will go to the Department of Energy for energy investments, while $20 billion will go to tax incentives for clean energy.

President Obama's 10-year budget proposal also contains spending of nearly $75 billion to make permanent existing tax cuts for energy research and experimentation.

In a statement, the White House said these investments will establish a foundation for the nation's future economic prosperity, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and help combat climate change.

Last week, the European Union agreed on $5 billion in spending on new so-called "green energy" technology.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has estimated that investing in environmentally friendly technologies in Britain will put 400,000 people to work.

Japan and South Korea also have announced separate plans to create tens of thousands of jobs aimed at boosting the economy while protecting the environment.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.