Green Group round table on significance of water and energy for sustainable development

New York, 27 April 2012 – Alongside negotiations on the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the roundtable 'Global outlook and local action: water and energy nexus for sustainable development' within the Green Group took place on 26 April.

The discussion dealt with cross-cutting issues and the relation between water and energy, all of which related to preparation for the Rio+20 Conference, happening from 20 to 22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The discussion was led by Sanja Štiglic, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the UN. The Director of the UN-Habitat New York Office, Cecilia Martinez, the Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact, Gavin Power, and the Chief of the UN Environment Programme Economics and Trade Branch, Steven Stone, also held individual speeches.

The participants underlined the connection between water and energy in sustainable development, since both are the key elements for its implementation. Due to the ever-growing consequences of climate change, the growing global population and the improving living standards, the need for water and energy is constantly rising. The access to water and energy has become one of the priority global challenges and strategic issues.

Multi-sector and cross-cutting solutions must be identified so as to satisfy our needs for both water and energy in the future. As for their efficiency, it is necessary to improve and re-integrate relevant policies at all levels (local, regional and global), thus incorporating and addressing all aspects of sustainable development. To this end, new partnerships must be promoted. This process is based on cooperation among key actors, including governments, local authorities, the private sector and civil society. The participant representatives of the Green Group countries and organisations presented individual good practices, their experience, and the solutions already in place in the area of sustainable use and management of water and energy resources.

The Green Group is an informal group bringing together Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Slovenia, Iceland, Singapore , and the United Arab Emirates; it aims to promote closer cooperation in environmental issues within foreign policies. It devotes particular attention to climate change, water and renewable energy sources.