Comments sought on international energy overview

A large-scale report on global energy options for a sustainable future is in draft stage, with feedback and corrections urgently requested.


World Energy Assessment (WEA) is a joint effort by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the World Energy Council (WEC).

WEA is an attempt to assess current global energy use and distribution and to explore options for the future. Sustainability is a primary focus of WEA and the consequences of potential energy policies, are described.

Comments from all types of energy stakeholders are requested by 20 November, although the deadline can be extended to 20 January 2000 by request. Comments on individual chapters, instead of the whole document, are also acceptable (see below)

“Inequities of energy supply are unsustainable for humanitarian, political and environmental reasons. The World Energy Assessment will examine these concerns and explore the kinds of actions and policies to resolve them,” said José Goldemberg, chair of WEA’s publication and consultation processes.

Second drafts of WEA are published online. The contents are as follows:

  • Chapter 1 – the relationship between energy & economic growth
  • Chapter 2 – stresses the challenge of finding ways to meet the energy needs of nearly one third of the world’s population who are currently limited by inadequate access to energy
  • Chapter 3 – effects & limitations of current energy systems and trends on the environment
  • Chapter 4 – how energy supply and demand affect security
  • Chapter 5 – potential of known energy fossil fuel and renewable resources to meet projected demand
  • Chapter 6 – potential for energy end-use efficiency to offset demand through the application of known technologies
  • Chapter 7 – potential of renewable energy resources & technologies to meet demand
  • Chapter 8 – potential of advanced energy technologies to improve safety and environmental soundness of nuclear and fossil fuel power generation
  • Chapter 9 – evaluation of three energy scenarios (one based on extrapolation of current trends and two based on more sustainable patterns)
  • Chapter 10 – role of rural energy
  • Chapter 11 – how policy could realise sustainable energy patterns, will analysis of past successes and failures and barriers to change.

WEA will be published in final form by mid-2000, and will be distributed widely prior to the ninth meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development in April 2001.

The co-ordinators of WEA acknowledge that debates surrounding global energy policy cannot be contained within one document, and several consultations are planned or ongoing. UNDP is organising the public sector consultations, while WEC is expected to operate the private sector consultation. However, a WEC spokesperson told edie that a the private sector discussions have not yet been scheduled and WEC’s official role has not yet been formally agreed with UNDP. A meeting between the two organisations is imminent.

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