The Austrian Foreign Ministry

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.

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 2015 is therefore an expression of Austria’s consistent commitment to promoting sustainable energy and the international debate on energy.

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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 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).

Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)

The United Nations Secretary-General’sSustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) 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 SE4ALL 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 SE4ALL 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 SE4ALL goals. The VEF 2015 will be a significant milestone bridging the many highlights of the energy calendar in 2015, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, the 15th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, the World Bank’s spring meetings, the SE4ALL Forum in New York, the negotiations on the SDGs, and in particular the COP21 in Paris.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is following the lead of the UN Secretary-General to contribute to inclusive and sustainable development and climate security. This is clearly reflected in the new UNIDO mandate, that is inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID). Providing inclusive, clean and sustainable energy solutions is a main ingredient of ISID. Against this backdrop, the Energy and Climate Change Programme of UNIDO has acquired a strong track record in supporting partner countries with improving industrial energy efficiency, using renewable energy in industrial processes, deploying low carbon low emissions technologies and implementing smart and supportive policies.

UNIDO is of the opinion that strong partnerships and global forums are required in order to find a common ground for addressing the challenges related to sustainable energy in the Post-2015 Development and the Climate Agenda, and to achieve tangible results on the ground. In this regard, organizing the VEF 2015 offers an opportunity to UNIDO to play an active role in creating a sustainable and inclusive future.