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Belarus and international co-operation on renewable energy

The international community has widely acknowledged how important it is to deploy and make effective use of new and renewable sources of energy. This, in turn, allows countries to reduce the share of non-renewable sources of energy in their overall energy balance, thereby alleviating the pressure on the environment, containing climate change, and preserving the Earth’s eco-system for future generations.

Technologies for new and renewable sources of energy, like energy wind power, concentrated solar power, sea waves, biomass, clean coal and carbon capture have already been in existence for some time and effectively utilized, albeit for now, primarily in industrially developed countries. It is patently clear, however, that it would be impossible to solve energy and environmental problems along with contemporary objectives of our civilization without fully bringing developing countries on board. Therefore, the international community is now faced with the task of promoting technologies for new and renewable sources of energy in developing countries.

The government of Belarus attaches high priority to renewable energy in its overall policy. The country has made certain achievements in this domain on the domestic front. At the same time, Belarus is keen to go to great lengths in order to contribute to more vibrant co-operation in this area internationally.

In particular, at the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, Belarus came up with the initiative to establish a global mechanism that ensures transfer of technologies for new and renewable sources of energy to both developing states and countries with economies in transition.

One of the ways to bring it to fruition would be setting up a single global fund at the United Nations on the basis of voluntary contributions paid by states, civil society and private sector. The fund’s purpose would be to compensate owners for their energy technologies and assist in transferring them to developing states and countries with economies in transition.

Similarly important is to consolidate the role of the “UN-Energy” group in its efforts to provide for systemic coordination in this area. New and renewable sources of energy fall under the purview of the Group’s mandate (along with energy efficiency and access to energy).

Belarus stands by the idea of bringing other numerous tracks that tackle the issue of energy technology transfer like the G20, the Major Economies Forum on Energy an Climate Change, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UN Framework Convention and Climate Change (UNFCCC), into a unified consultative process under aegis of the “UN-Energy”.

It would be prudent to expand the “UN-Energy’s” mandate through a relevant ECOSOC or General Assembly resolution. That, in turn, would make it possible to contemplate within such an expanded mechanism a single database for new and renewable energy technologies.

In addition to assisting developing states to acquire new energy technologies by means of a global mechanism, it is crucial to create conditions that foster their co-operation with advanced countries, as well as among themselves in the field of innovations. There is the need to upgrade substantially the system of international and national incentives for investment, made either by foreign or domestic investors, in these developing countries’ economic areas.

In particular, Belarus is in favor of enhanced co-operation among various existing and currently conceived centers for technology transfer at global, regional and bilateral levels. Belarus is directly involved in an ongoing UNIDO project that aims to establish a regional center for the transfer of technologies among Member States of the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasac). The project serves to reinforce links among participating states’ national centers and increase Eurasac’s co-operation with other international partners.

The delegation of Belarus has traditionally taken an active stance on General Assembly resolutions related to the promotion of new and renewable sources of energy.