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About Energy Efficiency

The Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency (GEEE) was established to carry out concrete, results-oriented activities that, in line with the "Sustainable Energy for All" (SE4All) initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, help significantly improve energy efficiency in the region, thus contributing to climate change mitigation efforts; and strengthen regional cooperation in energy efficiency, with a view to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Group of Experts focuses on regulatory and policy dialogue addressing financial, technical and policy barriers to improve energy efficiency and on sharing experience and best practices in the field of energy efficiency in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) region, including on strengthening institutional capacity in energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


 Energy Efficiency Investment Project Development for Climate Change Mitigation
With the support of the United Nations Foundation and co-financing partners, the Energy Efficiency Investments for Climate Change Mitigation project has demonstrated that it is possible to identify, develop and finance energy efficiency and renewable energy investment projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Eastern Europe and the CIS. This is an important step for energy efficiency market formation in economies in transition and essential for further progress. The final report describes the results of the five-year project including some US$ 60 million of energy efficiency investment project proposals. The World Bank and other investors have approved financing for eighteen investment projects in Belarus, Bulgaria, Russian Federation and Ukraine for a total of US$ 14.9 million. These investments would reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 136,000 tonnes per year. In comparison, this is equivalent to the annual environmental benefits of:

  • Eliminating the CO2 emissions of 68,000 cars or;
  • Offsetting the use of 610 railroad cars of coal or;
  • Planting 15,000 hectares of forest.

Biomass Energy for Heating and Hot Water Supply in Belarus
The project addressed the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Belarus by increasing the capacity of the government to support biomass energy projects and the capacity of customers to finance and implement them. This project focused on strengthening institutional capacity to support biomass energy projects; establishing a track record for investments in sustainable biomass energy projects, including both fuel supply and demand; developing straightforward financial “starter” mechanisms in a challenging investment climate that will allow continued financing for biomass energy projects; and overcoming negative perceptions of biomass energy and provide public and private investors with much-needed market information.

 Green Labels Purchase – making a greener procurement with energy labels

This sub-regional project included Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia. The objective of the project was to increase the use of energy labels in the procurement process in public authorities, the tertiary sector and administrations of industry and SMEs. The project aimed to achieve the raising of awareness and knowledge concerning energy labels as a simplifying instrument for “green” procurement in public and private departments; identification of main barriers against the implementation of energy related “greener” procurement and target specific actions to overcome them; developing and disseminating a set of standardized tools and a harmonized procedure to support a wider distribution of labelled products for “greener” procurement procedures; involving a selected group of public and private stakeholders in the development of a significant number of “greener” procurement pilot projects, based on labelled products and a standardized procedure to be used as the first step for the introduction of a comprehensive green procurement in Europe.

 Development of Coal Mine Methane Projects in Central and Eastern Europe and CIS

This sub-regional project included Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation and Ukraine. The goal of this project was to facilitate financing of 3-6 coal mine methane projects in the CEE/CIS region during the life of the project, and to raise the awareness of the benefits that coal mine methane has in economic, social and environmental terms. Methane is a greenhouse gas with a radiant forcing 23 times greater than that of carbon dioxide emissions, and coal mining accounts for ten per cent of the total human-related methane emissions globally. This project sought to encourage the transfer and deployment of proven and experimental technologies to the areas within the CIS/CEE that have significant coal mine methane emissions.  In the past, a major barrier to further implementation has been the inability of CMM project sponsors to secure adequate capital to finance such projects.  Therefore, this project focused on addressing this barrier through preparation and presentation of bankable project documents for three to six coal mine methane projects;  dissemination of lessons learned to project sponsors through workshops and a dedicated website; and development of a financing “roadmap” at the conclusion of the project to assist project developers in the long-term.