IEA Recommendations on Energy and Sustainable Development

(Paris) — 28 May 2002

“We are not on a sustainable energy path unless we make considerable changes,” said Robert Priddle, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) as he presented today a new document “Toward Solutions: Sustainable Development in the Energy Sector”. The document and its 25 specific recommendations were endorsed by the IEA Member countries as a contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, where energy is one of the central themes. The Summit will take place from 26 August – 4 September in Johannesburg.

The IEA notes that a projected 57% increase in mainly fossil-fuel based energy demand over the next 20 years will exert enormous pressure on the global environment. Huge investment demands, continued distortions in energy markets, growing problems caused by the insatiable demand for transportation, and barriers to deployment of renewable energy technologies, all point to a need for countries to do more.

In “Toward Solutions: Sustainable Development in the Energy Sector,” the IEA shows how the principles of sustainable development can be applied in the energy sector and looks at eight areas where action is needed:

  • Energy security
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Greater use of renewable energy
  • Making markets function
  • The role of technology and research
  • Increasing access to engy
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Environment, health and safety concerns.

“One critical area appears to be overlooked in the current United Nations discussions in preparation for Johannesburg: energy security”, noted Robert Priddle. In the IEA’s view, there can be no sustainable development without a secure energy supply to underpin essential economic activity and provide services to society. While these recommendations were designed for the IEA Member countries, they also apply globally. The IEA will take its message to negotiators in Bali where the final preparatory meetings for the Johannesburg Summit are in progress.

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