All five co-organizing agencies have a lot to bring to the table for global energy discussions.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is following the lead of the UN Secretary-General by contributing to inclusive and sustainable development and climate security. This is clearly reflected in the UNIDO mandate to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID). Providing inclusive, clean and sustainable energy solutions is a main ingredient of ISID. Against this backdrop, UNIDO’s Department of Energy has acquired a strong track record in helping partner countries to improve industrial energy efficiency, use renewable energy in industrial processes, deploy low carbon low emissions technologies, and implement smart and supportive policies.
UNIDO believes that strong partnerships and global forums are required in order to find common ground for addressing the challenges related to sustainable energy in the 2030 Development and the Climate Agendas, and to achieve tangible results on the ground. In this regard, organizing the VEF 2017 provides UNIDO with the opportunity to play an active role in creating a sustainable and inclusive future. The final reports of the previous conferences are available at www.viennaenergyforum.org.
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an independent scientific institute that conducts research on the environmental, economic, technological, and social changes we face in the 21st century. Energy research, being one of the Institute’s core research activities, explores energy technology innovation, energy security, energy access and poverty, sustainable energy, and climate change. Its major focus lies on the linkages between these areas and other important global issues such as health, environment, food security, gender, and equity. IIASA’s energy research, for example the 2012 Global Energy Assessment (GEA), serves as an input to policy-making at both national and international level. It is also an important contribution to the work of the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and relevant institutions such as UNIDO, SE4ALL, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Austria’s commitment to clean and sustainable energy production and energy efficiency is also reflected in its foreign policy actions, particularly in the activities of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). As part of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the key objectives of ADC include combating poverty in developing countries, securing peace and human security as well as preserving the environment and protecting natural resources. Strengthening infrastructure particularly in the water and sustainable energy sectors is another focal area. Austria has obtained considerable experience and knowledge in the field of renewable energy, and is ready to share it.
During the past ten years BMeiA has supported the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE), which grew out of the outreach efforts of the World Energy Assessment. GFSE is an established multi-stakeholder platform and a partner in the field of international “energy for sustainable development”. It contributes to both the international discourse and information dissemination on sustainable energy. The GFSE has since 1999 been hosting annual meetings on energy-related issues. Vienna, hosting ten international organizations dealing with energy issues, has developed into an international energy hub over the years. The Foreign Ministry’s participation in the VEF 2017 is therefore an expression of Austria’s consistent commitment to promoting sustainable energy and the international debate on energy.
The United Nations Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Initiative was launched at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held in September 2011 to identify and mobilize action in support of energy access, energy efficiency, as well as increasing the share of renewable energy. After designating 2012 the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All”, the UNGA unanimously declared 2014-2024 as the “Decade of Sustainable Energy for All”, underscoring the importance of energy issues for sustainable development and the elaboration of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The UN SEforALL initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership that works with business, civil society, banks, governments and international institutions to promote public private partnerships and induce significant changes in the way energy services are produced and accessed.
The SEforALL initiative aims at achieving three main goals by 2030:
- ensuring universal access to modern energy services
- doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
- doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency worldwide
The VEF has been a major contributor to the design of the SEforALL goals and as in the past this Forum will be a significant milestone bridging the many highlights of the energy calendar in 2017.
Sustainable energy supply has constituted a thematic priority of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) for many years. As the operational unit of the ADC, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is responsible for implementing bilateral programmes and projects in ADC's partner countries. ADA is thus well equipped to share Austria’s internationally respected energy know-how with its partner countries, with a special focus on renewable energies. With its approach of working closely with public institutions, civil society organizations and enterprises alike, supporting regional organizations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) or the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and its commitment to multilateralism, ADA first and foremost promotes cooperation and integration.