UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release

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The five United Nations regional commissions cooperate on energy efficiency

Geneva, 5 June 2009 --

Windmills

On 4 June 2009, representatives from the five United Nations regional commissions, the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), Economic and Social Commission for East Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), gathered in Geneva for the first meeting of the Global Energy Efficiency 21 (GEE21) project.

The aim of the project, officially launched in Poznań, Poland, on 10 December 2008, is to share the acquired expertise of UNECE’s Energy Efficiency 21 Project (EE21) which promotes the formation of an energy efficiency market in Eastern Europe so that cost-effective investments can provide a self-financing method of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

The efforts of UNECE in the framework of EE21 notably saw the creation in 2007 of a €354 million mezzanine fund. More than 70% of this fund has already been invested to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy investment projects in the European Union. A new investment fund is to be created to finance projects aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and generating carbon credits or tradable certificates in 12 countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South-Eastern Europe.

Energy efficiency is widely regarded as the only self-financing method to fight climate change and it accounts for 54% of the abatement effort projected by 2030 by the International Energy Agency in its "BLUE Scenario" of the "Energy Technology Perspective 2008". However, little progress has hitherto been achieved. GEE21 aims at fostering energy efficiency globally, promoting technology transfer and acquisition, through a more systematic exchange of experience on capacity building, policy reforms and investment project financing in the various regions of the world through the respective United Nations regional commissions.

In the months to come, the work of the regional commissions under GEE21 will concentrate on assessing how they may effectively respond to the transfer, adoption and local adaptation of activities such as those carried out by UNECE in energy efficiency investments.

For more information, please contact:

UNECE - Information Service
Palais des Nations
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44
Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05
E-mail: info.ece@unece.org
Website: http://www.unece.org

Ref: ECE/SED/09/P03