|Sustainable Energy News - No. 33 - May 2001 - Energy, Litmus Test for Rio+10? - School Theme (INFORSE, 2001, 20 p.)|
By Gunnar Boye Olesen
and Michael Kvetny,
NGOs have mixed feelings about the outcome of CSD9. Some proposals can support a sustainable development in energy, others could make the situation worse.
It took 9 years from the Rio conference in 1992 until the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) took up a serious debate on energy. At the Rio conference, there was no consensus in favour of including sustainable energy in Agenda 21.
There was certainly not a lot of consensus either at the 9th Session of CSD (CSD9) when energy was on the agenda. As a symptom of this, the term "sustainable energy" was unacceptable to many developing countries. Instead, the text refers to "energy for sustainable development".
During the negotiations at CSD9, INFORSE co-operated with a number of other NGOs in the "NGO Energy & Climate Change Caucus" for CSD, and we were able to find common positions within the Caucus on all major questions. To get the NGO proposals into the official CSD9 document was another matter, and the results are in many ways not satisfactory. In spite of many nice words, there was little consensus among the countries to make a real push for energy efficiency and renewable energy. One of the main disappointments was that the reference to nuclear power stayed in the document, in spite of several countries previously stating that they preferred to see it out.
Energy is also proposed as an issue for next years World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in South Africa, but it is not decided yet if it will be on the agenda. The expectations are high for WSSD, or Rio+10 as it is usually referred to, but given the outcome of CSD9, positive results will not come easily.
Michael Kvetny and Gunnar Boye Olesen represented INFORSE at CSD9 in New York.
On the following pages (4 & 5) we highlight some of the positive and negative outcomes of CSD9.
These include just some of the key recommendations from the CSD9 document. Text in quotation marks (" ") is quoted directly from the document.
To see the full CSD9 document take a look at the official report at http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd9/csd9_2001.htm
See also the NGO Energy and Climate Caucus comments at: http://www.igc.org/csdngo/energy/ene_index.htm.