Commission on Sustainable Development: 'We Need a Revolution in Energy Efficiency'

UN Chronicle, July-August 2006 | Go to article overview
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Commission on Sustainable Development: 'We Need a Revolution in Energy Efficiency'


A COMPREHENSIVE AND BROAD-BASED DISCUSSION BY the Commission on Sustainable Development, to review progress in the areas of energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air and atmospheric pollution and climate change, concluded on 12 May 2006 at UN Headquarters in New York amid heightened concerns over energy security and the growing demand for energy resources, as well as the pervasive and persistent poverty that impeded access to modern and cleaner energy services.

The Commission's fourteenth session, held from 1 to 12 May, also concluded its three-day high-level segment, with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan calling for the exploration of ways to bring the poor into the modern energy and industrial economy, while moving energy use and economic activity onto a cleaner path. "We have the knowledge and resources to conquer poverty that blights so many lives and to safeguard our planet and its climate for generations to come", he said, adding that "we need a revolution in energy efficiency and new efforts to scale up investment in renewable energy". He also urged countries to fulfil their commitments to climate agreements and integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation measures into national sustainable development strategies.

Several of the Secretary-General's reports were also taken up, including a review of progress in meeting the goals and targets of Agenda 21 and the outcome of the 2002 World Summit in the areas of energy, industrial development, pollution and climate change. Mr. Annan said that addressing in an integrated manner the sustainable development challenges relating to these issues could serve to enhance synergies, seize win-win opportunities and minimize trade-offs where they exist. Though some progress had been achieved in alleviating poverty since 2002 through access to energy, especially in improving access to electricity, 2.4 billion people worldwide still have no access to modern energy services and one quarter of the global population still lives without electricity.

Also before the Commission was the Chairman's summary of the session, aimed at facilitating the policy debate on energy in 2007.

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Commission on Sustainable Development: 'We Need a Revolution in Energy Efficiency'
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