United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Science & Technology

Prof. Nebojsa Nakicenovic
Vienna Univeristy of Technology and International Institutue for Applied Systems
Analysis (IIASA)
Statement on behalf of the scientific and technological communities
Thank you Mr Chair,
I would like to address the issue of integrated approaches and the role of scientific and
technological communities
Let me start by observing that two billion people are without access to affordable and
clean energy services and as many are without a reliable access, yet, access is a key to
achieving all of the MDGs
Growing energy services are needed also after MDGs have been achieved
Energy security and reliability is yet another concern.
Deep emissions reductions are required for protecting human health, for avoiding
transboundary air pollution and climate change.
The challenge is to address all of these issues simultaneously and in an integrative
manner ? this can be met through multiple benefits from deployment and diffusion of
advanced technologies, including efficiency improvement especially at end use, modern
renewables and decarbonization of fossil energy sources.
Strategies for enabling widespread diffusion of advanced energy technologies need to
encompass the whole ?innovation chain?, from basic research to early deployment and
development of niche markets.
Scientific research and technological innovation are an essential foundation for such
developments, including a more integrative, interdisciplinary approaches to overcome
barriers that exist among the natural, social, engineering and health sciences.
The gap in science and technology capacity between the developed and most of DCs is
still widening and is a major barrier to development. For example, developed countries
employ per capita 12 time more scientists and engineers in RD&D. I would also like to
amplify the observation of Austria that public RD&D funding has been declining during
the last two decades even in the OECD countries.
Yet, scientific and technical skills and infrastructure are required to develop, adapt and
produce the technologies specific to the local needs; to introduce technologies into the
market; and provide ongoing maintenance.
To achieve these goals, capacity-building at all levels must be given the highest priority.
Given the highly complex and rapid nature of technological change, it is important that
decision makers at all levels have timely access to accurate scientific and technological
information and knowledge.
Hence there is a need for energy review and assessment reports, such as those by the
World Energy Council, the International Energy Agency, IPCC, InterAcademy Council
and ICSU.
Mr Chair:
It is my view, that there is also a need for a broader and comprehensive Global Energy
Assessment to better understand transitions Towards more Sustainable Futures
The science and technology community can make a major contribution toward these
transitions - this will require enhanced RD&D funding, capacity building and
international cooperation.
Thank you!