This sub-programme works to promote a sustainable energy development strategy for the region, with the following objectives:
- sustained access to high quality energy services for all individuals in the ECE region;
- security of energy supplies in the short-, medium- and long-term;
- facilitate a transition to a more sustainable energy future and introduce renewable energy sources to reduce health and environmental impacts resulting from the production, transport and use of energy;
- well-balanced energy network systems across the whole of the ECE tailored to optimise operating efficiencies and overall regional cooperation;
- sustained improvements in energy efficiency, in production and use, particularly in countries with economies in transition; and
- in the context of post-EU enlargement, the integration of energy restructuring, legal, regulatory and energy pricing reforms, as well as of the social dimension into energy policy making.
The sub-programme also addresses inter-sectoral issues, in particular in the field of energy and environment. The sub-programme is designed to take account of the goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and the proposals emanating from the process on Strengthening the Organization, initiated by the Secretary General in 2002. The sustainable energy work programme has five major components centred on promoting convergence in the overall legal, regulatory and policy framework, including the development of classification systems and guidelines; promoting energy efficiency and conservation, notably in economies in transition; encouraging the greater use of natural gas as a "transitional" fuel to bridge the gap until "new" environmentally benign energy sources are developed and commercialised; greening the coal-to-energy chain; and addressing issues related to electric power network system interconnections.