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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

The Key to Sustainable Development

The Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations

Statement by Ambassador Gunnar Pálsson

Director, Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

at the

Fourteenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development

Meeting the growing need for energy services through increased use of renewable energy, greater reliance on advanced energy technologies, including advanced and fossil fuel technologies

New York, 3 May 2006

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The Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations

800 Third Ave. 36th fl. - Tel 212-593-2700. - Fax 212-593-6269

We all know that when it comes to meeting the foreseeable increase in world energy demand there is no silver bullet. Instead, we will most likely have to make do with a diversified mix of solutions, including both fossil fuels and renewables, combined in a flexible way to achieve maximum efficiency.

The precise mix will, of course, vary from country to country. In my own country, basically all electricity and space heating is derived from clean renewable energy resources, hydro- and geothermal, constituting three quarters of the country´s energy use. Steps are being taken to increase the utilization of sustainable energy resources even further, inter alia through the use of new and foreward-looking technologies. Hydrogen technology is one option we are seriously pursuing with partners on both sides of the Atlantic for using local renewable energy resources to produce a pollution free energy carrier for vehicles and ships.

For many years, it has also been the policy of my government to increase the use of renewable energy resources by offering Iceland to other countries as a site for power intensive industries, thus contributing to the reduction of global greenhouse emissions and displacing pollution that might otherwise occur elsewhere.

In the future, we will need a pragmatic approach in trying to meet growing world demand for energy services. Different strokes will work for different people. At the same time, Iceland is of the view that the most effective way to advance the transition to a global energy system for sustainable development would be through substantially expanding the share of renewable energy in world energy demand.

Iceland stands ready to contribute to that transition as best we can.



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