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Sixth Session of the Committee on Energy

UN-ESCWA held the Sixth Session of the Committee on Energy in Doha, Qatar, from 4 to 5 February 2007, which was chaired by Mr. Issa Shaheen Al-Ghanem, Vice President of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation "KAHRAMAA" and Member of the Energy Committee representing Qatar. The participants tackled many issues, most important of which were: the UN-ESCWA paper on visions and policies to be adopted by the countries of the region in the field of energy for sustainable development during the 15th meeting of the UN Committee on Sustainable Development headed by Qatar; and the progress achieved by the countries of the region in the field of energy for sustainable development. They also reviewed the proposed UN-ESCWA work programme and budget related to energy for the biennium 2008-2009. In addition, they discussed the progress achieved by UN-ESCWA in implementing the cooperation project with Qatar on Improving Energy Efficiency in the Electricity Sector.
The Committee approved the proposed framework submitted by UN-ESCWA regarding visions and policies after some modification and called member countries to adopt this framework during the Governmental Preparatory Meeting of the Committee on Sustainable Development from 26 February to 2 March 2007. Member countries presented and discussed related energy issues. They also highlighted their latest developments in this field. Some countries emphasized the importance of: stabilizing the legal environment related to the energy sector in the industrial countries to guarantee the continuation of investment flow to the oil producing countries; maintaining political stability in the UN-ESCWA region to support investments in the energy sectors; and ensuring energy accessibility (electricity and fuel) to UN-ESCWA countries facing military attacks. The Committee called on some countries to subsidize energy prices for limited income inhabitants.
The suggested policies approved by the Committee included improving energy accessibility for all citizens especially in the rural areas, and enhancing energy production and consumption in all sectors through improving and increasing the use of cleaner fossil fuel as well as developing renewable energy technologies and supporting its applications. At the closing of the Sixth Session, the Committee came up with recommendations that included: the adoption of sustainable patterns for energy production and consumption; establishment and development of national strategies in this field; enforcement of bilateral and regional cooperation in the field of energy for sustainable development; conducting of feasibility studies for electrical interconnection and of techno-economic studies on the alternatives of natural gas transport and export; establishment of legal and financial databases to support natural gas and electrical interconnection networks; and implementation of awareness programs targeting all segments of society in order to take the right measures for energy conservation.