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UN Headquarters, New York
26 February-2 March 2001                                                                                           >>Version française: BNT<<


Web archives:
| Monday 26| Tuesday 27| Wednesday 28| Thursday 01| Friday 02 |

Highlights from Wednesday, 28 February
In a morning session on Wednesday, the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development received a new draft of the Co-Chairs' text, which constitutes a compilation of views expressed by delegates so far. A number of delegates expressed dissatisfaction with the text and the negotiation process, and the Co-Chairs conducted informal consultations on how to proceed during the lunch break. A briefing session by the UN Ad Hoc Interagency Task Force on Energy was also held during the lunch break. The Expert Group reconvened late in the afternoon. After a discussion on the status of the draft compilation text and procedural matters, the session was adjourned. Informal consultations on section F, International Cooperation followed immediately on the adjournment, and the Co-Chairs conducted further informal consultations with smaller groups of delegates in the evening. Above photo: Co-Chairs Irene Freudenschuss Reichl (Austria) and Mohammad Reza Salamat (Iran)

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In the morning, delegates received copies of the Co-Chair's Compilation Text

John Ashe, Antigua and Barbuda, speaks with Barbados (left), Nigeria (right) G-77/China expressed concern that their concerns had not been reflected adequately in the text. The Group also expressed concern that procedural issues had taken so much time, but said that the only way negotiations could proceed was if text was reformatted in a traditional compilation text.

During the morning session Mohammad Al Sabban (Saudi Arabia) presented on the 7th International Energy Forum was held in Riyadh from 17-19 November 2000. He explained that Energy Ministers and delegations from 56 countries and International Organizations attended the event. Participants discussed, inter alia, issues related to the global energy outlook, energy sustainable development and technology, energy industry and market restructuring and prospects for the producer-consumer dialogue. He highlighted key issues, including the role of energy prices and energy availability in world economic prosperity; the central role of oil and gas in energy consumption; international cooperation for improving access to energy data; the need for favorable, energy fiscal, investment and environmental relations to expand trade in oil and gas for sustainable world economic growth; and the role of technological innovation and dissemination in the efficient use and production of energy sources. Al Sabban concluded by referring to a proposal to establish a permanent secretariat for the Energy Forum in Saudi Arabia.

After receiving the compilation text, G-77/China members huddle to discuss their position on the new text.

Co-Chair Salamat speaks with a member of the Iranian delegation who is speaking for the G-77/China. The Group asked the CO-Chairs to produce a reformatted version of the negotiating text

New Zealand said that Section F on International Cooperation appears to be the most controversial and, with the US, the Russian Federation, Norway (above right), Australia and Turkey, suggested deleting it and inviting delegates to re-propose text for the section. Sweden, on behalf of the EU, opposed this stating that this section had not been discussed. Noting the difficulties of drawing parallels between the work of the Expert Group and the work in other fora, such as in the Climate negotiations, CO-Chair Salamat urged delegates to understand the time pressure and constraints facing the Experts Group.

Delegates from the Republic of Korea peruse the Compilation text
The delegate from Saudi Arabia buries himself in a newspaper
Tunisia reads the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, while Macedonia and Thailand look at the Compilation text

Briefing by the Ad Hoc Interagency Task Force on Energy
During an afternoon briefing, the Ad Hoc Interagency Task Force on Energy provided an overview of its activities. This briefing was organized by the FAO, GEF, IAEA, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCAP, UNESCO, and UNIDO. Panelists included Gustavo Best, FAO, Alan McDonald, International Atomic Energy Agency, William Faries, GEF, Luis Marques, UNESCO, and Pranesh Chandra Saha, Environment and Natural Resources Development Division, ESCAP (bottom center), Cahit Gürkök, UNIDO, and Thomas Johansson, UNDP, and Mark Radka, UNEP, Slav Slavov, UN/ECE, JoAnne DiSano, Chair of the Interagency Task Force, chaired the briefing discussions.

Cahit Gürkök, UNIDO, highlighted UNIDO's focus on energy programme, including access of the poor to energy, rational energy use, and climate convention under kyoto protocol. He said UNIDO was the lead agency for the energy roundtable at the LDC-III conference to be held in Brussels from 14-10 May 2001.

During the lunch break, Joanne DiSano, Chair of the Task Force, said the Task Force will provide input to the CSD-9 process, and has prepared papers on UN agency activities and programmes in the area of energy and case studies by UN agencies and programmes. She introduced representatives of member agencies of the Task Force, who presented their work on sustainable energy. Speaking for the UN Division for Sustainable Development, Joanne DiSano stressed the Division's focus on technical assistance and capacity-building in partnership with governments. Thomas Johansson, Energy and Atmosphere Programme, UNDP, underscored the role of energy in fighting poverty and advancing sustainable development, the principle objectives of his agency. Cahit Gurkok, Industrial Energy-Efficiency Branch, UNIDO (right), provided case studies on the efforts relating to sustainable energy by his agency, including on fuel wood replacement and briquetting, micro and mini-hydro power, and technology transfer.

Mark Radka, UNEP, highlighted the desire to bring environmental elements into energy sector decisionmaking at all levels. He highlighted two programmes undertaken by UNEP, inter alia, the African Rural Energy Enterprise Development Initiative (AREED programme), which local entrepreneurs who can bring energy services to rural communities. He also outline the work of the Sustainable Energy Advisory Facility, which uses UNEP's collaborating center on energy and environment and offers advisory services that help governments restructure policies.

Alan McDonald, Planning and Economic Studies Section, Department of Nuclear Energy, International Atomic Energy Agency, highlighted work on indicators for sustainable energy development, which he said brings together and further develops related indicators from other initiatives. Highlighting case studies relating to cleaner production and sustainable energy solutions, Mark Radka, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (left) , said the efforts are driven by the desire to bring environmental considerations into decision-making at all levels. Noting the importance of energy efficiency and energy pricing and the internalization of external costs, Slav Slavov, UN/ECE Sustainable Development Division, highlighted the ECE regional perspective on sustainable energy. Pranesh Chandra Saha, Energy Resources Section, Environment and Natural Resources Development Division, UN ESCAP, said there is a need for financial resources and technology transfer to advance sustainable energy development in the region. William Faries, GEF, provided a number of examples of GEF projects relating to energy, and stressed the role of new institutions and financing services, and engaging the private sector in the area. Luis Marques, World Solar Commission, UNESCO, highlighted the World Solar Program and its implementation. Noting the links between energy and sustainable livelihoods, Gustavo Best, Environment and Natural Resources Service, Sustainable Development Department, FAO, highlighted FAO efforts relating to renewable energy applications. Wrapping up the briefing session, Joanne DiSano touched on the option of establishing a more formal basis for the Task Force, which she said would enhance the cooperation and coordination of different branches of the UN system with regard to sustainable energy issues.

Thomas Johansson, UNDP, Gustavo Best, FAO, and Pranesh Chandra Saha, ESCAP


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