Although it is one of its most important goals, the Secretariat for Promoting Sustainable Development does not conduct research to generate new sources of "clean energy", nor does it develop plans that include the use of renewable resources. These observations are contained in a report by the General Audit Office (AGN, for its acronym in Spanish) on the work area that is under the aegis of the Ministry of Environment.
"The energy variable is practically not covered by the projects" of the Secretariat, says the Watchdog, and stressed the "need to prioritize the issue" because there are offices without sufficient employees or inputs to operate normally, and several programs are not executed due to a lack of funds.
As an example, the AGN cites the case of the Sustainable Energy Development UNIT (UDES, for its acronym in Spanish), an office that works within the Secretariat. The dependence doesn’t have a formally appointed coordinator to which attribute job responsibilities, institutional structure, nor the human resources "needed to solve problems" according to the report, in the UDES only three people work.
This unit should advise the Secretary of Environment in different ways to mitigate the problems arising from the use of fossil fuels. However, in the UDES "there is no comprehensive database of every school and university that is conducting research on different energy sources," says the AGN.
In addition, the Unit does not know the fate of their own projects. According to the audit, decree 140 of 2007 entrusted to the UDES the drafting of a "Procedures Guide for Optimizing Energy Use," which form part of the National Program for the Rational and Efficient Use of Energy (PROUREE). When the guide was ready, the dependence of the Ministry of Environment sent to the Cabinet of Ministers, "and from that moment an unknown process status was given," says the report.
Within the Secretariat functions are linked to another clean energy area. It is the Department of Climate Change, which manages three initiatives at a national level: the program biofuels, energy and alternative fuels, and rational use of energy and improvement of energy efficiency. But the AGN, which adopted its work this year on data from the 2004-2008 period, said that these plans had not been implemented nor were they in the agenda of the area "due to lack of financing.”