The declaration itself does not break new ground, except
for the limited extent that it begins to draw the concluding
link in the circle back to the multilateral process where
it dead-ended in Johannesburg, back into the United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) process in the
upcoming 2006/7 cycle focused on climate, energy and air pollution.
The declaration calls upon the Commission to consider
an effective arrangement to review and assess progress towards
substantially increasing the global share of renewable energy
as foreseen in paragraph 20(e) of Johannesburgs Plan
This link is by no means clear and needs to be strengthened
substantially. Governments need to commit themselves to get
some concrete results out of the CSD cycle, although it needs
more discussion on what Governments should do, other than
further commitments and directives for the multilateral system,
like UN agencies, World Bank, IFI, to support renewable energy
Specific comments about the evolution of the declaration
during the conference:
Para 2 The reference to the Asia Pacific partnership
was deleted. This partnership is an empty agreement designed
for PR purposes in Washington and Canberra. The authors had
the intent to push a so called alternative to
the Kyoto protocol.
Para 3 Energy efficiency and climate
change added. Energy efficiency plays an essential role
in shifting the global energy system to a more sustainable
one. Adding of climate change into the declaration underlines
the importance of this issue for developing countries. RE
are not solely perceived as a development issue, but also
as an environmental issue.
Para 6 - The improved text of the paragraph gives
a better statement of reality, that most developing
countries have not benefited from the recent rapid RE
development, and not that the expansion has been driven
by a few, mostly developed, countries, as written in
the draft declaration. This would discount, i.e. Brazils
30 years of leadership on biofuels, Indias leadership
for at least 25 years on a wide variety of forms of RE, as
well as Chinas massive global leadership in passive
solar thermal installations. Its still a few countries,
but if you add Germany, Denmark and Spain to the list, then
youre split 50/50 north and south. With this change
the reinforcement of the notion that RE is a rich country
technology can be avoided.
Para 11 The references to the primacy in the
UN system for technical assistance for renewable energy development
in developing countries, especially least developing countries
are an improvement of the paragraph.
Para 12 Climate change was inserted.
The second half of this paragraph is probably about as specific
as this conference was going to get back to the UN system
instead of unclear initiatives like the type 2 partnerships
from the Johannesburg World Summit 2002 and other plurilateral
discussions, i.e. among groups of willing countries.
Para 13 - The draft declaration recommended that the
CSD consider the launch of a
10-year framework to substantially increase the use of renewable
energy. The 10 years program was rejected from the declaration.
This is a positive decision, as its too prescriptive
and therefore would probably be ruled out on that basis. Secondly,
a ten years plan of action with no direction as to what it
is going to do, seems to be a provision for an endless procedural
conflict with very little substance.
Para 9 It was a pity that the text about the
revision of OECD Export Credit Agencies and their lending
guidelines in favor of RE and clean energy technologies was
removed from the declaration.
Steve Sawyer (Greenpeace)