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Committee on Sustainable Energy

Introduction

Committee

The Committee on Sustainable Energy is an intergovernmental body that provides member States with a platform for international dialogue and cooperation. It is mandated to carry out a programme of work in the field of sustainable energy with a view to providing access to affordable and clean energy to all, in line with the “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative of the Secretary-General, and to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of the energy sector. 
Committee Objectives       Structure of the Committee     Committee Bureau 

Committee on Sustainable Energy Brochure

In focus

2022 Accomplishments

Did you know that, between September 2021-2022, UNECE Committee on Sustainable Energy and Regional Advisory Services:

  • Organized the 31st session of the Committee, 5 expert group annual meetings, 73 Bureau meetings, and more than 30 workshops, trainings, and webinars, reaching more than 3000 professionals, nearly a third of which were women?
  • Finalized more than a dozen papers, guidance documents, case studies and reports and a carbon neutrality toolkit that support decision making on how to achieve sustainable energy systems?
  • Launched a new UNECE Sustainable Energy LinkedIn page, gaining more than 500 followers in just a few months?
  • Conducted 19 missions in 10 member States - that involved more than 50 days of on-site support and 100+ meetings, workshops and trainings - resulting in the training of more than 1600 experts?   

Through activities like these, UNECE promotes international policy dialogue and cooperation, and builds capacity on sustainable energy among governments, energy industries and other stakeholders to improve access to affordable and clean energy for all and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of the energy sector in the region.

Learn more about these accomplishments here.

The 2022 UNECE Sustainable Energy Week  was held 19-23 September 2022 and featured several hybrid events including:

- the 31st session of the Committee on Sustainable Energy

- the 18th session of the Group of Experts on Cleaner Electricity Systems

UNECE Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the SDGs - Rescheduled to 17 October 2022

The Week focused on Energy Security, Resilience and Net Zero: Tangible Actions to Deliver a Sustainable Energy Future. It included specific discussions, recommendations and presentations of country actions that build resiliency, ensuring energy security and affordability in the Economic Commission for Europe region while meeting the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, including net zero.

 The overview of the Week is available here

 

A Commitment Trifecta

In 2021, The Committee on Sustainable Energy endorsed UNECE's call for bold, concrete actions on the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement to move the dials in the near term and to set the stage for longer-term, enduring change. “Time is running out to deliver on the climate and sustainable development agendas”, says UNECE Executive Secretary, Olga Algayerova. “Governments must commit to the transformative action we urgently need. I call on UNECE member States to give this action portfolio careful consideration.

Action in three specific areas will deliver near-term climate outcomes:

  1. Achieving superior performance in buildings,
  2. Addressing growing concentrations of methane in the atmosphere, and
  3. Ensuring sustainable resource management, in line with the circular economy.

    UNECE’s call for action, A Commitment Trifecta, encourages countries to consider three areas of action:

    • Buildings  are central to meeting the sustainability challenge. 

      • Done right, buildings, the built environment, and the communities they support address clean energy and climate, deliver health and quality of life, improve employment, affordability, social equity, resilience, and carbon intensities, improve water and land resource management, and provide both mobility and technology access.  The capability to meet the challenge exists today.
      • UNECE calls on countries to commit to high-performance buildings in their plans and targets.
    • Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with 120 times the climate forcing effect of CO2 during its shorter atmospheric lifetime.

      • Global atmospheric concentrations of methane have grown nearly 150% from pre-industrial levels and are far above the natural range of the last 650,000 years. Global emissions from human activity are projected to increase another 20% by 2030. Reducing methane emissions offers significant climate change benefits, especially in the near term, as there is a large reduction potential and cost-effective mitigation technologies are readily available. Managing methane delivers important improvements in air quality and safety.
      • UNECE calls on countries to support a declaration by the UN General Assembly of an International Decade on Methane Management and to include robust programmes for monitoring and remediating methane emissions.
    • Sustainable Resource Management is critical for achieving the green energy transition.

      • Today’s resource patterns are unsustainable, both in terms of their environmental and societal impact, and in terms of ensuring resource availability now and in the future. Developments in resource management, including the supply of critical raw materials needed for the green energy transition, will determine the capacity of countries to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda. 
      • UNECE calls on countries to commit to a global framework for sustainable resource management.
    Over the longer term, bold actions in these areas will achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris goals, while:
    1. Achieving carbon neutrality by 2030,
    2. Ensuring a just transition in real transformative action, and
    3. Enabling a hydrogen economy.

    A companion document, A Push to Pivot, outlines these three longer-term actions countries can take to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda while mitigating climate change.

     

    Highlights

    NOW AVAILABLE! Final Report of the Thirty-first session of the Committee on Sustainable Energy with a focus on Energy Security, Resilience and Net Zero: Tangible Actions to Deliver a Sustainable Energy Future is now available.

    Committee on Sustainable Energy endorses Rules of Procedure for the Committee and its subsidiary bodies
    Members of the UNECE Committee on Sustainable Energy Bureau Members 2022-2024 (32nd and 33rd sessions) (27 September 2022)
     
     
     
     

    Upcoming Events

    20 - 21 March

    Palais des Nations
    Geneva
    Switzerland

    251, 978, 252, 271, 270, 253

    Recent Events

    23 January
    online only
    17 January

    Avenue de la Paix, Palais des Nations, room H-207 1211 Geneva Switzerland

    and online
    251, 978, 252, 271, 270, 253