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Central American Energy-Environment Ministerial Discuss Sustainable Energy Issues

24 November 2011: The Fourth Energy and Environment Ministerial of the Central American Integration System (SICA) examined several matters for joint action on the energy-environment interface, including elaborating a new regional sustainable energy policy, increasing regional programmes on renewable energy and the sustainable use of firewood, and reducing the sulfur content of diesel fuel.

The Ministerial was held 23 November 2011, in San Salvador, El Salvador. Regarding broad regional policy, the Energy and Environment Ministers agreed to work jointly to implement the existing Regional Strategies on Energy and Climate Change, while outlining a new sustainable energy policy that meshes well with both Strategies. On renewable energy, the Ministers recognized the accomplishments of the Energy and Environment Partnership with Central America (AEAC), and called on international cooperation agencies to help the SICA General Secretariat formulate and facilitate more implementation programmes of this nature and ensure that they help achieve the goals of both the Energy and Climate Change Regional Strategies.

On firewood, Ministers asked the SICA General Secretariat to manage the region's accession to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and work with the Alliance in its goal of replacing one million traditional wood stoves with more efficient ones. They also asked the Secretariat to define and promote work plans on the sustainable use of firewood and the promotion of efficient cookstoves.

The Ministers also agreed to revise the Central American Technical Regulation on diesel fuel to reduce sulfur emissions in those countries that still have levels of 500 ppm or more. [SICA Press Release (Spanish)]