published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
in cooperation with the UNDP Secretariat
Special Report on Selected Side Events at the Fifteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-15)
30 April - 11 May 2007 | United Nations headquarters, New York
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Events convened on Friday, 4 May 2007

Electricity For All: Frameworks for Implementation

Presented by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Partners

Christian Brodhag, Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development, France, introduced the session by noting that 2 billion people worldwide lack modern access to the heating, lighting and power that are necessary for developing wealth and productivity. He asked panelists to provide perspectives on how to finance and maintain electricity access in rural settings, and how to generate income from the energy supplied.

Serge Perez, Right to Energy SOS Future, explained his organization’s mission of ensuring universal access to energy, in particular for achieving the MDGs. He said that major infrastructure projects require investment from institutions such as the World Bank, and that civil society must assist by ensuring good governance at the national level, and communicating local people’s needs to large institutions.

Michel Derdevet and Michel Caubet, of RTE, the French transmission system operator, highlighted the role of large electricity networks, which they said allow optimal transfer of electricity and economies of scale across a region, and promote peace and stability between countries.

Mahama Kappiah, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), outlined the large potential for hydropower and gas production in the ECOWAS region. He outlined ECOWAS’ policy to provide energy access throughout the region via coordinated generation, interconnection and power exchanges between member states, and harmonized power sector legislation and standards.

Caubet then outlined three ECOWAS flagship projects: the West African Gas Pipeline; the West African Power Pool to interconnect the regional electricity market; and a white paper on access to energy services by rural and periurban populations.

Aliou Niang, Senegalese Rural Electrification Agency, reported that his country has a rural electrification rate of just 14%. He outlined a sustainable financing mechanism for rural electrification that facilitates financing from international institutions, plus earnings from local use.

Christian Stoffaёs, e7 Fund, called for breaking the poverty cycle through universal electrification. He praised CSD-15 for its focus on energy, saying that electrification has often been ignored in international discussions on development despite being vital to improving health, education and productivity.

In the discussion, participants noted that doubling Africa’s electricity use would only raise global carbon emissions by 3%. Other speakers discussed a possible gas pipeline from Nigeria to Europe; renewable energy including sustainable biomass energy; and the comparative advantages of decentralized and centralized energy systems.

Mahama Kappiah (left), ECOWAS, and Michel Caubet (right), RTE France, lamented that 20 billion cubic meters of gas are currently flared in Nigeria annually, but announced that the West African Gas Pipeline to supply Benin, Togo and Ghana with Nigerian gas for electricity generation is due to be completed in June 2007.
Christian Brodhag, Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development, France
Christian Stoffaёs, e7 Fund
Aliou Niang, Senegalese Rural Electrification Agency
Michel Hamelin, Agency for Environment and Energy Management, France
Marc Darras, Gaz de France
Contacts:
Christian Brodhag <christian.brodhag@ecologie.gouv.fr>
Serge Perez <serge.perez@wanadoo.fr>
Michel Derdevet <michel.derdevet@rte-france.com>
Michel Caubet <michel.caubet@rte-france.com>
Mahama Kappiah <mkappiah@ecowas.int>
Aliou Niang <aniang@aser.sn>
Christian Stoffaёs <christian.stoffaes@edf.fr>

Access to Clean Cooking Fuel Options: How do we Accelerate?

Presented by Columbia University and UNDP

Kamal Rijal, UNDP, welcomed participants to the event and facilitator Vijay Modi, Columbia University, introduced the panel: Teresa Malyshev, IEA; Eva Rehfuess, WHO; Ganesh Ram Shrestha, Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal; and Mike Enskat, GTZ.

Malyshev discussed the 2006 World Energy Outlook’s chapter on “Energy for Cooking in Developing Countries,” saying that in developing countries, 2.5 billion people rely on biomass, including firewood, to meet energy needs for cooking. While saying it would cost approximately US $1.5 billion dollars per year to provide 1.3 billion people with access to clean cooking fuels by 2015, she stressed that the cost would be small compared to other development spending programs and the impacts on oil demand would be negligible. She underscored the need for increased public awareness about the benefits of clean cooking fuel.

Modi then asked the panel whether national governments recognize the importance of access to cleaner cooking fuel. Shrestha responded that while access to clean cooking fuel such as LPG is important, national policies in Nepal focus on scaling up the improved cooking stove and biogas programmes. Enskat noted that the issue is increasingly acknowledged in Africa today, as well as in China and India through policy programmes, yet he said that the strategies for implementing these policies are not robust. Rehfuess highlighted the need for awareness raising at the government level.

In response to Modi’s question on whether individual countries’ health ministries participate in research on indoor air pollution from cooking and heating with biomass, Rehfuess said that pollution associated with these activities is responsible for approximately 1.6 million deaths per year, primarily in developing countries. She emphasized that it is a difficult issue for the health sector, as doctors and health workers don’t always recognize the links, and noted the need to raise awareness of the issue with health ministers and primary health facilities.

Modi opened the floor to questions, with participants discussing, inter alia: the critical role of information at all levels; the importance of investments in capacity building and training and the role of the public sector to initiate these processes; and the need for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the products and programmes.

Teresa Malyshev, IEA
Vijay Modi, Columbia University
Mike Enskat, GTZ, emphasized that in order for clean cooking programmes to be effective, there needs to be market development at all levels with support from the government, and implementation at the local level.
Eva Rehfuess, WHO, highlighted her wish for CSD-15: for national programmes to address the
issue of access to clean cooking fuels, along with international support to translate small and medium-scale successes into large-scale achievements.
Ganesh Ram Shrestha, Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal
Contacts:
Kamal Rijal <kamal.rijal@undp.org>
Vijay Modi <modi@columbia.edu>
Teresa Malyshev <teresa.malyshev@iea.org>
Eva Rehfuess <rehfuess@who.int>
Ganesh Ram Shrestha <ganesh@infoclub.com.np>
Mike Enskat <mike.enskat@gtz.de>

Exploring the Links Between the Energy Cycle and Water and Sanitation

Presented by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future

Jennifer Peer, Stakeholder Forum, pointed out that water, sanitation and energy require an integrated policy approach, yet the CSD has a thematic cluster approach that can act as a barrier to making these links.

Cecilia Martinsen, Stockholm International Water Institute, called water “the unpredictable link between climate, society and development,” and outlined areas where climate change could affect water supplies and sanitation, and thus human development.

Marc Darras, Gaz de France, made comparisons between energy and water, both of which are needed for agricultural and industrial development and addressing the MDGs. He said that public-private partnerships are often highlighted but the users must also be considered, as financial payback for infrastructure investments depends upon users being able to utilize the energy and water to generate development or income.

Richard Sherman, Stakeholder Forum, discussed the water and sanitation agenda within CSD. He said that preparations for CSD-16’s upcoming review of water and sanitation issues have so far been limited and have considered integrated water management but not sanitation.

Felix Dodds, Stakeholder Forum, introduced his organization’s proposal for a Global Public Policy Network on Water and Sanitation, which aims to: engage major stakeholders in designing a preparatory process for the water and sanitation review at CSD-16; and prepare inputs to the CSD’s upcoming thematic clusters to ensure that linkages are made between water and other sustainable development issues. He asked interested bodies to join the informal network.

Participants discussed, inter alia, monitoring and reviews within the CSD, industrial use of water, and sanitation, water treatment and rural electrification, with one speaker reiterating the need to consider these issues in an integrated, not a sectoral manner.

Cecilia Martinsen, Stockholm International Water Institute, said that overpopulation and unsustainable management make recovery from low rainfall years or extreme climate events increasingly difficult.
Marc Darras, Gaz de France
Jennifer Peer, Stakeholder Forum
Richard Sherman, Stakeholder Forum, noted the
uncertainty surrounding the modalities and substance of CSD-16’s upcoming review of water and sanitation issues, and suggested that delegations at CSD-15 should work to ensure that the review process is meaningful.
Felix Dodds, Stakeholder Forum
Contacts:
Jennifer Peer <jpeer@stakeholderforum.org>
Cecilia Martinsen <cecilia.martinsen@siwi.org>
Marc Darras <marc.darras@gazdefrance.com>
Richard Sherman <richards@iisd.org>
Felix Dodds <fdodds@stakeholderforum.org>

Climate Change in Africa – Priorities for Action

Presented by LEAD International

Trevor Rees, LEAD International, highlighted three African regional civil society consultations that took place in Senegal, Kenya, and South Africa during April 2007, on the responses to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. He described a number of the consultations’ findings, including that: Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change and has low adaptive capability; climate change adaptation is not seen as a pressing development priority; and that human and financial capacity for designing and implementing adaptation is limited in Africa.

Maria Arce Moreira, Practical Action, said that global warming threatens to reverse human progress, making the MDGs unachievable, and therefore emphasized the importance of adaptation, noting that there is no precise information on adaptation costs. She described the difficulty in implementing adaptation stategies due to the differences in government and communities’ definitions of the issue.

Stating that Africa is going to be the region most severely affected by climate change, Kenneth Gondwe, University of Malawi, noted that the health, energy, water, fisheries and forest sectors would be impacted. He highlighted the multiple benefits of appropriate technology transfer through an example of solar energy use in a hospital, and said the international community could help by providing, inter alia, technology and skills transfer.

Robert Gallagher, Bethelsdorp Development Trust, highlighted principles that emerged from the South Africa regional consultations that communities believe are important for addressing climate change, including that climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development are inseparable, and that climate change has a direct bearing on survival and must be integrated into development planning at the community level.

Participants discussed: linkages between adaptation in the North and South; the implications of rephrasing “climate change” as “climate crisis”; the viability of solar energy in Africa; “climate injustice”; and the extent to which indigenous people are suffering from climate change.

Trevor Rees, LEAD International
Maria Arce Moreira, Practical Action, said that adaptation requires immediate action and good development work, and emphasized the need for increased and more coordinated support for community-based adaptation approaches.
Robert Gallagher, Bethelsdorp Development Trust, ended his presentation with a rhetorical question: “don’t we have to return to a bottom-up
approach to face the challenges and opportunities of adapting to climate change?”
Kenneth Gondwe, University of Malawi
Evans Kituyi, University of Nairobi
Contacts:
Trevor Rees <trevor@lead.org>
Maria Arce Moreira <maria.arce@practicalaction.org>
Kenneth Gondwe <kgondwe@poly.ac.mw>
Robert Gallagher <bdt1@telkomsa.net>
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the side (ENBOTS) © <enb@iisd.org> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This issue has been written by Robynne Boyd and Andrew Brooke. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Editor is Chris Spence <chris@iisd.org> and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for the publication of ENBOTS at the Fifteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-15) is provided by the United Nations Development Programme. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from CSD-15 can be found on the Linkages website at http://www.iisd.ca/csd/csd15/enbots/. The ENBOTS Team at CSD-15 can be contacted by e-mail at <andrewb@iisd.org>.

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