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Habitat II Conference                      [ Back to Habitat II ]

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IV Global Plan of Action

C. Sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world

6. Sustainable energy use

145. The use of energy is essential in urban centres for transportation, industrial production, and household and office activities. Current dependence in most urban centres on non-renewable energy sources can lead to climate change, air pollution and consequent environmental and human health problems, and may represent a serious threat to sustainable development. Sustainable energy production and use can be enhanced by encouraging energy efficiency, by such means as pricing policies, fuel switching, alternative energy, mass transit and public awareness. Human settlements and energy policies should be actively coordinated.

Actions

146. In order to promote efficient and sustainable energy use, Governments at the appropriate levels, in partnership with the private sector, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations and consumer groups, should, as appropriate:

(a) Promote urban and rural planning and design solutions that are conducive to the efficient use of energy and that pay due attention to end users and their attitudes and practices;

(b) Introduce appropriate measures to promote the use of renewable and safe sources of energy and to improve the efficiency of energy use in human settlements, while ensuring that people living in poverty and their families are not disadvantaged;

(c) Promote energy-efficient systems, for example, by introducing or supporting innovative energy-efficient measures in the generation, distribution and use of energy, such as combined heating and cooling systems that utilize waste heat recovery, and co-generation of heating and electricity;

(d) Encourage research, development and use of non-motorized or low-energy transport systems and the use of renewable energy sources and technologies, such as solar, wind and biomass energy;

(e) Encourage countries, in particular developing countries, to cooperate in exchanging knowledge, experience and know-how in the phasing out of lead gasoline, through, inter alia, the use of biomass ethanol as an environmentally sound substitute;

(f) Introduce or amend user charges and/or other measures to promote the efficient use of household energy;

(g) Stimulate, through fiscal incentives or other measures, and adopt energy-efficient and environmentally sound technologies in the rehabilitation of existing industries and services and in the construction of new ones;

(h) Support programmes for the reduction and neutralization of emissions of polluting gases originating in the generation, transportation and use of energy;

(i) Encourage and promote public education and media campaigns to encourage recycling, reuse and reduced energy consumption;

(j) Encourage the use of solar heating and cooling and electric technologies, energy efficient design, ventilation and improved insulation of buildings to reduce the consumption of energy in buildings;

(k) Encourage the use of safe industrial and agricultural waste products and other types of low-energy and recycled building materials in construction;

(l) Encourage and promote the development and dissemination of new and environmentally sound technologies, including the reduction of metal compounds as part of transportation fuels, and good practices in the use of energy.

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