Press Releases

         18 April 2005

    New UN Report Outlines Indicators for Sustainable Energy Use

    NEW YORK, 15 April (DESA) -- A publication outlining key indicators for sustainable energy use, jointly prepared by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Energy Agency, Eurostat and the European Environment Agency, was launched today by the IAEA in Vienna.

    The report addresses the concern that much of the world’s current energy supply and use, which is based largely on limited fossil fuel resources, is associated with harmful environmental and health impacts, including air pollution and climate change. Moreover, some 1.7 billion people have no access to electricity, and many areas in the world are without reliable and secure energy supplies, severely limiting opportunities for economic development -- an integral part of sustainable development.

    The report, called Energy Indicators for Sustainable Development: Guidelines and Methodologies, outlines a core set of 30 indicators across the three major dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.

    Examples of social indicators include the share of household income spent on fuel and electricity and the share of households without electricity. Examples of economic indicators include energy use per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), efficiency of energy conversion and distribution and renewable energy share of energy and electricity. Examples of environmental indicators include the rate of deforestation attributable to energy use and the ratio of solid radioactive waste to units of energy produced.

    The indicators are applicable to both developed and developing countries and enable policymakers to measure and assess the current and future effects of energy use on human health, human society, air, soil and water. The indicators are designed for policymakers to select the most appropriate indicators for the situation in their own country in order that individual countries can track their progress over time towards sustainable energy use.

    The thematic framework, guidelines, methodologies and energy indicators presented in this publication reflect the expertise of five international agencies and organizations, recognized as leaders in energy and environmental statistics and analysis.

    The electronic version of the report is available at the IAEA website, To order copies of the report, contact the IAEA Publishing Office or via e-mail: The report will also be available in bookstores worldwide, including the United Nations bookstore in New York, from 15 April 2005.

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