Commission on Sustainable Development CSD

3(h) To consider, where appropriate, information regarding the progress made in the implementation of environmental conventions, which could be made available by the relevant conferences of parties. (UN, 1992)

The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development reaffirmed the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) as the highest-level commission dealing with sustainable development issues within the UN system.

Chapter 9 of Agenda 21 deals with climate change under the topic of 'Protection of the atmosphere'. Energy was added to the topics of the CSD in 1997 at Rio +5. Recognizing that some 2 billion people have no access to modern energy services is clearly a sustainable development issue.

It was clear to the government negotiators for both Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation that the CSD should continue to have a role in looking at both climate change and energy. Perhaps with energy it is understandable as there is no obvious other home for that discussion such as water. Recognizing this within the UN system, the secretary general set up the interagency coordination mechanisms to deal with how the UN should approach these subjects (e.g. UN Water and UN Energy). This stills leaves a massive gap in how and where governments should address energy.

When the CSD last discussed energy and climate change in 2007, the CSD for the first time was unable to come to a policy agreement. The controversy was primarily over what role the commission should play on climate change. The CSD did not, as requested by G77 and a number of countries in the Security

Council, come forward with suggestions relating to energy and climate security issues.

Farukh Amil, the deputy permanent representative for Pakistan and chair of the G77 developing countries, made some powerful arguments against the inclusion of climate change in the Security Council. While recognizing the importance of the issues for the achievement of sustainable development, developing countries felt the responsibilities to address the climate and security nexus were the responsibility of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.

Clearly the CSD, if it is to continue, needs to map out much more plainly what role it could have in energy and climate change policy and action.

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