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October 4, 2019

Cooperation in Resource Conservation and Energy Efficiency is a Key Factor in the Sustainable Economic Development of the EEC Countries

On 4 October 2019, the Russian Energy Week International Forum hosted a panel discussion ‘Topical Issues Related to Advancing Energy and Resource Efficiency in the Eurasian Economic Union.’ The session was initiated by representatives of the UNDP Regional Office for Europe and the CIS.

Opening the panel session, the Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Anton Inyutsyn noted a significant shift of relations between Russia and UNDP. The country has turned from the role of an aid recipient to that of a donor, and a unique cooperation tool has been founded – the Russia–UNDP Trust Fund. 

Agi Veres, Deputy Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS in Istanbul, noted that resource-saving and energy efficiency issues are rooted in many initiatives and dialogues with global leaders. These important topics are on the agenda of the Climate Summit, which was a part of the UN General Assembly.

 “70 countries have set the goal to reach zero air emissions by 2050. More than 100 countries have joined the global warming management initiative. There are many effective solutions and regional projects to promote economic and environmental literacy in the regions with the support of the UN Bureau and the CIS countries,” she emphasized.

As Dmitry Maryasin, UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Armenia, put it during the discussion, the energy-saving projects’ effect around the world is USD 500 billion a year. At that, the annual aid to developing countries is USD 130–159 billion. That is, in terms of energy conservation, we are talking huge global financial resources.”

Today, the EAEU states have gained considerable practical experience in implementing these initiatives. New technologies have been developed and are being adopted, associated equipment is being produced, and national programs are in progress.

 “Our state provides only 15.5% of its total energy demand. It is co-produced gas, wood fuel, the solar, wind, and water power,” said Mikhail Malashenko, Deputy Chairman, Director of the Department for Energy Efficiency of the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus. “Therefore, the state policy is to use the energy as rationally as possible. We have been implementing the energy-saving programme 2016–2020, which states that the annual energy savings should be at least 1 million tons of standard fuel. The bottom line is that since 1997 to date, the region’s energy consumption has remained constant, while the gross domestic product has grown by 2.5 percent, and the GDP energy intensity has dropped by 3.5 times. According to the International Energy Agency, the GDP energy intensity of the Republic of Belarus in 2010 prices is 160 kg of oil equivalent. It is compatible with developed countries like Canada and Finland. It could not have been done without the existing financial support of the state energy conservation program. Most of the funds come from enterprises, and only 0.8% is the state share. Every state rouble requires 99 roubles of co-financing.”

Director of Energy Department of Eurasian Economic Commission Leоnid Shenets gave a comparative analysis and the political context of energy efficiency in the countries of the Union. “The international analytical agency data shows that by the end of 2018, the EEU countries reached the year 1990’s level of energy consumption. We have grown in capacity by almost 40 thousand MW, which will undoubtedly affect the cost of production. Consumers of energy resources should also be involved in this initiative. In this regard, we have drafted proposals to be implemented across sectors such as agriculture and industry. This issue also applies to state organizations with funds allocated for heat and water supply.”

Anton Inyutsyn summarized that the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation sees excellent potential in the establishment of unified approaches and technological standards as essential elements of the Eurasian Economic Union market.