United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United Kingdom

UK intervention, 3 May 2006
Thematic discussion: enhancing energy efficiency to address air pollution and
atmospheric problems, combat climate change and promote industrial development
· Improving energy efficiency is a unique tool that can simultaneously address
key energy for sustainable development objectives combat climate change
and promote industrial development
· improving business competitiveness and employment
· reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants
· reducing energy demand to improve security of supply.
· The UK has set itself a goal for reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050.
The analysis behind that figure shows that major increases in energy
efficiency are necessary to meet this goal.
· It is important to promote energy efficiency across the economy. No single
policy or measure will realise the full potential for energy savings, as others
have said national strategies need to target different sectors, including:
· transport,
· buildings,
· appliances,
· industry
· Energy efficiency should also be considered throughout the energy supply
chain ? from the efficiency of the generation plant that produces our energy,
to the transmission and distribution of energy to the appliances that consume
that energy in our home. Similarly need also to ensure energy efficiency in
extraction processes to produce fuels efficiently to efficiency of vehicles in
which these fuels are used.
· Promoting energy efficiency across different sectors requires a portfolio of
mechanisms. In the UK a range of approaches have been taken that includes
market-based mechanisms ? most notably the EU emissions trading scheme
along with more regulatory-based approaches such as building or vehicle
· Energy efficiency also has an important role in improving access to energy
services by helping to ensure that the most efficient and effective use is made
of often limited energy capacity in the developing world as well as reducing
capital investment requirements.
· Access to finance for investing in energy efficiency is also key and here the
International Financial Institutions have a key role to play in creating a
supportive investment framework ? as well as ensuring sustainability of
projects that they finance.
· Last year at Gleneagles the G8 recognised the benefits that energy
efficiency can play in tackling climate change, promoting clean energy and
achieving other sustainable development objectives. The G8 also agreed a
Gleneagles Plan of Action which has a strong focus on energy efficiency and
UK intervention, 3 May 2006
the particular need to work with developing countries to enable them to
develop more energy efficient economies.
· There is an enormous amount of work underway at national, EU and
international levels to overcome barriers to energy efficiency and we must
ensure that this expertise is effectively co-ordinated and mobilised in
helping us to meet our JPOI commitments.
· We should recognise the important role of Partnerships such as REEEP,
the Clean Energy Initiative and CLASP in building the capacity for sharing and
disseminating this experience. The work the IEA is doing looking at best
practice across the G8 is also a valuable input to our discussions here.
· Clearly energy efficiency has a major role to play in achieving sustainable
development. The UK believes that a robust international follow-up
mechanism for monitoring progress and mobilising action on energy
efficiency should be a key outcome of this CSD cycle.