Energy savings are antidote to fuel crisis ministers agree at UN forum

By saving energy at home, at work and on the roads, people around the globe can help tackle the fuel crisis that is challenging the economies of the industrial and developing worlds, delegates gathered at a meeting in Dubai sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) concluded today.A set of insights gleaned during a three-day brainstorming session on the world energy crisis are wrapped in a report that will be delivered to the upcoming session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in New York City this May.The conclusions evolved during the environmental agency’s Global Ministerial Environment Forum held this week in the United Arab Emirates. The summary will be prepared by the president of the Forum’s Governing Council, Rachmat Witoelar of Indonesia.Among other conclusions reached during the session were that the efficient use of energy can fight climate change by cutting carbon emissions in cities and homes and, subsequently, reducing health hazards. Government were urged to take the lead by purchasing energy efficient equipment and services and adopting energy-efficient standards for everything from electrical appliances to agricultural machinery to automobiles.UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said the ministers zeroed in on energy, what he termed “the heart of the most pressing problem facing the planet.”“The rising demand for energy and the climbing price of fossil fuels has implications for economic growth, for fighting poverty and for the local and global environment,” said Mr. Toepfer, voicing hope that the talks will trigger international action.The ministers also looked at the role that tourism, the world’s largest industry, can play in fighting poverty, delivering sustainable development and conserving vital ecosystems like coral reefs and forests.

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