United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


The Permanent Mission of Iceland
to the United Nations
Statement by
Ambassador Gunnar Pálsson
Director, Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
at the
Fourteenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable
Meeting the growing need for energy services through increased use of
renewable energy, greater reliance on advanced energy technologies,
including advanced and fossil fuel technologies
New York, 3 May 2006
The Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations
800 Third Ave. 36th fl. - Tel 212-593-2700. - Fax 212-593-6269
We all know that when it comes to meeting the foreseeable increase in world energy
demand there is no silver bullet. Instead, we will most likely have to make do with a
diversified mix of solutions, including both fossil fuels and renewables, combined in a
flexible way to achieve maximum efficiency.
The precise mix will, of course, vary from country to country. In my own country,
basically all electricity and space heating is derived from clean renewable energy resources,
hydro- and geothermal, constituting three quarters of the country´s energy use. Steps are being
taken to increase the utilization of sustainable energy resources even further, inter alia through
the use of new and foreward- looking technologies. Hydrogen technology is one option we are
seriously pursuing with partners on both sides of the Atlantic for using local renewable energy
resources to produce a pollution free energy carrier for vehicles and ships.
For many years, it has also been the policy of my government to increase the use of
renewable energy resources by offering Iceland to other countries as a site for power intensive
industries, thus contributing to the reduction of global greenhouse emissions and displacing
pollution that might otherwise occur elsewhere.
In the future, we will need a pragmatic approach in trying to meet growing world
demand for energy services. Different strokes will work for different people. At the same
time, Iceland is of the view that the most effective way to advance the transition to a global
energy system for sustainable development would be through substantially expanding the
share of renewable energy in world energy demand.
Iceland stands ready to contribute to that transition as best we can.