News from the UNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment
New look for the Newsletter!
Welcome to the first issue of UCCEE news! We have replaced c2e2 News as the newsletter of the UNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment (UCCEE) to keep you better informed of research, news and events at the UCCEE. UCCEE news will from now on also update you on energy activities at UNEP Energy in Paris. Though we have redesigned the newsletter, we still welcome any ideas or suggestions you might have for the newsletter which can be forwarded to Cassandra Brooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Fanny Missfeldt (email@example.com).
National Communications Support Programme
UNDP and UNEP are implementing the National Communications Support Programme (NCSP) with technical support from the UCCEE. The programme is providing additional technical assistance to Non-Annex I countries in preparing their initial communications.
Within the National Communications Support Programme (NCSP), UCCEE is providing technical backstopping to the programme's Help Desk and support to countries requiring assistance.
The NCSP was launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNEP, in co-operation with the Secretariat of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the GEF Secretariat. Core funding is provided by the GEF.
The programme aims to promote the quality, comprehensiveness, and timeliness of initial communications of Non-Annex I countries, by providing technical support to the national teams. Additional information is given on the NCSP website (http://www.undp.org/cc/). You can also contact the Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or UCCEE through email@example.com.
New website launched!
UCCEE has launched a new website under its own domain located at http://www.uccee.org. The website has been fully redesigned to make it easier and faster to explore, particularly for visitors from developing countries using older browsers and slower internet connections. We have also streamlined and updated the content. The home page now contains the News! section where users can obtain UCCEE's latest information. Many of our publications can be downloaded directly from the new website.
We hope you find the new website both more enjoyable to visit and more useful. Of course, your comments are always welcome, and should be sent to Juan Zak (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Renewable Energy in Pacific Island Countries
The June 1998 decision by the United Nations Assembly to dedicate the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) session in 2001 to sustainable energy development reflects a concern not only with general environmental impacts from this sector but also concern about the sector's contribution to the threat of climate change. Although Pacific Island Countries produce only a tiny fraction of global greenhouse gas emissions, they are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Despite devoting substantial resources for assessing and evaluating renewable technologies, the record of renewable energy projects in the region has been disappointing. However, better access to energy services is key for the further development on many islands. Increased utilisation of renewable energy could also aid in the sustainable expansion of tourism on the islands.
As a step towards overcoming technical, market and institutional barriers related to renewable technologies in the South Pacific, the Danida-funded project "Capacity building on technological and economic integration of wind energy and other relevant renewable energy technologies into the electricity systems of Pacific Island Countries", which will be implemented by UCCEE as a UNEP project, aims to rectify the misbalance between current energy demand trends and the need for achieving sustainable development in Pacific Island Countries.
In order to secure transfer of know-how and the establishment of co-operative relations, all the activities will be planned and carried out in co-operation with the University of the South Pacific (USP) as combined case study activities. The case studies will be based on local expertise and available data. The activities will include knowledge transfer, capacity building, the development of a course curriculum for USP, and updates of selected feasibility studies. For more information contact Norbert Wohlgemuth (email@example.com).
Developing the capacity to implement the Clean Development Mechanism
At their fourth meeting in Buenos Aires in November 1998, the Conference of Parties (COP) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) established a work programme on the Kyoto Mechanisms. These included the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Joint Implementation and Emissions Trading. The work programme is now part of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action that stresses the need to help developing countries develop the skills and expertise to implement these mechanisms.
The FCCC Secretariat was requested to prepare a capacity building plan that was presented at the meetings of the subsidiary bodies in June 1999. During these preparations, the Secretariat initiated a close consultation process with the key United Nations agencies involved in this process (UNCTAD, UNDP, UNEP & UNIDO).
Initially the process focused on increasing co-ordination and collaboration, but gradually shifted towards developing a framework to support the process among all the agencies. A draft programme was discussed in June and will be revised and discussed with parties at COP V. If funding becomes available, the programme will start in early 2000.
As part of the United Nations team, UCCEE is actively involved in the discussion and preparation of the interagency programme. UCCEE's input will build on an on-going program to regional awareness and the capacity to respond by African nations. Initiated by UNEP and UCCEE with funding from Danida, the response follows requests made by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment meeting held at UNEP in October 1998.
The pilot programme will:
° Build a better understanding within selected countries of how climate change financing mechanisms can be used for sustainable development projects. This will include the development of an initial framework for national sustainability in relation to climate change projects;
° Strengthen existing national capabilities for project development and analysis;
° Assess capacity building needs to undertake the analytical activities required for preparing and implementing specific projects related to climate change such as the CDM;
° Facilitate regional co-operation and interaction to support the FCCC negotiations.
The first activity under the programme was a regional seminar in Nairobi in March bringing together key regional FCCC negotiators and experts to discuss the requirements to implement the CDM. In parallel with the regional meetings, the work programme includes four national studies in Gambia, Ghana, Uganda and Zimbabwe and a work programme involving UCCEE staff, regional experts and members of the national teams to undertake relevant analysis.
National activities include information dissemination, awareness raising and the analysis of possible projects for future CDM funding or other climate change related financing. Part of the studies focus on the skills and institutional structures required to identify, select, promote and implement possible projects under a CDM-type mechanism.
The work programme is closely integrated with the national studies and focuses on three areas: national decision-making (including sustainability issues), approaches to baseline assessment, and a framework for project assessment.
The programme will be presented at a special side-event during COP V on Wednesday, 3 October 1999, 6 - 7:30 pm.
Africa Consultation on the Clean Development Mechanism
8-9 October, Nairobi, Kenya.
The Africa consultation on the CDM was organised to provide a forum for the climate change negotiators and experts from the region. It followed up on ideas on a policy and institutional framework for the CDM in Africa, technology needs and assessment in Africa and capacity building issues. The meeting also discussed prototype projects in energy, transport and forestry sectors. It brought together negotiators from 12 African countries. UCCEE and the Division of Environmental Policy Development & Law of UNEP organised this meeting, which was sponsored by Danida and UNEP.
African Regional Expert Meeting Expert Meeting Expert
Meeting Expert Meeting Expert Meeting
Nairobi, 15-17 March 1999.
Thirty African climate change experts met at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi from March 15 to 17, 1999, at a meeting organised by UCCEE together with UNEP. The meeting aimed at initiating a process whereby African researchers, policymakers and analysts can discuss and develop positions on principles, modalities, rules and guidelines for the CDM, which are consistent with the sustainable development aspirations of the countries in the region.
Dr Youba Sokona of Senegal's Enda Energy presented technical issues of the CDM using research prepared jointly with by Prof. Ogunlade Davidson of Sierra Leone's University Freetown. This generated a technical debate on design issues and the wider political implications of the CDM. Stimulated by a presentation by Dr. Maya from Zimbabwe's Southern Centre, a first stepping stone was laid for identifying capacity building needs for participation in the CDM as seen from an African perspective.
Key discussants during the meeting were Youba Sokona (Senegal), Papa Cham (Gambia), Philip Gwage (Uganda), Ahmed Mohsen (Egypt), R. Shakespeare Maya (Zimbabwe), and Grace Akumu (Kenya). The debate was lengthy and lively, and it was agreed that the meeting had brought the process to a significant stage of advancement on previous meetings.
UNEP Energy Gets Focused
UNEP's long term energy objective is to create a global shift to energy systems that are ecologically sustainable. This includes promoting the use of more renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as improving the overall efficiency of global energy systems. In the short term, UNEP's objective is to promote the integration of environmental issues in energy decisions at all levels of society.
To accomplish these short and long term goals, the UNEP sub-program, UNEP Energy, is working closely with other partners such as governments, NGOs and, increasingly, with the private sector.
UNEP Energy is currently centred on projects to help the finance sector better understand the benefits of investments in sustainable energy. It is also a sector that has often - though not always - been slow to respond to environmental issues - due to the conservative nature of financial institutions.
UNEP Energy has also initiated a project to create energy service companies (called ESCOs) in Central and Eastern Europe. In conjunction with UCCEE, the project team is using an energy-efficiency technique called 'monitoring and targeting' (M&T) to focus people and management practices on energy-efficiency through the careful analysis of metered energy consumption.
Another project is the establishment of an 'investment advisory facility' for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries and countries with transitional economies. The facility allows financial institutions to use the services of technical experts to help evaluate new investments in sustainable energy.
In all of its projects, UNEP Energy has targeted the finance sector for special assistance to help financial institutions understand the nature and benefits of these new investments in clean energy. UNEP Energy will further this process through a special two day 'expert group meeting' on December 6 th and 7 th .
The meeting will discuss the rise of 'green' investment funds and how they might be used to further renewable energy projects. As well, the invited experts will discuss methods for verifying the environmental performance of new technology.
More information on these programs and activities can be found on the UNEP website (http://www.uneptie.org) or by contacting UNEP Energy's Mark Radka on +33 1 44 37 1427 or by email at Mark.Radka@unep.fr.
Deals on Wheels: Sustainable Transportation
Initiatives for Developing Countries
El Salvador, 28-30 July 1999.
Organised and financed by UCCEE, the workshop on Sustainable Transport Initiatives in Developing Countries - appropriately titled Deals on Wheels - explored new policies for urban transportation planning, that can help developing nations meet the economic, social, institutional and environmental challenges of uncontrolled motorised transport growth. The aim was to identify which mechanism may successfully promote sustainable transport in selected projects.
Technical experts, policymakers, and key representatives attended the workshop from the government and non-governmental sector in El Salvador as well as representatives from academic institutions, private consultants and international NGOs. Several institutions collaborated in organising the workshop: the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG, Sri Lanka), the Peace and Development Research Group (Göteborg University), Centro Salvadoreno de Tecnologia Apropiada (CESTA, El Salvador), and the Climate Change Communication office of the Ministry of Environment, El Salvador.
Studies and cases were presented through ten different thematic sessions and more than 30 presentations. Results from an evaluation of transport planning practices and paradigms helped formulating a strategic vision for transport and urban development. Examples of effective public transport management that enhance mobility, showed how congestion may be reduced, and how air pollution can be controlled at a socially affordable cost.
Widespread use and promotion of non-motorised modes of transport can help people, women in particular, in urban and rural poor areas enhance their mobility and improve their economic situation. All these practices serve as potential models for other cities and show promise for the creation of those multiple alternative paths necessary to resolve urban transport problems in a sustainable manner.
The workshop conclusions supported the idea that the institutional infrastructure and information dissemination to transport decision-makers are key for the promotion of sustainable transport practices. To this goal, an information exchange network was created that will allow participants to quickly learn about specific transport problems and their solutions. A report of the meeting has been posted on UCCEE's website. For more specific questions please contact Maria Josefina Figueroa (firstname.lastname@example.org).
PhD research at the UCCEE
It is a UCCEE priority to support young researchers through PhD programmes, which will guarantee that new and fresh research ideas will stimulate UCCEE's development. Currently, 5 members of staff are undertaking PhD research in the fields of environmental and climate-change economics, geography, and transport studies.
Cassandra's project is Adaptation to climate variability and change: El Niño events and human-landscape interactions. The project will use the El Niño/Southern Oscillation phenomenon to complete a longitudinal case study of adaptation to climate variability in the core Asia-Pacific region. The aim is to uncover insights into the process of adaptation, with an ultimate focus on how human-climate interactions are related to landscape change and the loss of biodiversity.
The research is being undertaken at the Environmental Change Unit (ECU) at the School of Geography, Oxford University, UK, under the supervision of Dr. Tom Downing, head of ECU´s Climate Impacts and Responses programme.
Maria Jo Figueroa
Maria's project is called Assessing Transportation Project's Performance under a Clean Development Mechanism(CDM). The project will focus on the CDM and will assess baseline data, emission reductions, incremental cost, and contributions of transport activities towards "sustainable development". Her research will perform a full assessment of various stages of a CDM project life cycle for selected transport projects in developing countries. The results will help inform policy on global climate change to entities proposing CDM projects and to developing country governments.
The project is undertaken through the Department of Environmental and Energy System Studies at Lund University, Sweden, together with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Graduate School of Engineering, Brazil.
In Henrik's research project, Macroeconomics of greenhouse gas limitations in developing countries, he analyses the interaction between energy, environment and the economy within developing countries. His work pays special attention to climate change mitigation as well as considering long-term growth and technological change.
The dissertation is supervised by Associate Professor Jørgen Birk Mortensen at the University of Copenhagen.
Anne's project, Market, Environment and Deregulation in Developing Countries will analyse the linkages among economy-wide policies and the environment in developing countries. The research is focused on the environmental implications of policy choices, such as those undertaken within Structural Adjustment Programs, and places special emphasis on environmental and social issues related to the liberalisation of energy markets in developing countries.
Anne is doing her research through Roskilde University, under the supervision of Professor Jesper Jespersen and Dr. Kirsten Halsnæs (UCCEE).
The participation of developing countries in international environmental agreements is the focus of Kim's research. He is looking to understand the incentives behind co-operation on international environmental problems and the alliances that are formed between countries. With a focus on developing countries in the Climate Convention, his work will investigate these issues with the help of coalition theory, international political economy, and game and co-operation theory.
The project is within the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen and is supervised by Associate Professor Jørgen Birk Mortensen and Kirsten Halsnæs (UCCEE).
Before joining the UCCEE in September
1999, Lasse Ringius was a senior researcher at the Centre for International
Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo (CICERO), Norway. His work has focused on
various climate policy issues, particularly adaptation to climate change in Africa, joint
implementation, international negotiations on sharing of climate targets, and soil carbon
Since 1994, Lasse has provided climate policy advice to many governments and intergovernmental organisations, and taught courses in international environmental politics at Oslo and Roskilde Universities. Prior to his PhD studies, which considered the international regulation of ocean dumping of nuclear waste as a case of global environmental co-operation, Lasse held a position as secretary in the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Patrick Karani joined UCCEE in
October 1999 as Energy Economist. Previously he was programme manager of Activities
Implemented Jointly (AIJ) at the World Bank. His tasks included the design of guidelines,
selection and management of AIJ projects in Burkina Faso, India, Poland, and Mexico. He
also task-managed two projects on National Strategies for reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions for the World Bank. Prior to his engagement with the World Bank, Patrick worked
on AIJ and climate change projects for different organisations in the US and Africa.
Since completing his MA in International Development and Social Change, Patrick has submitted a PhD thesis on the framework for technology transfer under the Montreal Protocol at Amsterdam University.
UCCEE news provides regular information on the activities at UCCEE and UNEP Energy. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of UNEP, Risø National Laboratory or Danida.
The newsletter and back issues are available on the
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UNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment (UCCEE)
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UCCEE News is printed on 100% recycled and chlorine bleach
UCCEE at Risø National Laboratory, Denmark supports the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in pursuing its aim of incorporating environmental aspects into energy planning and policy world-wide, with special emphasis on developing countries. UCCEE works catalytically, encouraging, promoting and supporting research by local research institutions, co-ordinating projects and disseminating information, as well as carrying out a full in-house research programme in close collaboration with colleagues at Risø National Laboratory - the main public scientific research institute in Denmark.