125. We recognize the critical role that energy plays in the development process, as access to sustainable modern energy services contributes to poverty eradication, saves lives, improves health and helps provide for basic human needs. We stress that these services are essential to social inclusion and gender equality, and that energy is also a key input to production. We commit to facilitate support for access to these services by 1.4 billion people worldwide who are currently without them. We recognize that access to these services is critical for achieving sustainable development.
126. We emphasize the need to address the challenge of access to sustainable modern energy services for all, in particular for the poor, who are unable to afford these services even when they are available. We emphasize the need to take further action to improve this situation, including by mobilizing adequate financial resources, so as to provide these services in a reliable, affordable, economically viable and socially and environmentally acceptable manner in developing countries.
127. We reaffirm support for the implementation of national and subnational policies and strategies, based on individual national circumstances and development aspirations, using an appropriate energy mix to meet developmental needs, including through increased use of renewable energy sources and other low-emission technologies, the more efficient use of energy, greater reliance on advanced energy technologies, including cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and the sustainable use of traditional energy resources. We commit to promoting sustainable modern energy services for all through national and subnational efforts, inter alia, on electrification and dissemination of sustainable cooking and heating solutions, including through collaborative actions to share best practices and adopt policies, as appropriate. We urge governments to create enabling environments that facilitate public and private sector investment in relevant and needed cleaner energy technologies.
128. We recognize that improving energy efficiency, increasing the share of renewable energy and cleaner and energy-efficient technologies are important for sustainable development, including in addressing climate change. We also recognize the need for energy efficiency measures in urban planning, buildings and transportation, and in the production of goods and services and the design of products. We also recognize the importance of promoting incentives in favour of, and removing disincentives to, energy efficiency and the diversification of the energy mix, including promoting research and development in all countries, including developing countries.
129. We note the launching of the initiative by the Secretary-General on Sustainable Energy for All, which focuses on access to energy, energy efficiency and renewable energies. We are all determined to act to make sustainable energy for all a reality and, through this, help to eradicate poverty and lead to sustainable development and global prosperity. We recognize that the activities of countries in broader energy-related matters are of great importance and are prioritized according to their specific challenges, capacities and circumstances, including their energy mix.
9. It was recognized that energy was crucial for sustainable development, poverty eradication and achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, and that achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and implementation of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation must be urgently and substantially accelerated. It was generally acknowledged that access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services was crucial, particularly for developing countries. There was general acceptance of the need to further diversify energy supply by developing advanced, cleaner, more efficient, affordable and cost-effective energy technologies, including advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies and renewable energy technologies.
10. There was considerable discussion on the issue of fossil fuels and their role in the energy mix. While it was emphasized that fossil fuels would continue to play a dominant role in the energy supply for decades to come, some countries stressed that every effort should be made to diversify the energy mix, giving far greater attention to rapidly increasing the share of renewable energy in the mix.
11. While a number of countries stressed the need to substantially increase the global share of renewable energy sources with the objective of increasing its contribution to total energy supply, they also wanted to go beyond simply recognizing the role of national and voluntary regional targets and initiatives, and to establish time-bound targets in that regard. The mention of time-bound targets proved to be one of the areas in which agreement could not be reached.
12. Mention was made of the development of carbon capture and storage and enhanced oil recovery technologies, with developed countries accelerating their development in contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
13. Many countries stressed the need for making greater use of effective policy tools to ensure that energy policies were supportive of developing country efforts to eradicate poverty and to integrate diversified energy policies into national sustainable development strategies, poverty reduction strategies and national development plans.
14. The use of improved market signals, removing market distortions, restructuring taxation and phasing out harmful subsidies, where they existed, taking into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries, was seen as promoting energy systems compatible with sustainable development while minimizing possible adverse impacts on countries? development.
15. The need to accelerate access to sustainable energy services to the poor, including sustainable rural electrification programmes, in particular in rural and remote areas in developing countries, including least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States and African countries was widely recognized, as well as the need to adopt incentives to encourage increased investment by the public and private sectors in order to provide sustainable, improved energy services and infrastructure, particularly for the poor, in urban, peri-urban and rural areas, with special attention to women.
16. It was recognized that greater energy efficiency would require efforts to accelerate the development, dissemination and deployment of more efficient energy technologies, with particular attention to increasing efficiency and productivity in the power and heat sectors, through better utilization of generation capacities, co generation, lowering energy transmission losses, demand management, fuel switching, heat recovery, interconnection or national electricity grids, the establishment of power pools and greater electricity trade. That would include promoting energy efficiency policies and programmes at the national level, including energy auditing schemes and certification, system optimization, appliance and equipment performance and labels for products used in residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
17. Promoting and strengthening energy efficiency building codes and encouraging financial and technical support for improving insulation, lighting and natural ventilation in public, residential and commercial buildings, including the integration of energy efficiency into public procurement policies and procedures, as well as increasing efficiency in the industrial sector, including oil and gas extraction, processing, storage, loading, dispensing and transport, and reducing gas flaring and venting was stressed.
18. Some countries proposed initiating a process that would lead to an international agreement on energy efficiency that could cover issues such as sharing information, research, regulatory cooperation, education, training and finance. Other countries wished only to promote international cooperation on those issues. No consensus could be reached on initiating a formal agreement process.
19. A number of countries favoured including a reference to nuclear energy as an energy source capable of meeting energy security needs while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Others were reluctant to open the issue, noting that the reference in the decision of the Commission at its ninth session was still relevant, and that the text under discussion referred to cleaner and advanced energy technologies which, in the view of some, included nuclear energy. Many countries expressed concern about nuclear safety issues and management of radioactive wastes, although an improvement in those areas, in recent years, was noted.
20. While there was recognition of the desirability of a specific review of energy issues within the context of the Commission in the coming years, there was considerable divergence regarding who, how, when and in what detail such a review should be conducted. Some were of the view that one or two days in 2010 and 2014 should be devoted to the monitoring and follow-up of the implementation of decisions on energy for sustainable development and the means of implementation. Other countries proposed more formal and detailed review arrangements, but no decision could be reached on undertaking such a review or its modalities.
21. The Chairperson?s proposed decision text includes actions on a number of issues which delegations agreed ad referendum were needed to enhance regional, subregional and international cooperation, such as increasing energy access in urban, rural and remote areas; facilitating resource mobilization, and enhancing energy availability and efficiency; supporting implementation of energy policies in the framework of national sustainable development strategies; developing and deploying renewable energy technologies and advanced energy technologies, including cleaner fossil fuel technologies; strengthening initiatives on bioenergy, including biofuels; implementing national and regional energy efficiency programmes, including investment in, and the transfer of, modern energy efficiency technologies; strengthening Partnerships for Sustainable Development of the Commission on Sustainable Development secretariat; strengthening cooperation between national and regional energy institutions; encouraging regional and international financial institutions to expand, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to continue its support for energy efficiency, energy saving, renewable energy and advanced energy technologies; cooperating in the field of generation, transmission and distribution of energy; supporting national efforts to adopt standards and labelling for energy-efficient appliances and consumer equipment; improving energy production and transport infrastructure, including pipeline, transmission and distribution facilities; improving the functioning, transparency and information related to energy markets, and enhancing regional and international dialogue and understanding between energy producing and consuming countries.
37. Many countries stressed the importance of taking an integrated approach to the four thematic issues, addressing in a balanced way the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development to enhance effectiveness, influence lifestyle changes and assist in the realization of complementary and mutually reinforcing policy options and actions. Cross-cutting issues needed to be mainstreamed into policy approaches, programmes and development cooperation activities, including through public participation and in particular a strong role of women in decision-making. The means of implementation were critical to turning commitments into actions.
38. The Chairperson?s proposed decision text includes actions on a number of issues on which delegations agreed ad referendum, such as ensuring that energy, industry, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change plans and policies are integrated into national sustainable development strategies, and other policy frameworks; strengthening good governance at all levels, in both the public and private sectors; implementing the global partnership for development and enhancing the momentum generated by the 2005 World Summit; promoting North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation; building partnerships and voluntary initiatives with all relevant stakeholders and major groups; creating an enabling environment for investment; encouraging private international financial flows and public-private partnerships; facilitating greater flows of foreign direct investment; ensuring that investment and trade policies are non-discriminatory; working towards an early conclusion and development-oriented outcome of the Doha Round of trade negotiations; advancing and fully implementing the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building; reaffirming the importance of achieving the goal of universal primary education by 2015; enhancing gender mainstreaming in all areas of sustainable development; integrating health concerns including those of the most vulnerable populations into strategies, policies and programmes and recognizing and utilizing as appropriate the knowledge and experience of the nine major groups identified in Agenda 21.
39. While the meeting was unable to reach a full consensus on all the means of implementation, critical elements in all four thematic areas included the need to mobilize financial resources, from both the public and private sectors, increase official development assistance (ODA), microcredit and innovative funding for renewable energy, energy efficiency, cleaner fossil fuels and other energy; create a positive investment climate at all levels to attract private capital; encourage transfer and dissemination of cleaner energy technologies, including advanced, cleaner fossil fuel technologies; increase investments and strengthen public/private partnerships in research and development (R and D); promote foreign direct investment (FDI) for the development of the resource base; encourage international financial institutions to increase their funding in developing countries; encourage investment in new and more efficient production facilities and products; strengthen investment in capacity-building; enhance access to credit, including microfinancing, by small-scale entrepreneurs; build capacity for monitoring, construction and updating of emissions inventories; promote the development, demonstration and deployment of technologies for adaptation and mitigation, and build capacity for research on climate change impacts and training for technical capabilities, particularly in developing countries.
Energy for sustainable development
A. General considerations
1. Energy is central to achieving the goals of sustainable development.
2. The magnitude and scale of energy needs facing the world today in relation to sustainable development can be gauged by the fact that nearly one third of the global population of six billion, mostly living in developing countries, continue to lack access to energy and transportation services. Wide disparities in the levels of energy consumption within and between developed and developing countries exist. Current patterns of energy production, distribution and utilization are unsustainable.
3. The challenge ahead will require adequate, predictable, new and additional financial resources, in accordance with chapter 33 of Agenda 21, and paragraphs 76 to 87 of the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, technology transfer and, where appropriate, political will, as well as commitment to innovative ways of applying energy efficient, environmentally sound, and cost-effective technologies and systems to all sectors of the economy. Energy resources are plentiful, and environmentally sound technological options exist and should be made available and facilitated by developed countries to developing countries as well as countries with economies in transition with a view to making energy for sustainable development a reality. Ensuring adequate and affordable access to energy for present and future generations, in an environmentally sound, socially acceptable and economically viable way, will require considerable efforts and substantial investments, including from the private sector. Attention will also need to be given to promoting an enabling environment.
4. In order to make energy systems more supportive of sustainable development objectives, contributions from all stakeholders, as well as increased investments, will be needed. Change will not be driven by resource constraints for a very long time to come. Energy for sustainable development can be achieved by providing universal access to a cost-effective mix of energy resources compatible with different needs and requirements of various countries and regions. This should include giving a greater share of the energy mix to renewable energies, improving energy efficiency and greater reliance on advanced energy technologies, including fossil fuel technologies. Policies relating to energy for sustainable development intended to promote these objectives will address many of the issues of economic and social development as well as facilitate the responsible management of environmental resources.
5. In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradations, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The choice and implementation of policies to improve the ways to achieve energy for sustainable development basically rest with Governments. However, financial resources play a key role in their implementation. For developing countries, official development assistance (ODA) is a main source of external funding, and substantial new and additional funding for sustainable development and the implementation of Agenda 21 will be required. A participatory approach involving all relevant stakeholders could facilitate progress. Given that energy is an area with strong interdependencies among countries, international cooperation should be promoted in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The way in which energy issues are addressed in a country depends on the national energy situation and needs. Therefore, a range of options and strategies becomes necessary to address the issues involved. Accordingly, a number of options and strategies that could effect a change in the way energy is dealt with are delineated subsequently. The choice of any specific option would obviously depend on the domestic situation.
6. The Commission underlines the importance of principle 16 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in the context of energy policies, taking fully into account the economic, social and environmental conditions of all countries, in particular of developing countries.
B. Issues and options
7. Governments, as well as relevant regional and international organizations and other relevant stakeholders, are invited to consider the issues and options set out below when dealing with energy, taking into account national and regional specificities and circumstances, bearing in mind the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
8. Foremost in the developing countries? priorities is the eradication of poverty for the furtherance of sustainable development. Efforts should therefore be made to ensure that energy policies are supportive to developing countries? efforts to eradicate poverty, with financial assistance, as appropriate. Nevertheless, environmental standards should not be applied in ways that would hinder these efforts.
9. Governments may seek assistance, as appropriate, from relevant regional and international organizations in the formulation and implementation of their domestic energy policies. The international community should support national efforts by promoting capacity-building, technology transfer, investments and other forms of financial resources for developing countries.
10. Governments, continuing to have responsibility to develop and apply energy policies to achieve sustainable development, are invited to consider the following options, as appropriate:
(a) Combining, as appropriate, the increased use of renewable energy sources, more efficient use of energy, greater reliance on advanced energy technologies, including advanced fossil fuel technologies, and the sustainable use of traditional energy resources, which could meet the growing needs for energy services in the longer term to achieve sustainable development;
(b) Integrating energy considerations in socio-economic programmes, especially in policy-making of major energy-consuming sectors, such as the public sector, transport, industry, agriculture, urban planning and construction;
(c) Establishing an appropriate enabling environment conducive to attracting investments and supportive of the objectives of sustainable development and to ensuring public participation;
(d) Developing appropriate energy services, particularly in rural areas, through the application of the most cost-effective, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly technologies, the deployment of specific energy service delivery structures and the development of renewable energy resources, including biomass;
(e) Supporting efforts to improve the functioning of energy markets with respect to both supply and demand, with the aim of achieving greater stability and predictability and to ensure consumer access to energy services;
(f) Establish domestic programmes for energy efficiency, including, as appropriate, by accelerating the deployment of energy efficiency technologies, with the necessary support of the international community;
(g) Supporting increased use of renewable energies both in grid-connected and decentralized systems;
(h) Optimizing the efficient use of fossil fuels through the increased development and use of advanced fossil fuel technologies;
(i) Enhancing international cooperation in order to assist countries, in particular developing countries, in their efforts to achieve energy for sustainable development;
(j) All countries should strive to promote sustainable consumption patterns; developed countries should take the lead in achieving sustainable consumption patterns; developing countries should seek to achieve sustainable consumption patterns in their development process, guaranteeing the provision of basic needs for the poor;
(k) Encouraging public-private partnerships with a view to advancing energy for sustainable development;
(l) Facilitating the dissemination of information on environmentally sound technologies and processes to increase awareness of these options and enhance public participation, as appropriate, in decision-making surrounding the provision of these energy services for sustainable development;
(m) Strengthening the role of major groups, including women, inter alia, through participation in decision-making, as appropriate;
(n) Supporting energy conservation programmes in all economic sectors;
(o) Strengthening existing national and local institutions that develop, implement and operate national programmes on energy for sustainable development;
(p) Supporting research, development and demonstration for the above-mentioned activities towards energy for sustainable development, including on transport systems; and enhancing regional and international cooperation in the research and development in these areas.
C. Key issues
11. Concerning the key issues of energy identified at the first session of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development, the Commission recommends the options and strategies set out below for each key issue. To ensure effective implementation of such key issues, the means of such implementation, namely adequate and predictable new and additional financial resources in accordance with chapter 33 of Agenda 21 and paragraphs 76 to 87 of the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, as well as the transfer of environmentally sound technologies and capacity-building, are fundamental.
1. Accessibility of energy
12. Access to energy is crucial to economic and social development and the eradication of poverty. Improving accessibility of energy implies finding ways and means by which energy services can be delivered reliably, affordably and in an economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound manner.
13. Governments, taking into account their national circumstances, are encouraged to:
(a) Establish or strengthen national and regional arrangements for promoting energy accessibility within the country;
(b) Improve access to modern biomass technologies and fuel wood sources and supplies and commercializing biomass operations, including the use of agricultural residues, where such practices are sustainable;
(c) Support the transition to the use of liquid and gaseous fossil fuels, where considered more environmentally sound, socially acceptable and cost-effective;
(d) Develop locally available energy resources for greater energy diversification, where considered more environmentally sound, socially acceptable and cost-effective, with increasing use of renewable energy resources;
(e) Support electricity services based on grid extension and/or decentralized energy technologies, particularly in isolated areas, as appropriate;
(f) Strengthen national and regional research and development institutions/centres on energy for sustainable development, including renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency, advanced energy technologies, including advanced fossil fuel technologies, and sustainable use of traditional energy resources;
(g) Promote an environment which enables the public sector, the private sector and, as appropriate, energy cooperatives, including through public-private partnerships, to engage in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity at affordable rates and in the transfer of technology;
(h) Develop renewable energy, especially in rural areas, through community-based development methods;
(i) Enhance developing countries? access to environmentally sound and economically viable technologies relating to energy for sustainable development;
(j) Support equal access for women to sustainable and affordable energy technologies through needs assessments, energy planning and policy formulation at the local and national levels.
2. Energy efficiency
14. Energy efficiency can be a win-win solution both for developed and developing countries, but currently energy efficiency has not reached its potential. Barriers to optimizing the energy efficiency potential involve lack of access to technology, capacity-building and financial resources, as well as market related and institutional issues.
15. Governments, taking into account their national circumstances, are encouraged to:
(a) Strengthen public awareness programmes to mobilize all stakeholders;
(b) Promote an enabling environment for encouraging energy service companies for research and investments in energy efficiency;
(c) Provide incentives for energy conservation in all sectors, taking into account domestic priorities;
(d) Develop, as appropriate, at the country and regional level, energy efficiency programmes and policy options;
(e) Strengthen capacity-building, including education and training, ranging from energy planning to technical engineering, to improve the performance of energy and materials use;
(f) Accelerate development and deployment of energy efficiency technologies;
(g) Integrate, as appropriate, energy efficiency considerations into the planning, operation and maintenance of long-lived energy consuming infrastructures, notably transport, urban lay-out, industry, agriculture and tourism;
(h) Increase the efficiency of technologies used in the production and consumption of energy;
(i) Facilitate a movement towards more efficient utilization of energy through equipment manufacturing support programmes, with international cooperation;
(j) Encourage the transfer of energy efficiency technologies, in particular to developing countries, on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed;
(k) Strengthen, as appropriate, existing institutions that develop and operate energy efficiency programmes;
(l) Strengthen, as appropriate, existing institutions that compile and disseminate information on energy efficiency programmes and technologies;
(m) Develop and implement measures that make energy efficiency technologies more affordable.
3. Renewable energy
16. The main challenge lies both for developed and developing countries in the development, utilization and dissemination of renewable energy technologies, such as solar, wind, ocean, wave, geothermal, biomass and hydro power, on a scale wide enough to significantly contribute to energy for sustainable development. Despite some progress in promoting renewable energy applications in recent years, inter alia, through the implementation of the World Solar Programme 1996-2005, numerous constraints and barriers including costs continue to exist.
17. Governments, taking into account their national circumstances, are encouraged to:
(a) Develop and implement appropriate national, regional and international policies and measures to create an enabling environment for the development, utilization and distribution of renewable energy sources;
(b) Develop domestic programmes to increase the contribution of renewable energies to total energy consumption;
(c) Encourage the role of the private sector in the development and utilization of renewable energy technologies, through the provision of appropriate incentives and regulation;
(d) Strengthen research, development, demonstration and institutional capacities in the field of renewable energy utilization, as well as the transfer of environmentally sound and advanced technologies;
(e) Promote the utilization of renewable natural resources, such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydro (including mini-hydro), and ocean (wave, tidal, and thermal energy conversion) to meet part of the energy needs for sustainable development;
(f) Strengthen information networks, compilation and dissemination systems and public awareness programmes on renewable energy sources and technologies;
(g) Develop and use indigenous sources of renewable energy, where appropriate;
(h) Develop and implement measures to make renewable energy technologies more affordable;
(i) Strengthen financial support to developing countries for the promotion of renewable energy.
4. Advanced fossil fuel technologies
18. Given that fossil fuels will continue to play a dominant role in the energy mix in the decades to come, the deployment and use of advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies should be increased. More efforts should go into supporting the further development and dissemination of those technologies.
19. Governments, taking into account national circumstances, are encouraged to:
(a) Develop and apply more efficient fossil-fuel fired power plants, buildings, appliances and transportation, including cleaner coal and oil technologies;
(b) Increase the use of cleaner fossil fuels to improve efficiency in energy production, distribution and use, where appropriate;
(c) Research, develop and transfer technologies for transforming solid fuels to liquid or gaseous fuels;
(d) Enhance research, development, demonstration and transfer of advanced fossil fuel technologies leading to lower emissions;
(e) Promote research and, where suitable, applications of carbon capture and storage technologies;
(f) Promote cooperation with industries in a voluntary programme framework for cleaner fossil fuel technology deployment;
(g) Develop and implement measures to make advanced fossil fuel technologies more accessible and affordable.
5. Nuclear energy technologies
20. Nuclear power currently accounts for 16 per cent of the world?s electricity generation. However, nuclear energy is associated with a number of concerns, in particular regarding nuclear safety, spent fuel, waste management, transboundary consequences and decommissioning. The choice of nuclear energy rests with countries. Some countries have been using nuclear energy technologies safely and see no inordinate concern in using and developing additional technology for properly managing and controlling spent fuel and other nuclear materials, and some of these countries consider that the use of nuclear energy should be increased. From their perspective, nuclear power is a sustainable energy source with both economical and environmental advantages. In their view, the removal of the option of nuclear power would remove an important element of flexibility and diversity in energy supply. For those countries that choose nuclear energy, the challenge lies in ensuring environmentally sound, socially acceptable and cost-effective solutions and in addressing nuclear safety and spent fuel and waste management as well as public concerns on these issues. Many countries seek the promotion of international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Some other countries have decided to phase out nuclear energy from their energy supply mix. Other countries, including several developed countries as well as small island developing States, do not use nuclear energy and do not consider nuclear energy as an appropriate or acceptable source of energy. Many of these countries are of the view that nuclear energy is not compatible with the objectives of sustainable development, and that risks related to safety, waste management and transport and stranded costs remain unsolved. Some are also of the opinion that the use of nuclear energy in general should be phased out as soon as practically possible.
21. Governments, taking into account their national circumstances, are encouraged to:
(a) Support their national efforts, including research, and international cooperation as an effective tool in addressing the issues of nuclear safety and spent fuel and waste management;
(b) Strengthen independent national regulatory agencies and promote international cooperation in nuclear safety;
(c) Promote a high level of nuclear safety;
(d) Improve the transparency of nuclear safety-related decisions, inter alia, through public participation, where appropriate;
(e) Promote public education and participation as well as capacity-building of human resources, in the areas of nuclear energy and waste management;
(f) Further develop technological solutions for long-lived radioactive waste;
(g) Address the safety of their nuclear energy installations, as deemed appropriate, after assessment by national regulatory authorities, including consideration of the option of phasing out and closing, as appropriate, such installations;
(h) Recalling paragraph 8 of the Governing Council of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution GC (44)/RES/17 and taking into account the very serious potential for environment and human health impacts of radioactive wastes, make efforts to examine and further improve measures and internationally agreed regulations regarding safety, while stressing the importance of having effective liability mechanisms in place, relevant to international maritime transportation and other transboundary movement of radioactive material, radioactive waste and spent fuel, including, inter alia, arrangements for prior notification and consultations done in accordance with relevant international instruments.
6. Rural energy
22. To implement the goal accepted by the international community to halve the proportion of people living on less than US$ 1 per day by 2015, access to affordable energy services is a prerequisite. Efforts at finding the most appropriate solution to the energy problems of rural areas are hampered by the enormity of the problem, the limited availability of resources and lack of appropriate technologies, the high investment cost and connection fees and insufficient attention to rural development in general. An effective strategy to address the energy needs of rural populations can be to promote the climbing of the energy ladder. This implies both improving ways of using biomass as well as moving from simple biomass fuels to the most convenient efficient form of energy appropriate to the task at hand, usually liquid or gaseous fuels for cooking and heating and electricity for most other uses.
23. Governments, taking into account their national circumstances, are encouraged to:
(a) Strengthen and, where appropriate, establish policies on energy for rural development, including, as appropriate, regulatory systems to promote access to energy in rural areas;
(b) Develop, where necessary, specific and targeted energy service delivery structures adapted to rural needs;
(c) Promote local energy enterprises as employment opportunities, enhance local private entrepreneurs and develop local dealers to sell/maintain equipment building on local retail networks and relationships;
(d) Take into consideration the health and safety concerns of women and children in rural energy programmes;
(e) Promote research and development of the rural energy situation in support of the achievement of international development priorities, particularly poverty eradication;
(f) Promote a sustainable use of biomass and, as appropriate, other renewable energies through improvement of current patterns of use, such as management of resources, more efficient use of fuelwood and new or improved products and technologies;
(g) Establish financial arrangements to make rural energy services affordable to the poor;
(h) Support local groups and/or non-governmental organizations in the promotion and delivery of newly developed environmentally sound technologies, including solar cooker technology;
(i) Develop and utilize indigenous energy sources and infrastructures for various local uses and promote rural community participation, including local Agenda 21 groups, with the support of the international community, in developing and utilizing renewable energy technologies to meet their daily energy needs to find simple and local solutions;
(j) Promote capacity-building in local societies and remove barriers in the implementation of policies for renewable energy development in rural areas;
(k) Promote efforts to address the disproportionate burdens experienced by women in rural areas, including carrying loads of fuelwood over long distances and suffering adverse health effects from prolonged exposure to open fires.
7. Energy and transport
24. The transport sector is a major energy consuming sector and the sector for which energy consumption is projected to grow at the highest rate. The challenge is to promote an integrated approach to developing transport systems for sustainable development.
25. Governments, taking into account their national circumstances, are encouraged to:
(a) Manage transportation demand;
(b) Implement better transportation practices, including planning, in both urban and rural contexts, particularly towards public transportation systems and rail or water based freight transport;
(c) Increase fuel efficiency for different transportation modes;
(d) Promote the use of cleaner fuels and transport equipment and assist with the implementation of the recommendations of the General Assembly at its nineteenth special session on the progressive phasing out of the use of lead in gasoline, inter alia, by making available information, technical assistance, capacity-building and funding to developing countries, including the time-bound transfer of technology;
(e) Integrate transport policy in other sustainable development policies.
D. Overarching issues
1. Research and development
26. The enhancement of research and development at the national, regional and international levels of advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies, more efficient energy technologies and renewable energy technologies is important for achieving energy for sustainable development for all. Governments are encouraged to develop policies and incentives and to act as a catalyst to foster private sector investment in this field. Increased energy research should also come from public and private investments or through joint public and private partnerships and/or through international and regional cooperation.
27. Lack of local capacity is a major obstacle to the expansion of energy services in the developing world. It is important that institutions, infrastructures and human resources in developing countries be strengthened and that technological leadership in developing countries as well as in countries with economies in transition, with special efforts for least developed countries and small island developing States, be enhanced through international public and private cooperation that supports sustainable development objectives. Developed countries, development banks, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other relevant agencies, including the regional commissions and bilateral development agencies, should focus on capacity-building in development cooperation. A substantially replenished Global Environment Facility (GEF) would, among other things, continue to provide support, within its mandate, for capacity-building and technology transfer to developing countries to advance energy for sustainable development. International financial institutions should, through their lending policies, support capacity-building and technology transfer as well as efforts to identify local needs.
3. Technology transfer
28. In order to promote energy for sustainable development there is a need for favourable access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies, in particular to developing countries, through supportive measures that promote technology cooperation and that should enable the transfer of necessary technological know-how and the building up of economic, technical and managerial capabilities for the efficient use and further development of transferred technology. Technology cooperation involves joint efforts by enterprises and Governments, both suppliers of technology and its recipients. Therefore, such cooperation entails an iterative process, involving government, the private sector and research and development facilities, to ensure the best possible results from transfer of technology. Successful long-term partnerships in technology cooperation necessarily require continuing systematic training and capacity-building at all levels over an extended period of time.
4. Information-sharing and dissemination
29. Information- and knowledge-sharing on technologies and policies facilitate efforts to achieve energy for sustainable development. Relevant information could direct decision makers to suitable policy and energy supply options. Very often, the lack of such information and knowledge precludes countries from adopting new approaches in energy planning and technology applications. Internet-based information could assist such an exchange of information. Developing countries require the assistance of developed countries in the area of information technology.
5. Mobilization of financial resources
30. Financial resources and mechanisms play a key role in the implementation of Agenda 21. In general, the financing for the implementation of Agenda 21 will come from a country?s own public and private sectors. For developing countries, ODA is an important source of external funding and new and additional funding for sustainable development and energy for sustainable development and the implementation of Agenda 21 will be required. Hence all financial commitments of Agenda 21, particularly those contained in its chapter 33 and the provisions with regard to new and additional resources that are both adequate and predictable need to be urgently fulfilled. Renewed efforts are essential to ensure that all sources of funding contribute to economic growth, social development and environmental protection in the context of sustainable development and the implementation of Agenda 21. Many Governments have initiated reforms aimed at improving regulatory frameworks and institutional set-ups in order to attract private sector funding. Specific policies have been introduced to induce the flow of investment capital for energy technology for sustainable development. While more sustainable technologies often have lower operating costs than competing solutions, they sometimes require greater initial investments. Particular attention should therefore be paid to the difficulties of financing these essential infrastructure investments in developing countries. Financing from GEF, within its mandate, could also be considered in this context.
6. Making markets work effectively for sustainable development
31. Policies to reduce market distortions would promote energy systems compatible with sustainable development through the use of improved market signals and by removing market distortions, including restructuring taxation and phasing out of harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts. Such policies should take fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries, with the aim of minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development. Governments are encouraged to improve the functioning of national energy markets in such a way that they support sustainable development, overcome market barriers and improve accessibility, taking fully into account that such policies should be decided by each country, and that its own characteristics and capabilities and different levels of development should be considered, especially as reflected in national sustainable development strategies, where they exist.
7. Multi-stakeholder approach and public participation
32. Energy solutions that are compatible with sustainable development require the participation of all stakeholders and the involvement of the public at large. The capacity of community-based organizations and institutions, including women?s groups, to facilitate participatory approaches to energy for sustainable development should be strengthened, taking into account principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development with full recognition of principles 5, 7 and 11.
E. Regional cooperation
33. The Commission notes with appreciation the efforts made at the regional level and by interest groups to discuss the key issues and formulate regional positions and programmes of action to promote energy for sustainable development. It welcomes the statements that have resulted from these deliberations, recognizing that they provide valuable inputs to the work of the Commission. Moreover, it encourages the Governments in these regional deliberations to actively promote the implementation of the resulting programmes of action. In particular, the Commission recognized the value of regional cooperation in achieving economies of scale in energy services for sustainable development.
34. From these statements, the Commission recommends implementation of the following regional and subregional endeavours that may require subregional, regional, and international support:
(a) Strengthening national and regional energy institutions or arrangements for enhancing regional and international cooperation on energy for sustainable development, in particular to assist developing countries in their domestic efforts to provide modern energy services to all sections of their populations by:
(i) Conducting in depth studies to promote sustainable development in the energy sector in the region, including the social, economic and environmental situation of the region and energy alternatives that support sustainable development;
(ii) Promoting training and exchange of experience and regarding energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced fossil-fuel technologies and lessons learned;
(iii) Strengthening regional networks of centres of excellence for the exchange of information and experience in the research, development and application of energy efficiency technologies, advanced fossil fuel and renewable energy;
(iv) Strengthening and, where appropriate, establishing regional information and dissemination capabilities to provide information to the energy service industry on market opportunities and energy infrastructure and information to consumers on the benefits of energy efficiency measures;
(b) Promoting, at the regional level, rural electrification projects, including, renewable energy technologies, and supporting local efforts to provide energy supplies to their basic infrastructures, as well as integrating energy policies into overall rural development strategies, with emphasis on income-generation, taking into account national circumstances;
(c) Strengthening and facilitating, as appropriate, regional cooperation arrangements for promoting cross-border energy trade, including the interconnection of electricity grids and oil and natural gas pipelines;
(d) Strengthening and, where appropriate, facilitating dialogue forums among regional, national and international producers and consumers of energy; and to that effect, the Commission complements the work of existing international energy forums;
(e) Promoting, where appropriate, cooperation among the concerned countries of the region and with the support of the international organizations to improve development and production of hydro-carbon fields through integrated cost reduction, enhanced operational efficiency, and application of advanced and more environmentally sound technology;
(f) Fostering regional cooperation when undertaking research, development and demonstration of energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced fossil fuel technologies;
(g) Encouraging regional cooperation for capacity-building, including South-South cooperation.
F. International cooperation
35. The Commission recognizes the critical role that international cooperation, including regional cooperation, can play in assisting countries, particularly developing countries, in their efforts to achieve the goals of sustainable development. In particular, international cooperation can be very effective in capacity-building, education, technology transfer, information-sharing, research and development, and the mobilization of resources, including financial resources, taking into account the above-mentioned key issues and energy sources.
36. The Commission recommends, in particular, international cooperation in the following areas:
1. Take concrete measures to maximize existing and to explore ways to increase financial resources and create innovative financing solutions to support energy for sustainable development, including through debt relief and, where possible, debt cancellation, facilitating foreign investment, action to reverse the downward trend in ODA, and strive to fulfil the commitments undertaken to reach the accepted United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNP) as soon as possible, the incorporation of energy for sustainable development considerations in bilateral and multilateral development cooperation programmes and in development cooperation programme activities of the international financial institutions and general lending policies, including through addressing the development of energy policy in national poverty eradication policies, where they exist. In this context, consideration should also be given to how, inter alia, ODA can be used to leverage private funds for the development of energy solutions that are compatible with sustainable development, bearing in mind that for developing countries ODA is a main source of external funding.
2. Continuing the dialogue on issues relating to energy for sustainable development within the World Summit on Sustainable Development process, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 55/199.
3. Promoting international public-private partnership cooperation programmes for promoting affordable, energy efficient and advanced fossil fuel and renewable energy technologies.
4. Promote networking between centres of excellence on energy for sustainable development by linking competent centres on energy technologies for sustainable development that could support and promote efforts at capacity-building and technology transfer activities, as well as serve as information clearing houses.
5. Making available grants and loans to developing countries on favourable terms that would permit sharing the cost of the development of energy infrastructure, including rural and remote energy infrastructure, with relevant international lending institutions and private sector investments.
6. Exploring the scope of the use of existing international mechanisms for financing infrastructure development to identify risks and ensure they are managed on a transparent basis, with an effective equitable partnership between investors and host countries, since developing countries do not have institutional structures that are adequately prepared to deal with the scale of commercial risks associated with major energy investments.
7. Supporting the international endeavours to promote equal access and opportunities for women in relation to energy, including credit facilities and involvement in energy policy decision-making processes.