Serbian Minister of Energy and Mining Aleksandar Popovic said today at a UNESCO conference held in Paris that Serbia will contribute to global efforts for harmonising actions on all levels with the aim to securing adequate energy supply for economic development while preserving the environment.

Popovic pointed at the active participation of Serbia in international cooperation and Serbia’s determination to adopt all relevant, internationally recognised principles and demands in the area of energy-principles according to which, as he put it, viable energy development should be made possible, as the most important aspect of all inclusive sustainable development, which is a priority global aim.

According to Popovic, improvement of sustainable energy development holds a very important place in Serbia’s development policy, and it will be realised above all through increased usage of renewable energy sources. He said that such an approach is confirmed by strategic documents which were adopted by Serbia – the strategy for economic development, strategy for energy development and the programme for realising the aims of the strategy for energy development.

The Minister recalled that within the framework of the National Energy Efficiency Programme, during the period from 2002 to 2005, some 200 projects and studies throughout Serbia were carried out, while during the period from 2006 to 2008 it is expected that 150 projects and studies will be conducted. Popovic pointed to the fact that the realisation of these projects and studies involve the Serbian Energy Efficiency Agency, the regional centres for energy efficiency and local self-governments, with the strong support of international donor community. Bearing in mind the global character of energy, the advantages from advancing the energy sector in Serbia and other countries in transition is of great importance also for donor countries, said the Minister. Speaking on global problems in energy consumption and preserving the environment, Popovic said that improving energy efficiency is economically the most justifiable manner in which demands of the Kyoto Protocol could be fulfilled.

According to Popovic, that is the best way to reduce dependency on import of energy, improve supply, increase competition in national economy, create a new market of services and to increase employment. The two-day UNESCO conference titled, “Energy in a Changing World”, which was organised by the UNESCO and Russia, is being held in order to discuss challenges in the area of energy which are being faced by the world, and the role of science in lasting energy development and seeking ways in which to reduce energy poverty. The conference is being presided over by UNESCO Secretary General Koichiro Matsuura and Russian Minister of Industry and Energy Victor Khristenko.