The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) provides a global centre for data on demographic, energy, environment, industry, international trade, national accounts and social statistics gathered from national, regional and international sources; promotes international standards of methods, classifications and definitions used by national agencies; assists Member States to improve their statistical services; coordinates international statistical programs and activities entrusted by the UN Statistical Commission and the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities; provides input and secretarial support to the UN Statistical Commission and its Working Groups; helps to implement Agenda 21, promotes modern surveying and mapping techniques. UNSD data are available through UNData at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/UNdata/default.htm.
UNSD began the regular collection of country energy statistics in 1950, and in 1952 the first international time series were published under the title ‘World Energy Supplies in Selected Years, 1929 – 1950’. Currently, UNSD collects energy statistics annually from more than 190 countries, excluding the countries that are covered by the joint energy statistics questionnaire of OECD/IEA, ECE and EUROSTAT. The Energy Statistics Database provides significant input to the UN Division for Sustainable Development, the UNDP Human Development Report and regional publications compiled by the United Nations regional commissions. It also supplies Oak Ridge Lab with energy data for their CO2 estimates. UNSD makes continuous effort to facilitate the completion of the annual energy statistics questionnaire.
Targeted workshops are organized in those regions where energy statistics availability is limited. These seminars and workshops assist statisticians and energy specialists in developing and improving their knowledge of energy statistics and increase the ability of countries to provide annual and monthly energy data for their governments, policy and decision makers, as well as for international organizations, including UNSD. UNSD has traditionally been involved in developing concepts and methods in the domain of energy statistics to ensure international comparability of energy data, and with the help of other international organizations active in the area, it plans to revise a number of key methodological publications in the next few years. International cooperation has always been important to UNSD, and it is an active participant in a number of international initiatives, such as the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) and the Oslo Group on Energy Statistics, the latter a forum where countries can discuss methodological issues, learn from good practices, contribute to the methodological development of energy statistics and work on harmonization of energy statistics produced at the international level. The flagship publications are: the Energy Statistics Yearbook and the Energy Balances and Electricity Profiles.