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Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development
New York, 6-10 March 2000
 

Highlights from Thursday, 9 March

The Group met in the morning to discuss the intersessional programme of work and provisional agenda for its next session, to be held prior to the ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-9). In the afternoon, the Expert Group considered the second draft of the Co-Chairs’ Summary of the discussion on key issues.

Co-Chair Irene Freudenschuss Reichl, Austria, with Portugal, who is speaking for the European Union


  The draft Co-Chairs Summary Co-Chair Salamat introduced the revised draft summary and called for the identification of points that may be missing, reminding delegates not to undertake a drafting exercise. The EU, with Saudi Arabia, requested more time to consider the document. Noting that the meeting had already been delayed, the Co-Chair proposed continuing with discussions to enable delegates to take account of others’ input. The Co-Chair reminded delegates that the document is not a negotiating text. The meeting was adjourned at 4:45 pm in response to the EU’s point of order in which he reminded the Co-Chairs that requests for adjournments made by groups of countries are usually respected. He said that in the absence of a group position, EU member countries would be taking the floor in their individual capacity. A G-77/China proposal to adjourn was welcomed by the EU. The Expert Group resumed discussion at 5:55 PM to exchange views on the Draft Co-Chairs’ Summary.
 

 

Portugal, representing the EU, speaks to Co-Chairs Salamat and Freudenschuss-Reich (left) and Nigeria. The EU noted the purpose of the CO-Chairs’ Draft is to reflect the results of the discussion, including points upon which delegates could not agree. He called on the CO-Chairs to consider the EU’s background paper, noting in particular the issues of market reform, liberalization, and internalization of externalities.
Nigeria, speaking for the G-77/China, expressed concern with the EU's proposed additions to the text (see above). Noting the role of existing energy systems in promoting economic development, the he disputed the statement that “current energy systems do not support the goals of sustainable development.”

 The United Kingdom proposed to reinsert reference to enhanced transparency and voiced concerns about the categorical tone of the second CO-Chairs draft Summary. He preferred the earlier draft in which reference was made to the “current unsustainable pattern of production and use of energy.”

Angela Churie, ENB writer, speaks with Brazil

Brazil  expressed concern with the EU’s imposition of its own political agenda and proposed refraining from heavily politicized debates that block discussion, calling for a return to the positive tone of the morning.


On renewable energy, Saudi Arabia asked for the deletion of a paragraph on investment initiatives for renewable energy technologies, describing them as subsidies. On Advanced Fossil and Nuclear Fuel Technologies, he questioned further spending on nuclear technology, in the light of its drawbacks.On energy and transportation, he suggested deleting reference to “negative environmental and social impacts of transportation.”

Regarding energy efficiency, Egypt emphasized the concept of "energy for sustainable development” rather than “sustainable energy.” He was surprised that the document did not refer to “common but differentiated responsibilities.”
Canada supported nuclear technology as an option for sustainable development. The US drew attention to reference to the role of nuclear energy for a sustainable energy future in a CENRD ReportItaly, supported by Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands, expressed concern at consideration of nuclear power as a means to achieve sustainable development.
Peter Doran, ENB writer, speaks with Martin Diskin, Ireland, and Daniel Weiner, Switzerland

G-77/China members discuss the revised CO-Chairs text 


Programme of work for the intersessional period

Sweden encouraged countries and international organizations to facilitate stakeholder dialogues, especially with LDCs. Supporting the regional perspective, he said these could contribute directly to preparations by the Expert Group and provide a bridge for cooperation among regional stakeholders.

Austria invited delegates to visit and contribute to the web-site www.sustainable-energy.org, which is to become a comprehensive online clearinghouse. He also announced the launch of a Global Forum on Sustainable Energy. The Forum will create a multi-stakeholder process to influence institutions and act as a platform for public-private dialogue on sustainable energy. He noted a workshop on energy efficiency in transport to be held in May, and co-hosted with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). 

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) described an inter-parliamentary project in partnership with the EU, which examines regulation of the energy sector. He noted a regional project with Germany on energy policies for sustainable development, involving national and sub-regional studies.
The German delegation
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