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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

European Union

Enhancing energy efficiency to address air pollution and atmospheric problems,
combat climate change, and promote industrial development
· Energy efficiency - together with the increased use of renewable energy sources ? should
be a key component of energy policy. Energy efficiency meets all three goals of energy
policy: security of supply, competitiveness and protection of the environment.
· Following the oil price shocks of the 1970s, many countries introduced mandatory energy
efficiency standards for new buildings to supplement older standards for structural
strength and fire safety.
· OECD countries, for instance, generally began by introducing energy-efficiency
standards for each building element, including windows, walls, roofs, and systems for
space heating, water heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
· The European Commission has recently estimated an EU energy saving potential of 20%
by 2020, taking into account measures already implemented by EU member states and
proposals for a series of additional measures at national or EU-level. In addition, the EU
is considering raising the share of renewable energies to the level of 15% by 2015 and to
raise the proportion of biofuels, considering a target of 8%. In order to access this
potential the important role of the consumer must be emphasised. Education on the
preciousness of energy resources and the responsible use of them should start from an
early childhood.
· We encourage the developed and developing world alike to remain focused on continuing
increasing energy efficiency, with developed countries taking the lead in changing
unsustainable patterns of consumption and production and facilitating technology transfer
and technology related capacity building.
· We need to transform the way we use energy. To do this, we can use sustainable
consumption and production approaches such as encouraging innovation in energy-using
products and using the power of public procurement to pull products through to market.
The Marrakech Process and Task Forces, that currently focus on sustainable lifestyles,
sustainable product policies, co-operation with Africa, sustainable procurment,
sustainable tourism, and sustainable building and construction , will be important in driving
forward this work.
· Climate change is likely to have major negative global environmental, economic and
social implications, and to avoid irreversible impacts of climate change, the EU holds the
view that the global mean surface temperature increase needs to be limited to no more
than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels.
· Adverse effects are already being noted. Much larger reductions in emissions will be
needed if dangerous climate change is to be avoided. We strongly welcome the outcome
of the Montreal Climate Change Conference having initiated important processes to
strengthen and further develop both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto protocol.

· We encourage nations in developed and developing countries alike to built on their own
and other countries? positive lessons in dealing with emerging issues and define
ambitious, but realistic goals in further diminishing CO2 emissions through energy
efficiency and increa sed use of renewable energies in a sustainable manner. In doing so,
we acknowledge the specific responsibility by countries in the developed world to
promote appropriate technology transfer and the means to help establish renewable
energy strategies and interventions.