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PANEL ON ENERGY, TRANSPORTATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Delegates participated in a panel on transportation, following a presentation of the Report of the Ad Hoc Group on Sectoral Issues. Svante Bodin (Sweden) summarized the Report of the Ad Hoc Intersessional Working Group on Sectoral Issues (E/CN.17/1996/6) on chapters 9 (atmosphere) and 17(oceans) of Agenda 21. Consensus was reached on a number of recommendations, but further discussion will be required on fisheries, global governance and institutional follow-up.

Edward Saliah, Minister for Transport and Communications (Ghana), highlighted recent improvements to Ghana’s energy and transportation policies, particularly those expanding private sector participation, encouraging competitiveness and promoting environmentally- friendly measures. Ghana also concentrates on solar technology pilot projects, land-use planning, railway policy, road-user charges and non-motorized transportation. He described efforts to open the telecommunications market to private sector participation.

B.W. Ang, National University (Singapore), emphasized the vehicle quota and road pricing systems used in Singapore. The vehicle quota system sets a fixed number for seven categories of vehicles. Potential vehicle owners must successfully bid for a certificate of entitlement prior to purchase. The road pricing system designates restricted zones on which, during certain time periods each day, cars must have a special license.

Douglas Durante, Executive Director of Clean Fuels Development Coalition (USA), described the utility of biomass-derived fuels such as ethanol and methanol, as gasoline additives for reducing airborne pollutants. He underlined the difficulty of replacing petroleum as a motor vehicle fuel, pointing out that, in the US, ethanol has captured only 1.5-2% of the market, even with subsidies.

Paolo Scolari, Vice President, Environment and Industrial Policies, FIAT (Italy), discussed trends and technology related to reductions in car fuel consumption and emissions. He suggested that countries with expanding levels of motorization should use strict legislation from the beginning and stated that direct injection diesel and gasoline engines can significantly reduce fuel consumption.

Antonio Dias Leite, Professor of Economics and former Minister of Energy and Mines of Brazil, highlighted the “contradictions” of sustainable energy development in Brazil. He stated that air quality is very good in most of Brazil, pointing out that it is not yet cost- effective to invest in expensive air pollution mitigation technologies.

David McDonald, Director of Partnership Africa/Canada, described a recent conference held in Vancouver on sustainable transportation, highlighting nine principles: access; equity; individual and community responsibility; health and safety; education and public participation; integrated planning; land and resource use; pollution prevention; and economic well-being.

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