United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Science & Technology

Statement by the Science and Technological Community
Energy Session (27 Feb 2007)
Mr. Chairman,
Let me state a few points we would like to emphasize on energy issues on behalf of the S&T
Major Group:
Meeting the world's growing energy demands is such a massive challenge that we believe
essential all energy sources must be on the table for consideration. This of course includes
technologies for energy efficiency and conservation, and for advanced renewables. But it also
includes cleaner, less carbon-intensive fossil fuel energy systems as well as safe and secure
nuclear energy systems.
We also wish to emphasize that there is no simple or uniform solution to this challenge. The
optimal energy mix for any particular country will depend upon the available natural resources
base, population distribution, growth in energy demand, and the status of technical and economic
In the transportation sector, we support the actions that have been recommended for promoting
cleaner fuels and more efficient vehicles. But at the same time, we emphasize the great need for
policies to reduce the overall demand for personal vehicle use, by promoting, for instance, public
transport and urban development in accordance with the everyday life and occupational needs of
their citizens.
And finally, a matter of particular importance for the S&T major group is the critically important
need for strong support for research and development. Many of the fundamental challenges we
are dealing with today will remain unsolved without further technological advances, for instance,
in lowering the costs of solar photovoltaics, in producing biofuels from cellulosic materials, and
in finding feasible mechanisms for hydrogen production, storage and distribution. We likewise
note the importance of supporting social science research, to better understand public attitudes
and behavior related to energy use, and systems-science research and engineering, to fully
appraise the ecological impacts and sustainability limits of different energy technologies.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman
(Jorge Spitalnik, World Federation of Engineering Organizations-WFEO)