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CSD 9 preparation on Energy and Sustainable Development, Second Session
Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development
Second session
New York, 26 February – 2 Marts 2001
Report by
Michael Kvetny, INFORSE
Procedure seems to be very important in these international negotiations. Lots of time was spent on procedure discussions. The CSD secretariat had prepared a Draft Negotiating Text (DNT)prior to the meeting. Before negotiations could start each country had the opportunity to comment on the text and make amendments. On the opening meeting much time was spent on discussing what kind of text should form the basis for the negotiations. Should it be a compilation text including all amendments or should it be a text revised by the secretariat on basis of comments and amendments received. G77/China demanded a compilation text before they would go into negotiations. During the next two days the first reading of the DNT took place with a lot of comments. The situation was almost chaotic. The negotiations could not start until the third day of the meeting.
These discussions of procedure and stressing the secretariat with amendments were the first indications that some countries were not interested in solutions.

The co-chairs Ms. Irene Freudenshuss-Reichl and Mr Mohammed Reza Salamat headed the negotiations. The co-chairs were supported by the CSD secretariat.
G77/China started very unstructured with no respect for their chair (Iran) but got organised during the meetings. Still the oil-producing countries like Saudi Arab and Nigeria seems to be very influential which is a bad starting point for negotiations on sustainable energy.
Junzcan co-operated quite elegant trying to create a conflict between EU and G77.
EU was well organised and acted as one country with one chair but EU did not succeed in getting into a dialog with G77 or selected groups of developing countries. It was clear that there is no common EU policy on the nuclear question and thanks to a proposal from Poland a number of EU countries were forces to follow their national policies and refuse inclusion of nuclear power in the DNT.
Russia leaned much against Junzcan while Easter European countries had their eyes on EU.
Only a few NGOs participated in the meeting and it was difficult to raise the voice. However the NGOs were allowed to make a statement on the fourth day of the meeting.

As agreed during the first meeting in IGEESD last year the DNT comprises 6 chapters: General considerations, General principles for policy actions, Key issues, Overarching issues, Regional cooperation, and International cooperation. Each chapter consist of a number of paragraphs, in total 36 paragraphs to be commented.
After the first reading it was clear that G77/China supported by Junzcan wanted the language sustainable energy replaced by energy for sustainable development. G77 wanted to underline the development aspects of the CSD process. EU accepted this changes and there was no discussion about the understanding of sustainable energy.
It was also clear that the chapter “International cooperation” caused a lot of problems for Junzcan and it was decided to postpone discussions of this chapter to the CSD9 in April.
Junzcan, partly supported by G77, did not want any commitments in the DNT. Language like principles and activities should be replaced by approaches and options. EU would not accept these changes and the words were placed in brackets for further discussion during CSD9.
Before the meeting EU presented the proposal “Shared Goals for Global Action” proposing a number of principles for national governments to set-up national energy development strategies. EU propose national government to commit to carry out a number of actions to be reflected in the DNT. Junzcan and G77 showed no willingness to go into this discussion and even wanted to delete paragraphs referring to public participation. Also ideas like supporting innovative funding schemes like micro-credits was not acceptable to G77/China.
Renewable energy was generally accepted but Junzcan and G77 insisted on the amendment “whenever appropriate”.
Among the few positive things can be mentioned that nuclear power came in brackets meaning that the question was postponed to the politicians participating in the CSD9. The NGOs succeeded in getting the gender perspective on the agenda.

What to do now?
The meeting was a success for the countries that tried to sabotage the negotiations. The text will not commit anyone to do anything.
It is frustrating to se this lack of commitment in the CSD process. In Rio the countries committed themselves to Agenda 21 but in practice there is no willingness to make any commitments about actions towards a sustainable development – especially related to energy issues. The energy issue highlights the hypocrisy in many countries. As an example Brundtlands mother country Norway headed the Junzcan countries efforts to dilute the DNT.

From my point of view the EU proposal was the only proposal taking the Agenda 21 commitment seriously and we should carefully review the EU proposal to focus on the elements we (INFORSE) can support. However, EU will have to specify in which ways the developing countries can benefit from the CSD process. EU must ensure that the environmental concerns of the developed countries do not have priority for the development objectives. On the other hand we must point out that poverty alleviation is fundamental for sustainable development, but compared to other UN processes the Rio process is justified through the focus on environmental issues.

During the next month up to the start of CSD9, NGOs must demand that their governments live up to the Rio commitments and engage in negotiations on actions regarding energy for a sustainable development. It would be helpful if we had NGO contacts in each region (co-ordinators or other interested NGOs) that take the temperatures on governments in their region and report to me before the CSD9 in mid April.

INFORSE has prepared the Vision 2050, which will be presented during CSD9 on April 23, to show that we can reach energy systems with no nuclear and no fossil fuels and access for all to basic energy needs within the next 50 years. What we need now is commitment from Governments.
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