Importance of new and renewable sources of energy highlighted in second UN committee discussion

Oct. 23, 2000 (M2 Communications)à‚–The importance of new and renewable sources of energy was highlighted this morning in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial), as it continued its consideration of environment and sustainable development.

The representative of Zimbabwe said that in developing countries the realization of renewable energy’s role would have to be associated with the transfer of technology and capacity-building. Realizing the enormous potential of renewable energy would require continued promotion of significant research and development activities with long-term market expansion to reduce costs. Constraints in renewable energy application in developing countries included high capital costs, limited research and development capabilities and the lack of institutional capacity and financial and human resources.

Increased efforts were necessary to support the wider use of solar energy in rural areas, he added. Participatory approaches must be encouraged with the involvement of local communities. Also, the implementation of the World Solar Programme should be addressed comprehensively, covering infrastructure, financing, human resources and international cooperation.

The lack of financial resources and technology, said the representative of China, had become a bottleneck for developing countries in their development of new and renewable energy. Developed countries should provide financial assistance to developing countries and exchange their experiences in sustainable development of energy.

India’s representative stated that if the current interest in renewable energy could be effectively converted into concrete projects, the twenty-first century could be as profoundly shaped by moves away from fossil fuels as the twentieth century had been by moves toward them.

Also this morning, the representative of Nigeria (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China) introduced a draft resolution on the high-level dialogue on strengthening international economic cooperation for development through partnership. A draft resolution on the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian Territory over their natural resources was introduced by the representative of Egypt.

Statements were also made by the representatives of the Russian Federation, Israel, Ethiopia, Trinidad and Tobago, Belarus, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Ukraine, Peru, Canada, Kenya and South Africa.

The observer for Switzerland and representatives of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank also spoke.

The Committee will meet again to conclude its discussion of environment and sustainable development.

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