UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Commission Addresses Energy Issues in the Context of Climate Change

12 May 2009: The UN Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) Trade and Development Commission is holding its first session in Geneva, Switzerland, from 11-15 May 2009.

On the first day, participants engaged in a discussion on “Energy-related issues from a trade and development perspective” and focused on matters of supply and on the potential for the world's poorer nations to find opportunities from the increasing demand for renewable energy.

Addressing the Commission, UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi noted that climate change is becoming a more prominent challenge, highlighting that approximately 64% of electricity worldwide comes from the combustion of fossil fuels, thereby adding to greenhouse gas emissions. He added that these challenges should be seen as an opportunity for developing countries to promote clean and energy-efficient industries and infrastructure that can lead to economic growth. Panitchpakdi stressed the importance of financing for affordable renewable energy despite the global financial crisis. [UNCTAD press release] [UNCTAD Trade and Development Commission website]