With energy security a growing issue, the United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Resources Terminology (UNFC) may improve global communications regarding remaining quantities of non-renewable fossil energy and mineral resources. The UNFC of 2004, with its accompanying United Nations ECOSOC Resolution 2004/233 recommending worldwide application, has recently been simplified in order to facilitate global use. This new draft version – UNFC-2008 – is now available for public comment.
Establishing a complete picture of the current and future energy supply base is necessary for effective resources management. Accurate and consistent estimates of fossil energy and mineral reserves and resources are the foundation for such assessments. A number of different standards have evolved over time in response to local needs, but they are by their very nature not built to serve all the needs that arise in a globalized economy. As a result, the interest in developing common and universally applicable standards for estimating and reporting energy and mineral reserves and resources continues to grow. The United Nations, through the secretariat of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and its Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Harmonization of Fossil Energy and Mineral Resources Terminology, has responded to this need through the development of the UNFC.
The following four elements are essential in providing security of supply in the form of a high recovery from the geologic endowment: (i) long sighted international energy studies and resulting policies; (ii) government resources management guided by these studies and policies – fiscal frameworks and environmental protection form an integral part of this; (iii) business process management ensuring that technology, management and capital are used effectively within the framework conditions set by host countries and global markets; and (iv) improved financial reporting facilitating appropriate capital allocation in a competitive international capital market and minimizing the cost of capital.
The draft revised UNFC-2008 applies to fossil energy and mineral resources located in the subsoil. It serves the needs for classification at a global level (for energy and mineral supply studies), for Governments (resources management and policy formulation), for industry (business process management) and for financial reporting.
The UNFC Revision Task Force of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts has now finalized the text of the draft revised UNFC-2008 and the accompanying Explanatory Note. Both documents are available for public comment on the UNECE website at: http://www.unece.org/energy/unfc/Welcome.html.
Comments are invited from all relevant constituencies – the deadline for submission of feedback is 6 February 2009. All comments received will be made publicly available on the UNECE website.
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