UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release

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A New Energy Efficiency 21 Tool for Climate Change Mitigation

Geneva, 9 June 2006 -- The UNECE Steering Committee of the Energy Efficiency 21 Project (EE21) has approved the new Project Plan for 2006-2009 to promote the formation of a market for energy efficiency and foster financing for energy efficiency investments in countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA).

The next phase of the EE21 Project will: (a) accelerate regional networking between national participating institutions and international partners, contributing to regional cooperation on sustainable energy development; (b) promote municipal level projects to enable local and concrete energy efficiency development and meet treaty obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UNECE; and (c) develop and harmonize regional policies and standards to introduce regulatory and institutional reforms needed for the energy efficiency investments that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This new phase of EE21 is intended to enhance regional cooperation on energy efficiency market formation and investment project development.

Opportunities for banks and commercial companies to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects will be facilitated through the development of a new public private partnership investment fund. UNECE will contribute mainly through provision of technical assistance. The UNEP/Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will structure and prepare the investment fund under the leadership of a Lead Private Investor.

The recent United Nations Foundation (UNF) supported “Energy Efficiency Investment Project Development for Climate Change Mitigation” demonstrated how to identify, develop and finance energy efficiency and renewable energy efficiency investment projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia . Investment projects to reduce carbon emissions have been developed under EE21 since 2000 in Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Ukraine for some US$ 60 million of proposals developed and almost US$ 15 million have been financed with a total estimated CO2 saving of 136,000 tonnes per year that could be compared to eliminating CO2 emissions of 68,000 cars!

On the basis of this experience, the EE21 network of partners have approved the Project Plan 2006-2009 as a practical tool to transfer this initial success in energy efficiency financing investments into a new project on a much larger scale.

For further information please contact:

Gianluca Sambucini
Energy Efficiency 21 (EE21)
Sustainable Energy Division (SED)
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Palais des Nations, Bureau 348
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Telephone: +41 (0)22 917 1175
Telefax: +41 (0)22 917 0178
E-mail: gianluca.sambucini@unece.org
Website: http://www.unece.org/ie/ and http://www.ee-21.net

Ref: ECE/SED/06/P01