|Sustainable Energy News - No. 20 February 1998 (INFORSE, 1998, 20 p.)|
At the INFORSE Coordinators' Meeting in Dakar, Senegal, January 26-30, an overall Action Plan for the coming three years was elaborated. It makes a clear distinction between activities geared towards international policy and those addressing goals of increased cooperation among INFORSE members, particularly South - South cooperation.
Influence the Global Agenda for Sustainable Energy
Sustainable Energy in the Rio Process
A major focus for INFORSE activities will be the preparations for the UN Commission for Sustainable Development, session on energy (CSD 9) in 2001. This will be the major UN event on energy in the next few years. It is part of the Rio process, linking environment and development with energy questions.
To be involved, INFORSE will follow the official negotiations and set up a task force to prepare input from the Network.
The political strategy upon which it is based, will also be updated as part of the involvement in the CSD 9 preparations.
Climate and Desertification Negotiations
Several INFORSE organisations are involved in negotiations following the climate convention and the convention on desertification. These negotiations have clear links to sustainable energy, and INFORSE should be involved in support of the members involved. For the Desertification Convention, the activities will focus on the Conference of the Parties (countries) in Dakar in November, 1998. In general, INFORSE members are asked to inform the Network about their participation in the negotiations, to facilitate joint INFORSE activities "on the spot".
Climate and Desertification Negotiations
A classical example of successful South - South cooperation is the development of efficient charcoal stoves in Africa, where the "Thai Bucket Stove" was used as inspiration for the Kenya Ceramic Jiko (picture) that is disseminated by the millions in East Africa, and was used as the basis for similar stoves in West Africa.
Information and Awareness Activities
The basic news channels of the Network, i.e. this newsletter and the INFORSE website will be improved, and new channels of communication will be added. Plans include an email list and, if funds can be made available, a French edition of Sustainable Energy News with special focus on West African problems. A new task force will assist the secretariat giving special attention to the internet activities.
The regional coordinators will only meet in person every second year, and will meet virtually via email conferences on alternate years.
South - South - North Cooperation
The other major INFORSE activity will be to foster increased South - South North cooperation among its members. The focus will be on using experience gained in one Southern country to support the development in other countries/ regions, and to supplement with experience from the North. It is the intention to develop projects that demonstrate alternative models for sustainable energy development. A small South South - North Cooperation Fund will be formed to support and facilitate such cooperation, primarily preparation of specific cooperative projects. Current ideas are:
Exchange of biogas experience, starting with an international biogas conference in India in late '98 or early '99, followed by bilateral cooperation projects.
· Cooperation on small hydro-power, e.g. with members in India and Nepal.
· Renewable-energy island projects, starting with the ongoing mapping of initiatives done by Forum for Energy & Development, Denmark.
· Urban household energy.
· Production of efficient stoves.
· Palm oil for electricity generation.
· An internet-based education package.
The regional activities will continue to be an important part of the Network activities, and need not be limited to the above-mentioned global activities. With the new concept of national focal points of INFORSE, increased national activities are expected in countries with more members.
All INFORSE members will receive a copy of the full INFORSE action plan.
Targeting International Policy
The 8 INFORSE members represented at the Climate Negotiations in Kyoto took the opportunity to make an INFORSE statement and to hold a press meeting at December 8, '97. They pointed at the large potential to combine CO2 emission reductions with creations of new jobs. They also urged industrialised countries' leaders to accept significant reductions in CO2 emissions in the climate negotiations and to take the lead in sustainable energy development by implementing efficient and renewable energy technologies on a large scale.
Many other NGOs and - networks also called for CO2 reductions at the climate ne gotiations in Kyoto
In a recent paper, INFORSE-Europe published an overview of EU development assistance that can be used for sustainable-energy projects. The paper, "EU Activities for Sustainable Energy in Development," gives a short overview of the 4-5 bill. ECU that the EU spends annually on development assistance, mainly as grants. Although the current fraction of these grants that is used for sustainable energy is small, the potential exists for a large increase in this amount. Large funds are available for NGO projects, where the NGOs find matching funds within the EU countries.