United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: NGOs

NGO Perspective on Energy Efficiency
(statement on behalf of NGOs by Gunnar Boye Olesen, INFORSE, at CSD 14 thematic discussion
2/5 15-18.)
From the NGOs we would like to stress the large potentials of energy efficiency. In many fields, it
is possible to increase energy efficiency by a factor of 4. It is possible to build houses, construct
numerous electrical appliances as well vehicles that only use only 25% of the energy that is used
today. This is the real potential of energy efficiency.
The costs associated with increasing energy efficiency can be very low when it is introduced when
equipment is replaced. This means that for electrical appliances and vehicles with a fast turnover, it
is possible to introduce energy efficiency quickly and with minimal costs. For houses that are
seldom replaced, introduction takes longer; however many energy efficiency improvements are
available and cost-effective.
How do we make the energy efficiency happen? We have already have heard many good examples
from panellist and speakers. We should keep these good examples in mind.
From the NGOs we would like to stress the involvement of the consumers. Consumers are not
experts in energy efficiency, and they should not be expected to be so. Consumers need clear and
simple signals regarding the energy consumption of our purchases. As pointed out by previous
speakers, informing and guiding consumers by labelling and standards are key.
It is essential that labelling and standards are introduced in complement with technological
development. Regulation should require that labels are introduced with each new technology. There
must not be a gap between the availability of new technologies and consumer information; labels
must clearly indicate the energy consumption of each technolo gy. Only then can the real potential
of energy efficiency be harnessed.