United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


CSD-14, May 5, afternoon meeting
Mr. Chairman,
This last week we had the opportunity to participate in excellent discussions regarding
the four themes which all relate to energy in the context and perspective of sustainable
development. The Netherlands follows an integral approach in the energy sector, in short:
clean, clever and competitive. This means we create win-win-opportunities from a social,
economic and environmental point of view: combining access to energy, industrial
development and the protection of the environment as well as combating climate change.
Mr. Chairman,
In the last week the contributions of the Netherlands focussed on the following points:
- We see a strong connection between access to energy and reduction of poverty.
Especially women and girls could profit enormously of the provision of energy
services. Access to energy means opportunities for many, to make a living and to
communicate better and more effectively, receive information and education and
have access to better health condition. We also stressed the fact that Dutch
Government aims at connecting 10 million more people in 2015 to energy. When
we ?chop up? the ultimate target of 2 billion people connected to energy services,
every country can make a contribution in accordance to its financial capacity.
Furthermore the Netherlands has emphasized the importance of capacity building,
vocational training and a balanced gender representation in the decision-making
process. We can imagine that for developing countries special international
programmes will be developed on the issue of empowerment for women, aligned
with the development and access to energy services.
- Related to the environment we would like to mention the following good
1. Internalisation of external costs of energy, thus ensuring that prices reflect not
only the costs but also the effects;
2. Priority to energy efficiency, 30 years of experience brought us many lessons;
3. Focus on renewable energy., here also we learned the hard way.
4. De-coupling environmental pressure from the growth of the economy
5. Encourage corporate social responsibility and develop public private partnerships
6. Follow an integral approach to manage the reduction of air pollution drastically.
In relation to access to energy in developing countries, we see many benefits from
the use of renewable energy, not only from an environmental perspective, but also
as a powerful solution for remote and rural areas and cost effectiveness on an
individual level. But overall we suggest following a realistic approach. In short:
the best approach is to keep several options open while supporting access to
energy for developing countries.
- From an economic perspective we strongly feel that energy is the source of
starting productivity, employment en welfare in de veloping countries. We need to
overcome barriers blocking a basic level of economic development and
withholding proper functioning of an energy market. International support should
focus on overcoming these obstacles. This requires the commitment of donor
countries, IFI?s and host countries and where applicable the GEF to ensure the
best available technologies and practices. In this respect we are pleased that the
World Bank works on a framework for clean energy investment. Market-based
instruments will significantly reduce costs and generate investment flows. This
should also cover the need for access to energy in the poorest countries.
Especially for the development of small and medium enterprises, in which women
could play a central role, we will continue to promote microfinance and micro
credits. We will work on an instrument that links these financial means to a
responsible and affordable use of energy.
To conclude, Mr. Chairman, some words on cross cutting issues. Gender has already
been mentioned as a theme that should be taken into account in many energy-related
issues. The same counts for the youth. In the Netherlands, youth, as an interest group, has
been proven to be convincing peer educators that provide other young people with
insights about energy conscious behaviour.
Lastly Mr. Chairman, I like to mention education as a cross cutting theme. Changing
behaviour will be feasible if opportunities are available to learn and understand how we
can adjust our lifestyle. Many examples of individual best practices have been presented
this week. So there is hope that we can really bring together the lessons learned and
comprehend them in an integral policy approach supporting sustainable development.