12.3.1 Energy supply and use
Mitigation options in the energy sector may be classified into those that improve energy efficiency and those that reduce the use of carbon-intensive fuels. The latter may be further classified into domestic and imported fuels. The synergies and trade-offs of these options with economic, local environmental, and social sustainable development goals are presented in Table 12.4. In the case of energy efficiency, it is generally thought to be cost effective and its use reduces or eliminates local pollutant emissions. Improving energy efficiency is thus a desirable option in every energy demand and supply sector.
As noted in Section 12.1.3, over the last decade, quantification of progress towards sustainable development has gained ground. In the industrial sector, several trade associations provide platforms for organizing and implementing GHG mitigation programmes. Chapter 7 notes that performance indicators are being used by the aluminium, semiconductor, and cement industry to measure and report progress towards sustainable development. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a UNEP Collaborating Centre initiative, for example, reports that over 700 companies worldwide make voluntary use of its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for reporting their sustainable development achievements. Industrial sectors with high environmental impacts lead in reporting and 85% of the reports address progress on climate change (GRI, 2005), and (KPMG Global Sustainability Services, 2005). Another example is in the buildings sector. Several thousand commercial buildings have been certified by the USA Green Building Council’s programme on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which uses 69 criteria to award certificates at various levels of achievement. The certification ensures that a building meets largely quantitative criteria related to energy use, indoor air quality, materials and resource use, water efficiency, and innovation and design process (USGBC, 2005). Economic and ethical considerations are the most cited reasons by businesses in the use of these two guidelines.