Energy and Sustainable Development: Case Studies

Energy and Sustainable Development: Case Studies

Energy and Sustainable Development: Case Studies

Energy and Sustainable Development: Case Studies


Energy issues pose a challenge for efforts aimed at achieving sustainable development in that its use is necessary for economic and social development, yet it is also a major cause of environmental degradation, especially atmospheric pollution. Despite the growth in commercial energy use, two billion people remain without access to modern energy sources, and improving this situation is crucial to realising the Millennium Declaration goal of halving the number of people living in poverty by 2015. This publication contains a number of case studies to illustrate best practice and lessons learned regarding sustainable energy use, including: energy market reform, energy efficiency, conventional and renewable energy technologies.


At the first session of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development, discussions took place on the Report of the SecretaryGeneral entitled Energy for sustainable development: key issues (E/CN.17/ESD/2000/3, 1 February 2000), on the basis of which several key issues pertaining to energy and sustainable development were identified for more detailed discussion at its second session to be held in February 2001. The key issues highlighted in the report of that session (E/CN.17/ESD/2000/12, 27 March 2000) for consideration at the ninth session of the Commission are: accessibility of energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy, advanced fossil-fuel technologies, nuclear energy technologies, rural energy, and energy and transportation. In relation to each of these key issues, the Group of Experts emphasized that the following overarching issues should receive serious consideration by the international community: technology transfer, capacity building, mobilization of financial resources, and international and regional cooperation.

One of the agenda items for the second session of the Group pertains to “lessons learned”. The Group was of the view that in order to enrich the dialogue process at its second session, information in the form of case studies describing lessons learned and experiences gained at the national level in translating sustainable energy policies into concrete actions would be helpful. It was suggested that this kind of information might also prove useful in gaining further insights into the key issues by learning from national experiences in the implementation of energy policies to promote sustainable development. Furthermore, learning from the experiences of others can prove useful in identifying future courses of action including consideration of the replication of such approaches in similar situations elsewhere.

Therefore, case studies were invited from Member States, relevant UN agencies and interested stakeholders. To assist in the preparation of such case studies and to ensure some degree of uniformity in their presentation, a set of guidelines were provided by the Secretariat. A copy of the case study guidelines is contained in the annex to this report.

Case studies received from Member States have been compiled in one section of this report followed by case studies submitted by UN agencies. Only submissions that contained the results of policies to promote energy for sustainable development and “lessons learned” have been included here. Editing of case study reports has been the responsibility of their authors.

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