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Free Online Course: Energy for Sustainable Development

Climate Change

The Course is intended to provide deeper knowledge of energy’s relationship to sustainable development and how delivery of clean, affordable energy services, wise management of energy resources, and the leveraging of technological and institutional energy related opportunities can serve as instruments to reach that goal.

Participants will learn of sustainable energy options, available modes of implementation, local resources required, and the policy and institutional conditions required to operationalise such options.

2010 Zayed Future Energy Prize

logoAnnual award which celebrates achievements that reflect innovation, long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability.

  • January, 19th, 2010: Winner of the 2009 Prize will be announced in Abu Dhabi
  • Nominations & Submissions closed on October 16th, 2009
  • Submission guidelines

Energy for Sustainable Development

Energy is central to achieving sustainable development goals. Some two billion people have no access to modern energy services. The challenge lies in finding ways to reconcile this necessity and demand for energy with its impact on the natural resource base in order to ensure that sustainable development goals are realized.

CSD-14 & CSD-15 Focus

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) fourteenth session in 2006 and fifteenth session in 2007 focused on a cluster of thematic issues, which included Energy for Sustainable Development; Industrial Development; Air pollution/ Atmosphere; and Climate Change.

Johannesburg Plan of Implementation Call for Action

The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, addresses energy in the context of sustainable development. Among other things, the JPOI calls for action to:

  • Improve access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services - para. 9(a)
  • Recognize that energy services have positive impacts on poverty eradication and the improvement of standards of living - para. 9 (g)
  • Develop and disseminate alternative energy technologies with the aim of giving a greater share of of the energy mix to renewable energy and, with a sense of urgency, substantially increase the global share of renewable energy sources - para. 20(c)
  • Diversify energy supply by developing advanced, cleaner, more efficient and cost-effective energy technologies - para. 20(e)
  • Combine a range of energy technologies, including advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies, to meet the growing need for energy services - para. 20(d)
  • Accelerate the development, dissemination and deployment of affordable and cleaner energy efficiency and energy conservation technologies - para. 20(i)
  • Take action, where appropriate, to phase out subsidies in this area that inhibit sustainable development - para. 20(p)

CSD-9 Decisions

Energy was one of the major themes of the ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-9), held in 2001. Countries agreed at CSD-9  that stronger emphasis should be placed on the development, implementation, and transfer of cleaner, more efficient technologies and that urgent action is required to further develop and expand the role of alternative energy sources. For CSD-9 decisions on energy click here.

Current Levels of Energy Consumption & Production are not Sustainable

This complex challenge of energy and sustainable development was highlighted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Energy is discussed throughout Agenda 21. Agenda 21 highlights the fact that current levels of energy consumption and production are not sustainable, especially if demand continues to increase and stresses the importance of using energy resources in a way that is consistent with the aims of protecting human health, the atmosphere, and the natural environment.