Policy News, BB200606
Ministers for Environment, Energy and Trade gathered during the UN Commission on Sustainable Development
From 1 to 12 May 2006, ministers for Environment, Energy and Trade from around the world gathered in New York for the 14th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14). The objective of the meeting was to review the progress made by governments in implementing the agreements of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. With ‘Energy for Sustainable Development’ and ‘Climate Change’ being two of the thematic priorities of this and next years’ meetings, the international wind industry called upon decision makers to focus on the promotion of renewable energies.
The energy focus of CSD-14 was a timely one. Against the backdrop of ever rising oil prices, political leaders slowly start to acknowledge that the global energy challenge requires urgent action in three areas: securing the global energy supply, meeting the rising energy demand and tackling the threat of climate change. These issues are now higher on the political agenda than ever before.
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) attended the second week, in which one day was dedicated to discussion on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which had a high-level attendance of over fifty ministers from environment, trade and energy ministries. As the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan observed at the opening of the high-level session, CSD-14 was the first to be chaired by a finance minister. Ministers engaged in dialogue sessions with business leaders, Heads of UN agencies, international financial organizations, and Major Groups (i.e. NGO’s, Women, Farmers, Youth, Local Authorities and Business and Industry etc.), focusing on providing guidance on the priority areas to be taken up at the CSD-15. The conference focused on energy, industrial development and climate change. However the importance of renewable energy sources and new technology were not as highlighted as was initially anticipated and GWEC will bring this to the CSD-14 Secretariats attention. But all the same, the meeting provided the opportunity for ministers to better understand global energy issues and the dramatic advances in modern energy technologies capable of tackling the energy challenge in an efficient and sustainable way. It is now up to the Commission to relay these important recommendations to key actors, including the G8, the World Bank and business leaders. According to Prof. Arthouros Zervos, Chairman of GWEC “t his is the moment for the CSD to grasp this opportunity and make sustainable energy a reality.”