Resource Conservation and Energy Efficiency as Prerequisites for the Sustainable Economic Development of the Eurasian Economic Union Countries

Results of UNDP Armenia led regional project presented at a panel session within “Russian Energy Week 2019”     

On October 4, 2019, in the frame of Russian Energy Week International Forum, representatives of the UNDP Regional Office for Europe and the CIS and UNDP Armenia in cooperation with Department of Energy of the Eurasian Economic Commission initiated a panel discussion –“Topical Issues Related to Advancing Energy and Resource Efficiency in the Eurasian Economic Union”.

The Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Anton Inyutsyn opened the session emphasizing the importance of the forum as a platform to discuss energy efficiency related topics and referring to developing relations between Russia and UNDP, notably creation of Russia–UNDP Trust Fund. He also stressed the fact that Russia joining completely the Paris Agreement opened new opportunities to expand the use of environmentally friendly energy sources.

Agi Veres, Deputy Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS in Istanbul, noted that resource-saving and energy efficiency issues were part of the agenda of the UN Climate Change Summit 2019, and are reflected in many initiatives and dialogues currently discussed between global leaders, as well as among the private sector representatives. Agi Veres emphasized the importance of Russia and the Eurasian region in reaching the objectives of Climate agenda, given the size of the economies and the number of population.

”We have already seen many success stories on energy efficiency and today we will be looking at the results of a successful regional project on the regulatory frameworks to promote energy efficiency in the countries of Eurasian Economic Union, funded by UNDP-Russia Trust Fund. A very crucial instrument to promote some of the development cooperation in all areas including energy efficiency” said Agi Veres .

“Regulatory Framework to Promote Energy Efficiency in Countries of the Eurasian Economic Union” a 2-year regional project aims at reducing energy consumption and related greenhouse gases emissions. The project introduces energy efficiency regulations and standards, development of testing capacities and promotion of energy efficient technologies through raising awareness among populations of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The project is implemented by UNDP Armenia office with grant financing from the Russian Federation.

UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Armenia Dmitry Maryasin, when stressing the importance of energy efficiency as an additional resource for development, mentioned that the potential annual impact of energy-saving projects around the world was USD 500 billion, while the support to developing countries amounted to USD 130–159 billion yearly. Another key issue that could be addressed through energy efficiency, as he mentioned, was the energy poverty.

“In a number of countries very high bills for electric energy deprive a lot of families from the opportunity to invest in healthcare and education. This connection of energy efficiency and human development in general is a key aspect for UNDP“, said Maryasin. He addressed as well Carbon intensity of GDP, highlighting the potential impact on the economic growth in case of reduction of Energy intensity of GDP. Presenting the results of the Armenian UNDP led project and summarizing the positive impacts of the completed works, Dmitry Maryasin highlighted the importance of energy efficiency awareness raising and education of the population as well as emphasized the need to continue strengthening regulatory and infrastructure systems for energy efficiency processes.

“I think there is a potential to create a Eurasian Economic Union center of technological project solutions for energy efficiency. I think UNDP could support this initiative,” he concluded.

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. He also emphasized the importance of promotion of energy efficiency among the public and creation of necessary infrastructure to ensure that energy resources were wisely managed.

Representatives of ministries and sectorial departments of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan shared their experience in the field of energy efficiency, presented results of completed projects, as well as discussed priorities and possibilities of further supporting projects of energy efficiency by international donors and developing effective mechanisms for reducing energy consumption