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8.1 Energy and environment

152. Introducing the energy subprogramme the Assistant Executive Director emphasized the importance of energy production, conversion and use as prime causes of many major environmental problems. UNEP's approach was to promote an understanding of the impacts of energy use on the environment and thereby contribute to sounder energy planning and policy at both the technical and institutional levels.

153. One representative stressed the importance of achieving early results in this field, which had a wide impact on climate change and general human health. Activities aimed at the efficient use of energy and the promotion of new and renewable sources of energy should be given every encouragement. Re said that the industrialised countries had a special responsibility to deal with the problems of energy use and to develop alternatives to current patterns and technologies. He argued that these new technologies should be made easily and freely available to developing countries. As there was no special United Nations agency for energy, he recommended support for the development of environmentally sound energy policies and the transfer of the necessary technologies to those countries in need.

154. A number of representatives expressed their support for various parts of the subprogramme, especially work related to energy policy and climate change, human health aspects and new and renewable sources of energy.

155. One representative stated the need for a system that could both assess the requirements of developing countries and secure the transfer of environmentally sound energy technologies, especially in the search for new and renewable sources of energy.

156. Another representative spoke of the need for a convention on the transboundary movement of nuclear wastes, Which could be drawn up by USEP and IARA.

157. The observer for IARA drew the attention of the Committee to the Secretary-General's report on the environmental effects of the dumping of nuclear wastes ((UKEPIGC.1519/Add.6), Which had been prepared by IARA in consultation with UNEP. Although there were no confirmed cases of dumping of nuclear wastes, IARA had initiated work on an international code of practice on the subject, following the principles laid down in the recent Basel Convention.

8.2 Industry and environment

158. In his Introduction to the subprogramme on industry, the Assistant Executive Director emphasized four lines of action: the preparation and dissemination of technical guides focused on small- and medium-size enterprises in highly polluting industry sectors; training activities to support and reinforce the use of these guides; technical co-operation on specific industrial problems at the request of Governments; and the transfer of Information, together with the transfer of environmental technologies.

159. Several representatives expressed their satisfaction with the work of the UNEP Industry and Environment Office (IEO) and recommended that it be strengthened.

160. A number of representatives said that a convention on notification and assistance in the event of industrial accidents was not necessary. Activities should be directed Instead towards establishing an international network on this subject in connection with the Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at the Local Level (APELL) Programme, Which several representatives commended.

161. One representative said that while the training being offered in the field of industry and environment was valuable, too many organizations were involved; UNEP could play a role in co-ordination. He recommended that the Executive Director examine the possibility of establishing an environmental training network or similar co-ordination unit at IEO. One representative announced her Government's financial support for a training workshop on hazardous waste management for French-speaking African countries.

162. A number of representatives stressed the importance of strengthening the network on low and no-waste technologies. Some expressed their willingness to support this activity.

163. One representative stressed the importance of direct outside financial support for some of the specific activities under the IEO technical programme and in particular for the technical guides. Another emphasized the need for these guides in developing countries, as well as for the Industry and Environment Review as a means of transferring information.8.3 Transportation

164. Some representatives expressed concern over the low level of activities in the subprogramme on transportation, as it was recognized that transport was one of the major sources of atmospheric pollution and also very important in the context of urban development. Transport was seen by one representative as an example of an area where information and transfer of technologies could help developing countries immensely. Another representative called for more work on removing lead from petrol.

165. Several representatives and the observer for ILO emphasized the need to strengthen activities related to the working environment. One representative stressed the urgent need for activities related to mining.