Energy Resources

Background Papers


UN Commission on Sustainable Development
The ongoing impact of human development on the environment is a fact of life and the most significant impact is from energy production, distribution and use. At present, the nature and severity of interaction between the energy system and the environment is unprecedented. However, economic growth and social development depend on energy use and to meet the needs of a growing world population global energy consumption continues to increase substantially. The challenge, therefore, is how to meet the growing demand for energy while mitigating the impact of energy supply and use on the environment and thus guarantee the long term quality of our habitat.
Agenda 21 of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro) points to the fact that much of the world's energy is produced and used in ways that may not be sustained if overall quantities continue to increase substantially and if technology were to remain constant. In various chapters of Agenda 21, it was stated that all energy sources need to be used in ways that protect the atmosphere, human health and the environment as a whole.
With this heightened awareness underpinning the fact that choices must be proposed and made for energy futures compatible with sustainable development and thus a sustainable world, since the Earth Summit, sustainable development and use of energy have been highlighted and addressed, in its relevant context, in all major international forums, and particularly by the United Nations Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development.
The Nineteenth Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations recognized the need for a movement towards sustainable patterns of production, distribution and use of energy. In establishing the Multi-year Programme of Work for the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Special Session decided that the sectoral theme of the ninth session of the Commission will be Atmosphere/Energy and in this context, the Special Session underscored that in line with the objectives of Agenda 21, the ninth session of the Commission should contribute to a sustainable energy future for all.
Energy related issues at the Commission on Sustainable Development, in collaboration with other concerned United Nations entities, come under the purview of the Energy and Transport Branch, Division for Sustainable Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Mr. Kui-Nang Mak is the Chief of the Energy and Transport Branch.

Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB): UNFCCC Workshop on Procedures and Mechanisms Relating to Compliance Under the Kyoto Protocol, Bonn, Germany; 1-3 March 2000

ENB: Summary of the Workshop on Compliance under the Kyoto protocol 1-3 March 2000

ENDA - Energy Programme
aims to contribute to a better technical, economic and socio-cultural understanding of energy problems. It emphasises the interactions between research, action and training. The ENDA Energy Progamme is involved in work across the African continent

ENEQO - Equal opportunities in the energy sector
The aim of the project, funded by the European programme for Equal opportunities for women and men, is to promote equal opportunities in the energy sector. Ideas and models are sought and good practices are identified to reduce gender segregation in this sector.

ENERGIA is an international network on women and sustainable energy which links individuals and groups concerned with energy, environment and women. ENERGIA aims to strengthen the role of women in sustainable energy development through information exchange, training, research, advocacy and action.

go to "Resources" for the following 3 papers:

The role of women in sustainable energy development
E. Cecelski: Paper prepared as contribution to the Gender and Energy Programme of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Bolder, Colarado, USA.

Enabling equitable access to rural electrification: current thinking and major activities in energy, poverty and gender
E.Cecelski: Briefing Paper prepared for a Brainstorming Meeting on Asia Alternative Energy Policy and Project Development Support: Emphasis on Poverty Alleviation and Women Asia Alternative Energy Unit (ASTAE),
The World Bank, Washington, DC, 26-27 January 2000
Policies, projects and the market empowering women?
Joy Clancy: Some initial reactions to developments in the energy sector

World Bank Downgrades Energy Policy and Fails to Address Gender

Energy for Women and Women for Energy: A proposal for womenís energy entrepreneurship
Srilatha Batliwala and Amulya K.N. Reddy
It is well known that women usually bear the burden of providing biomass fuels for daily domestic use. Less well known is the extent to which human energy is an essential element in the household economy. The results of a case study of a typical village in Karnataka, India, can be used to demonstrate this. Our experience with attempts to improve the situation by the use of new energy technologies, leads us to propose a womenís energy entrepreneur project to assist women to become energy entrepreneurs, thus "engendering" energy and empowering women.

From Rio to Beijing: Engendering the energy debate
Elizabeth Cecelski
New perspectives in the energy sector adopted at the Rio Conference, and new approaches to gender issues discussed at the Beijing Conference, are especially congenial to the adoption of a gender approach in energy policy and planning at this time. This article suggests that mutual concerns in energy fora and gender circles, jointly addressed, could further both the Rio energy programme goal of sustainable development, and the Beijing womenís agenda of development, equality and peace. While not exhaustive, specific neglected gender issues are pointed out here in areas of current and future energy policy concern.

Networking Around the World
USA Network Forming after the Fourth World Renewable Energy Congress in Denver
A symposium on Women and Sustainable Energy on June 16 1996 in Denver, Colorado - the first such session at any World Renewable Energy Congress- gave impetus to the formation of an American network of women and energy. The symposium was organised by a group of staff of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) called Women in Sustainable Energy (WISE

Planning Women into International Energy Meetings
How can we mainstream a gender perspective in sustainable development? Clearly this needs to be tackled at different levels with different strategies and approaches. One strategy to increase discussion and visibility of gender issues in mainstream energy policy circles is to plan women and gender into international energy meetings.

Energy Efficiency 2000
The EE2000 Project assists Central and Eastern Europe and CIS countries to enhance their energy efficiency and security to ease the energy supply constraints of economic transition. The EE2000 Project assists these countries in meeting international environmental treaty obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE). Reducing the energy efficiency "gap" by half would save 600 million tonnes of oil equivalent in year 2010, of which 90 per cent would be fossil fuels. Harmful emissions of SO2 and CO2 would be reduced by 20-25 per cent in comparison with continuing trends in the ECE region. Reducing CO2 emissions by 10 per cent in the ECE region translates into a 5 to 6 per cent reduction of global CO2 levels.

Energy Efficiency Toolkit 
contains links to all sorts of energy efficiency related tools, such as: databases, decision support tools, fact sheets, conversion tables, (CO2)calculation programmes, analysis tools, etc.

Energy & Natural Environment Panel. A consultation document.

International Energy Agency

International Energy Agency's Centre for the Analysis and Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Efficiency Technologies (IEA CADDET Energy Efficiency) 
free access to technical information on newly demonstrated energy efficiency projects that are suitable for
worldwide replication.

International Center for Research on Women

New Directions for the Study of Women and Environmental Degradation by Michael Paolisso reviews the available literature on the costs to women of environmental degradation. The paper recommends more multi-disciplinary, gender-disaggregated research that integrates concerns about the effects of environmental degradation on women into a wider range of environment and development initiatives

Women's Responses to Environmental Degradation: Poverty and Demographic Constraints, Case Studies from Latin America by Michael Paolisso and Sarah Gammage 
ICRW and three partner organizations in Chile, Ecuador, and Honduras undertook case study research on the environmental contributions of women to managing the negative effects of natural resource decline and environmental pollution on family welfare. This report present the key findings for each community site studied (urban and rural), discusses women's productive and reproductive responses to the identified environmental problems, and offers policy recommendations derived from the case studies. For more information, look under Women, Population, and Environment Interactions: A Collaborative Project in Latin America and the Caribbean under ICRW Programs.

Women, Land and Sustainable Development by Rekha Mehra examines the linkages between women's land rights, development, and sustainability. This working paper demonstrates how restrictions to land rights undermine women's productivity and earnings, and their incentives and ability to sustain land and other natural resources, and suggests ways to strengthen women's land rights

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)
Energy Fact Sheets
Originally prepared by the Energy Educators of Ontario 1993
This series of articles discusses our past, present and future use of energy.
Advantages and disadvantages of various energy sources and the potential of alternatives are described.

International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE)
a world-wide network of 200 NGOs in more than 60 countries. All of these organisations work to promote sustainable energy and social development. INFORSE acts as independant initiator of programmes and projects and is actively engaged in international awareness rising.
The network was established by NGOs in Rio in 1992 to secure follow-up on the political decisions at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).

Kammen, Daniel M. (1995). Cookstoves for the Developing World.

LIFE e.V - women develop eco-techniques
The connection between ecology and eco-techniques with the promotion of women in the labour market and in decision-making is one of the aims of the LIFE association.

Climate Change Documents

Forum on Climate Change

Population Action
Publication: People in the Balance - Population and Natural Resources at the Turn of the Millenium
Chapter on 'People and Carbon Dioxide'

Throughout the basin, women use woodfuel energy daily. According to a recent report from the SADC Gender Strategy Workshop, women are said to be the managers, users and protectors of the environment. However, they are under-represented in key decision-making positions in all aspects of their public and private life. At the family level, men are the legal household heads and final decision-makers regarding family issues. This gives men total control over productive resources such as land, capital and labour to which women are relegated to have indirect, and at times temporal decision-making powers

Seen. Women's Power Project, a model of sustainable development that incorporates women's empowerment, renewable energy, forest regeneration, and micro enterprise.

puts its main emphasis on apprenticeships for young women in eco-technical trades and trainings for multipliers

UN Economic Commission for Europe
ECE Energy Division
The Economic Commission for Europe has had a programme of work in the field of energy ever since its creation in 1947. The current programme of work is both broad and comprehensive. The programme of work is focused on issues related to sustainable energy policies, energy efficiency and natural gas. It also include a range of activities dealing with coal, electric power and energy policies and strategies. Issues relating to new and renewable energy resources are dealt with by ECE's Special Coordinating Unit.

UNDP. Energy after Rio - Prospects and Challenges
Chapter 2 Energy and Major Global Issues
Recent cross-country data for 114 countries shows the linkages between energy consumption and the distribution of income. First, total energy consumption per capita, measured in kilograms of oil equivalent, increases with the per capita GDP. Second, the mix of energy carriers varies with income and its distribution (Leach, 1992). In particular, reliance on biomass is greater among countries with lower incomes, among countries with more unequal income distributions, and among countries with relatively small urban populations. The income level and inequality/poverty effects are also quite sizeable in magnitude.
The end-uses of human energy in villages show that the inhabitants, particularly its women and children, face burdens (e.g., gathering fuelwood and fetching water) that have been largely eliminated in urban settings by the deployment of appropriate forms of inanimate energy. There are also serious gender and health implications arising from rural energy consumption patterns (Batliwala, 1982; Batliwala, 1987; and Batliwala, 1984).

World Energy Assessment Report

World Energy Council



Climate Change Bulletin. published by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change/UNEP/IPCC/IUC available via the Internet at

ENERGIA Newsletter
contact: Sheila Oparaocha, ENERGIA Network, Email :

Energy Efficiency. Quarterly Bulletin No 25. Center for Energy Efficiency.


CSD NGO Energy & Climate Change Caucus
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