UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release

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EMBARGO
Not to be released before
Wednesday, 28 May 2008, 8.30 GMT


ENERGY EFFICIENCY CRUCIAL FOR EUROPEAN ENERGY SECURITY
AND CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION

Geneva, 28 May 2008 -- Energy efficiency has emerged as the key policy to address global climate change problems. This has become a priority for three international organizations concerned with energy cooperation in Europe. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Energy Charter, and the International Energy Agency are launching a combined effort with the conference on “International Cooperation on Energy Efficiency: Working Together for a Low-Carbon Economy” being held today at the Palais des Nations.

But while energy efficiency reduces environmental problems, it is also crucial to ensure the energy security of the European region. “I challenge this conference to open a new dialogue on energy efficiency and energy security which can help address global climate change”, said Mr. Marek Belka, Executive Secretary of UNECE.

Mr. Belka stressed that “Enhancing the efficiency of the use of hydrocarbons in the Russian Federation and Central Asia would mitigate the energy security risks in importing countries. It would also improve the state of the economies of exporting countries, as well as their competitiveness. A new producer consumer dialogue on energy efficiency is needed to increase energy exports and reduce carbon emissions. It should lead to specific concrete actions, notably large new energy efficiency investments. Western importing countries have the technology and experience in financing efficiency improvements. Revenues from increased oil and gas exports could repay investments.”

The joint conference “International Cooperation on Energy Efficiency” is being held on 28 May 2008 commencing at 10 a.m. in the Salle du Conseil [Council Chamber] of the Palais des Nations. It is expected to outline future actions during its concluding session.

For further information about the UNECE’s activities on energy efficiency, including the Energy Efficiency 21 Project, please contact:

Mr. Alexandre Chachine
UNECE Sustainable Energy Division
Palais des Nations, Bureau 380
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Phone: + 41 (0) 22 917 2451
Telefax: + 41 (0) 22 917 0038
E-mail: alexandre.chachine@unece.org

Ref: ECE/SED/08/P03