Participants at the 24th session of the Committee on Sustainable Energy (CSE24) of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) discussed various pathways to sustainable energy, considered different conceptions of what "sustainable energy" is, and explored the challenges and opportunities of accelerating a transition in the UNECE region's energy system.
The meeting featured a high-level segment that examined these issues in depth.
20 November 2015: Participants at the 24th session of the Committee on Sustainable Energy (CSE24) of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) discussed various pathways to sustainable energy, considered different conceptions of what “sustainable energy” is, and explored the challenges and opportunities of accelerating a transition in the UNECE region’s energy system. The meeting featured a high-level segment that examined these issues in depth.
CSE24 highlighted that sustainable energy is an important part of the foundation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), underscoring that a sustainable energy system could play a major role in addressing climate change, natural resource depletion, unemployment, energy insecurity, social intolerance, public health problems and lack of energy access.
Discussions at the meeting revealed that varying notions of what a pathway toward a future sustainable energy system would look like or how to embark on such a pathway are resulting in diverse national and regional energy strategies, approaches and outcomes. The meeting participants took the opportunity to ponder what sustainable energy means for the UNECE region and the role fossil fuels should play.
During the high-level segment, on 19 November 2015, Jason Channell, Managing Director, Citi Research, presented on ‘Energy Darwinism: The Evolution of the Energy Industry’ and then moderated two panel dialogues on ‘Pathways to Sustainable Energy’ and ‘Implementation and Indicators for Success.’ Panelists presented examples of national energy policies and considered national pledges being made in the context of the intergovernmental sustainable development and climate change agendas.
The Committee also heard reports from six subsidiary bodies, the Groups of Experts on: Gas; Resource Classification; Cleaner Electricity Production from Fossil Fuels; Coal Mine Methane; Renewable Energy; and Energy Efficiency, holding panel discussions in conjunction with the reports to consider the implementation of the 2014-2015 work plan, as well as the 2016-2017 work plan. In addition, the Renewable Energy panel also focused on key messages and progress on the UNECE Renewable Energy Status Report and outreach in capitals, and the Energy Efficiency panel discussion considered best practices for energy efficiency, successful national initiatives and energy efficiency standards in housing.
On the way forward, CSE24 endorsed the 2016-2017 programme of work, with requested changes, for the UNECE subprogramme on sustainable energy and endorsed its 2018-2019 strategic framework. The meeting was held 18-20 November 2015. Representatives of UNECE member States, several non-UNECE countries, the EU, UN agencies and programmes, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations attended. [IISD RS Sources] [CSE24 Meeting Webpage and Documents]