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Eco-forum: Pan-European Coalition of Environmental Citizens Organisations
Energy & Climate Group

INFORSE-Europe in cooperation with ECO-Forum participates in the Environment for Europe Process

Energy and Climate Group Proposal for Revision of Environment for Europe
(December 2008) Following the Pan-European Environmental Ministers meeting in Belgrade in 2007, a revision is ongoing for the Environment for Europe process. The NGOs in European Eco-Forum support continued Pan-European environmental activities, also on ministerial levels. The Eco-Forum’s Energy & Climate Issue Group has developed the following overall proposals for strengthening the energy-related work.

The group proposes that the environment ministers include sustainable energy (renewable energy and energy efficiency) as important elements in Pan-European environmental activities and that they:

  • Promote Pan-European cooperation on renewable energy, including windpower, to strengthen the capacities of involved countries to use and benefit from renewable energy
  • Promote Pan-European cooperation on energy efficiency standards,
    requirements, and labels on energy using products to reduce energy consumption in cost-effective ways
  • Promote cooperation energy, energy efficient cars with standards, requirements, and labels
  • Promote Pan-European cooperation on energy efficiency in buildings, linking up with EU's work on energy efficiency requirements for houses

These proposals will be amended and expanded as the official revision of the EfE process progresses.

Coordinator Withdraw
(June 2008) The coordinator of the Energy & Climate Group, Yusup Kamalov, had to withdraw from his position; but he continue in the group. For contacts to the group, contact European Eco-Forum or INFORSE-Europe

Energy and Climate Group Meeting in Belgrade, October 12, 2007
The Energy and Climate Issue Group of the European Eco-Forum met at the end of the Belgrade conference and decided to work further.

At the meeting it was decided
that the Group:
- is working on getting energy and climate issues higher on the agenda of the Pan-European Environment for Europe debate and process.
- will increase the exchange of information on relevant sustainable energy activities, mainly NGO activities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
- will set up a listserver with all participants in the meeting, and all interested members in the previous email list of the Energy & Climate issue group.
- will continue to follow the Energy Charter Energy Efficiency Group for the time being and will report back after the next meeting of that group.

A new email list is in place for the group, and Yusup Kamalov has replaced Gunnar Boye Olesen as coordinator. The group is open to European NGOs.

Coordinator Change
Gunnar Boye Olesen from INFORSE-Europe has been coordinator of the European ECO-Forum's Energy & Climate Issue Group in the last 12 years (1995 - 2007).
Gunnar resigned as coordinator, but remains active in the group. The new coordinator elected for the European ECO-Forum's Energy & Climate Group is: Yusup Kamalov
from Uzbekistan. Yusup is chairman of the Union for Defence of the
Aral Sea and the Amudarya, and has been very active in establishing Eco-forum Uzbekistan.

If you want to participate you are still welcome to send e-mail to Gunnar to:


Belgarde 07 Conference10 -12 October, 2007, Belgrade
6th Conference of Environmental Ministers of UNECE region “Environment for Europe"

INFORSE-Europe was participating on the Conference with presentations, as well as, exhibiting together with SPARE and Eco-forum. See:

- Pictures from the Exhibition, SPARE side event, and the Conference

- Presentation of the side event of SPARE, October 11, 2007
handout (908 kB), slides (4.2 MB) and Please seethe web page of SPARE

Presentation at the ECO Forum Pre-Conference on biodiversity and its link to sustainable production and consumption patterns - 9 October, Tuesday.
Energy, climate change and biodiversity by Gunnar Boye Olesen, (INFORSE, Eco-Forum).
handouts 891 kB pdf file. - slides (757 kB word doc)

Presentation at the Belgrade Conference
Item 6: Partnerships (Environmental policy and international competitiveness, and environmental finance and partnerships) - 11 October, Thursday,
NGO keynote address and interventions:
- Financing by Gunnar Boye Olesen (INFORSE, Eco-Forum)

text (word doc 37kB)

Both presentations are available on CEEWEB where you can see all presentations.

Belgrade Conference Evaluation from Energy Point of View:
When ministers from the Pan-European region met October 10-12, 2007, energy was often mentioned. Departing from their previous practice, however, energy was not a major topic. The main topics were environmental education and the Aarhus Convention on rights to environmental information.
On energy, the ministers recognized the need to integrate further provisions addressing climate change into other policies. They called for further efforts to improve energy efficiency to meet environmental and sustainable energy objectives.

INFORSE-Europe presented an exhibition during the conference, SPARE was also active in side-events on environmental education. Gunnar Boye Olesen from INFORSE-Europe addressed the ministers on the topic of environmental financing on behalf of the NGO network European Eco-Forum, of which INFORSE-Europe is a member.

See more on the NGO participation at: Eco-Forum

See: European Eco-Forum's Proposals for Belgrade Conference Agenda

March 1-2, 2007, Brussels Belgium
International ECO's Strategy Meeting
“From Kiev to Belgrade - Implementing Environment for Europe Decisions”

See more about the preparatory process to the Belgrade Conference at:
- European Eco-Forum
(Pan-European Coalition of Environmental Citizens Organisations)

See more about the 6th Conference of Environmental Ministers, 2007:
- UN ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), Belgrade
- Host country website of the Belgrade Conference:


INFORSE-Europe on behalf of the
ECO-Forum's Energy & Climate Group
Participated at the 5th Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe"
21 to 23 May 2003 in Kiev.

See pictures from the official and NGO Events in Kiev: Kiev 2003 Pictures

The energy issues were included in the agenda of the European Environmental Ministers' Conference in Kiev. The Conference addressed in particular the phase out of environmentally harmful subsidies, cooperation in energy efficiency issues and targets on renewable energy sources.

Energy activities at and beside the Pan-European Environmental Ministers’ Meeting, May 21-23, 2003:

May 20, 2003
9-19: Side event "Energy Efficiency: The Way from Aarhus to Kiev", at National Technical University in Kiev, Ukraine
Organised by: The Energy Charter and the State Committee of Ukraine for Energy Conservation (special program, prior application required)

All the following events are at:
International Exhibition Center, 15, Brovarskoy ave., Kiev 02089; Ukraine

May 21, 2003
11-12.30: Workshop: European Phase out of Environmental Harmful Subsidies in Energy; Renewable Energy targets and prospects, room 24
Facilitator – Gunnar Boye Olesen
- Presentation of challenges of phasing-out harmful subsidies,
- Presentation of international activities
- Discussion on subsidies
- Presentation of renewable energy targets, and possible targets in different countries
- Presentation of opportunities for renewable energy in selected countries
- Discussion on prospects and targets on renewable energy

15-16.30 Workshop: Environmental Action Program for Central and Eastern Europe and EECCA , room 24
Facilitator – Olga Ponizova
The program included a presentation on energy in the action program.

May 22, 2003

11.30 – 12.00 Ministerial session on energy, main conference hall (in the Official Ministerial Conference Program):
-Guidelines for reforming energy prices and subsidies
-Explanatory notes to guidelines
-Input from Energy Charter Secretariat (Energy Efficiency Statement)
(badge for access to the plenary session May 22 in the morning is required to participate)

15-16.30 Workshop: Sustainable Production and Consumption
Facilitator – Jeffrey Barber, ISF
The issue was linked with energy.

17-19.30 Joint NGO – Ministerial Session on Environmental Policy Integration; main conference hall (in the official Ministerial Conference Program)
Energy is one of the sectors covered by the environmental policy integration, though agriculture is the main sector for the session.

May 23, 2003

13.00 - 14.00
Title: Official Side Event: Workshop "European Phase out of Environmental Harmful Subsidies in Energy", Place: Room #9
Organised by: INFORSE on behalf of ECO-Forum Energy & Climate Group
- presentation of NGO views of phase-out of subsidies in the future and the new guidelines on
reforming energy subsidies
- official’s opinion on subsidies
- Discussion

More information:
INFORSE/ ECO-Forum Energy & Climate Group, att. Gunnar Boye Olesen


Energy Conservation & Sustainable Energy on ECO-Agenda
Energy Conservation has no strong structure to promote it (unlike oil, gas, coal, nuclear etc.) It benefits everybody, - it is the responsibility of everybody.
Energy conservation, i.e., reduction of primary energy consumption, is part of the agenda of all major environmental citizens' organisations (ECO's).  By consensus, European ECO's seek a phase-out of the use of nuclear power and reduction of fossil-fuel use to sustainable levels. These goals should be achieved via increased energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, and lifestyle changes.

Pan-European ECO Activities
On the Pan-European level, the European ECO-Forum's Energy & Climate Group follows the official negotiations for increased energy efficiency in Europe including former Soviet Union. The group follows the international cooperation on energy efficiency in the Environment for Europe Process (EfE) and in the Energy Charter process. The Group participates in the governmental experts' meetings with 1-2 observers, and communicates internally via an Email List.
The Email List is open to European ECO's: just write an email to <> with the heading "Energy & Climate Group: new entry". In the body of the text write 5-10 lines about your organisation/activities.
The group is part of the European ECO-Forum.


In 2002, the group is discussing inputs to the Environment for Europe process on energy, for the upcoming Pan-European Environmental ministers meeting, May 2003 in Kiev (Kiev 2003). The group has also started to follow the UN-ECE task force on reforming energy prices.
The input's to Environment for Europe has the aim of increasing Pan-European cooperation on sustainable energy. The group has proposed specifically to focus on:

  • Transition to sustainable heating, given the current problems with decaying heat supply structures and the opportunities for sustainable heating with biomass, local cogeneration etc.
  • Phase-out of environmental harmful subsidies. The official commitments to phase-out subsidies must become operational and lead to increased phase-out of the environmentally harmful subsidies.
  • Phase-out of nuclear power, starting with the high-risk reactors

For the Energy Charter working group on energy efficiency, the group has made a Proposal for Energy Efficiency / Sustainable Energy Issues for Kiev 2003 (word file 24 kB - July 2002).

For the Kiev conference the group has been in charge of parts of the ECO-Forum "Bratislava Declaration"(December 2002), see the energy parts (word file 30 kB) or read the full declaration.

The group has followed the Pan-European Task force for Reforming Energy Prices that has proposed national guidelines for reforms of energy prices and energy subsidies at is meeting November 2002. The group is currently (december 2002) developing its position on the guidelines that will be proposed for adoption at Kiev 2003. Read about the new guidelines at the official site.

Read also about the activities in Sustainable Energy News, issue 38, 39.


In 2001, the group has been discussing vision for sustainable energy co-operation across Europe in the light of lack of progress in official co-operation on the issue. See article "Pan-European Energy Efficiency - Problems and Visions" (word .doc 17 kB).


At the ECO-Forum's Strategy Meeting, September 2000 in Kiev, it was decided to work for increased Pan-European activities for energy efficiency and renewable energy. It was further decided to put more emphasis on the problems with nuclear power plants.


Since the European Environment Ministers decided to start work for a European energy conservation strategy at their meeting in Sofia, 1995, the ECO-Forum has followed the process.  Before the meeting of the Environment Ministers, in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1998, the ECO-Forum's Energy and Climate Group agreed on NGO-positions and proposals for energy conservation in Europe. This was formulated in a number of proposals to the official process, as well as in a general statement "NGO Visions for a European Energy Conservation Strategy" . A special statement was made on NGO-views on nuclear power "Towards a Nuclear-Free Europe".

Parallel to participation in the official process, several NGOs were involved in the collection of sustainable-energy success stories in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), resulting in a compilation of more than 20 good examples of how energy is conserved at the local level throughout CEE. The publication was publishes in 1998. Later on a database was started and further cases were added, which are available online.

After the Environmental Minister's Conference in Aarhus, June 1998, the ECO-forum's Energy and Climate Group has followed the official negotiations to implement the decisions from the conference in Aarhus, in particular:

  • that the countries plan to phase out environmental harmful subsidies by 2005
  • that the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the EU programs for Central and Eastern Europe (PHARE and TACIS) are asked to strengthen their energy efficiency programs.
  • a guideline for national energy efficiency policy is proposed
To follow this, the Group participates as observer in:
  • The Committee on Environmental Policy of the UN Economic Commission for Europe. This Committee is in charge of the official negotiations between the Pan-European Environmental Ministers' Meeting. The ECO-Forum follows these negotiations and the Energy & Climate Group will usually be present if major energy issues are on the agenda.
  • The working group for the Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects (PEREEA) to the Energy Charter Treaty. This group is in charge of the international follow-up of the above mentioned decisions on energy from the Aarhus meeting.
  • The Committee on Sustainable Energy of the UN Economic Commission for Europe and its Task Force on Reforming Energy Prices.
LINKS: Participating ECO's:

The following ECO's participated in the work of the ECO Forum's Energy & Climate Group, either with participation in official meetings (first five organisations in the list) or in other ways:

  • INFORSE-Europe, (International Network for Sustainable Energy - Europe),

  • att. Gunnar Boye Olesen (OVE, Denmark) and att. Emil Bedi (FAE, Slovakia);
  • Social Ecological Union in Russia, Center for Nuclear Ecology and Energy Policy, att. Ilya Popov;
  • BankWatch Network, att. Olexi Pasyuk, Peter Hlobil (Ukraine / Czech Republic);
  • Energie & Umwelt - Swiss Energy Foundation, att. Heini Glauser;
  • Climate Network Europe, att. Rob Bradley
  • Green Action Zagreb (Croatia), att. Toni Vidan;
  • Hungarien Energy Club, att. Ada Amon;
  • Slovenian E-Forum, att. Andrej Klemenc;
  • Anti-Atom International, att. Heinz Högelsberger (Austria);
  • P.L.A.G.E.-Salzburg, att. Heinz Stockinger (Austria).
  • Belorussian Division of International Society of Ecology, att. Eugeny Shirikov;
  • Youth Ecological Movement "Belaja Rus", att. Natalia Petruskevich
  • E-Misszio Environmental Assocition, att. Erzsébeth Pálfy (Hungary).
  • and several others