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Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development
New York, 6-10 March 2000

Highlights from Tuesday, 7 March

The Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development met throughout the day to discuss key issues in energy and sustainable development. Members of the Expert Group exchanged views on the Report of the Secretary-General. Key issues addressed  in the Secretary-General's Report include: Accessibility of Energy and Rural Energy; Financing the Energy Sector; Energy Efficiency; Advanced Fossil and Nuclear Fuels Technologies; Renewable Energy; Energy Related Issues in Transportation.

Draft Reports of the Secretary-General: Energy and Sustainable Development: Key Issues and National Submissions

Co-Chairs Mohammed Reza Salamat (Iran) and Irene Freudenschuss Reichl (Austria)



Key Issues and the Secretary-General's Report

Nigeria, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China (Part 1) (Part 2)

The G-77/China said the Secretary-General's Report addresses elements of relevance to developing countries, although he noted that the applicability to developing countries and their state of development still presents problems. He underscored issues relating to capacity building, the level of understanding and skill in developing countries, technology transfer and removal of barriers, financing sustainable energy development, the use of traditional fuels and the constraints on shifting to other sustainable energy options. On renewable energy, he cautioned against conditionalities and time limits for the introduction of new technologies. Supporting further research on renewables, he said the results could be mainstreamed depending on their proven potential

Portugal, speaking on behalf of the EU

The EU emphasized the need for structural reforms in the energy sector, including the elimination of inefficient monopolies, introducing accurate price signals, and phasing out harmful energy subsidies. He encouraged the creation of efficient transport systems and the enhancement of public-private partnerships, and supported good governance through the increased participation of civil society. He urged donors to strengthen efforts in meeting the 0.7% GNP targets.


 On advanced fossil and nuclear fuels technologies, Canada  informed the Group on its development of a knowledge-base on a range of technologies across industry and other sectors. She said that for Canada to meet immediate and longer-term energy requirements, provision needs to be made for nuclear power within a broad energy mix. On renewable energy, she described its renewable energy strategy that promotes a mix of renewables driven by market initiatives, noting that this is reflected in the work of its international development agency.

The Russian Federation

The Russian Federation outlined his country's long term national energy policy objectives of: mobilizing finance and creating an attractive investment climate; improving nuclear power facilities; gradually reducing and eliminating subsidies; international cooperation; optimizing the transport sector; developing renewables; and using cleaner technology.

The UN ECE emphasized the importance of a regional approach, and highlighted the potential for significant energy efficiency improvements in EITs. He argued that energy taxes penalize national economies, and suggested monitoring the process of market liberalization, and questioning its compatibility with promoting energy efficiency and sustainable development. Denmark, responding to the UN ECE, said it was his country's experience that energy taxes contributed both to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the development of the economy and industrial innovation.

(Listen to the exchange between Denmark and the ECE)

The IUCN expressed concern at the G-77/China's criticism, on Monday, 6 March, of the World Energy Assessment (WEA) report, noting in particular the Group's emphasis on conventional energy resources and their rejection of "leap-frogging" to cleaner and more efficient energy sources. The IUCN said the WEA report clearly demonstrated that a conventional high technology resource path would be so capital intensive that it would leave little room for spending on other critical needs in developing countries.
Reporting on a recent conference on clean energy, the World Sustainable Energy Coalition said pollution avoidance is a global task requiring international coordination. He called on countries to, inter alia: formulate targets for the adoption of non-polluting technologies, estimate the investment required for introduction of renewable energy and implement or extend existing environmental monitoring systems. On energy related issues in transportation, he commented on the advantages of natural gas infrastructure because it can be adapted for biogas

Switzerland (left) emphasized two key issues: access to energy, especially in rural areas; and improved energy efficiency through incentives and institutional support. He emphasized the role of decentralized energy supply and micro-financing schemes.

Iraq (right) noted the impediments created by the economic sanctions to the reconstruction and development of electricity infrastructure destroyed during the Gulf War.

UNESCO outlined its activities to promote solar power, and called on the CSD to integrate its proposals and activities with existing initiatives.


The World Meteorological Organization encouraged the Expert Group to recognize the importance of the climate-energy relationship, by including within the appropriate key issues, the need for increased support for national and international cross-disciplinary activities that can apply climate information to effective planning, design, and management strategies throughout the energy sector.

Side Event: World Energy Assessment: Energy and the Challenges of Sustainability
(See 6 March archive page to listen to Jose Goldemberg's presentation to the Energy Experts Group on 6 March in Plenary)

For more information, visit

Jose Goldemburg's presentation on the results of the World Energy Assessment

Thomas Johansson, UNDP (left), and Jose Goldemburg (right)
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ENB Summary of CSD-7 in PDF or text format
ENB Summary of UNFCCC COP-5 in PDF or text format
Linkages Climate page
IISD South-North Knowledge Network on Climate Change
Archive of Climate-L                                          
Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development Homepage and provisional organization of work

Draft Reports of the Secretary-General: Energy and Sustainable Development: Key Issues and National Submissions

UNDP Energy and Atmosphere Programme
World Energy Assessment
Ad Hoc Inter-Agency Task Force on Energy
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development

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