GFSE Side Events at the Vienna Energy Forum 2017

The Vienna Energy Forum 2017 brought together more than 1,650 high-level government officials, policy makers, as well as representatives from Permanent Missions, as well as experts and representatives of the European Union, civil society, the private sector and development finance institutions from 128 countries to discuss the importance of sustainable energy for the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. The numerous debates were led by more than 60 high-level speakers. The high-level panels, which took place in the Hofburg Palace from 11 -12 May, were preceded by Side Events on 9 and 10 May at the Vienna International Centre. At the side events, 450 participants from 65 countries were in attendance. This year’s Vienna Energy Forum was co‐organized by UNIDO, IIASA, the Austrian Government, and SEforALL.

"Some of the key outcomes of the Vienna Energy Forum were:

  1. Many of the capital investments we make today have a very long replacement time, therefore the energy choices we make today will lock us into a development path for decades to come.
  2. Energy is the key enabler for food security, health, land and water.
  3. With the global megatrend of rapid urbanization, its proportionally growing energy demand and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions, cities are calling for innovative approaches to urban design and transformative change.
  4. Affordable and clean energy is the biggest opportunity to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Technology transfer, investment, capacity building and institutions will help energy play its role in fighting climate change.
  5. Technological innovations are central for sustainable energy development. New concepts and game‐changing technologies are being introduced, but the level of readiness remains uncertain.
  6. Sustainable solutions depend on innovative and inclusive business models that can be scaled up, replicated, and are self‐sustaining. These business models exist already and are ripe for financing by financial institutions, development banks, as well as private investors.
  7. Recognizing that innovation works at multiple levels, and that it can trigger fast and transformative change, target setting and regional cooperation can further ensure that results of innovation trickle down through all levels.
  8. Energy is a crucial component for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, but also for meeting the energy security needs of various countries.
  9. The role of the private sector in implementing the SDGs and the Paris agreement is growing, and the public sector should embrace it as the driver of innovation." (Source: UNIDO/VEF)

For photos from the event, please check this link.

For more information about the Vienna Energy Forum and more key outcomes, check the event homepage.

The Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE) was not only a partner of this year’s exciting Vienna Energy Forum and thus present at the event, but GFSE also helped organize two side events on Wednesday, 10th May 2017 to discuss trends and challenges in smart city development and innovative Austrian clean energy technologies.

Furthermore, GFSE also helped UNIDO and the City of Vienna organize a two-day special study tour to support the on-going capacity building efforts in the field of Small Hydro Power (SHP) in several developing countries, namely Zambia, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar and Cameroon.

Additionally, Ms. Irene Giner-Reichl, Austrian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China and Mongolia, President of GFSE and Vice-Chair of REN21, was a panellist in High-Level Panel II: The Energy, Food Security, Land, Water and Health Nexus as well as in the Launch Event "REthinking Energy: Accelerating the Global Energy Transformation" (organized by IRENA). Furthermore, she participated in the Networking Event: Women for Sustainable Energy, aimed at further recognizing and promoting the catalytic role of women in the production and consumption of sustainable energy.

In preparation for the two VEF side events, GFSE organized two expert workshops to discuss challenges for the diffusion of appropriate renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions in developing and emerging countries (SDG 7) as well as the importance of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy solutions to reduce urban poverty (focus on SDGs 1, 7, and 11). You can read a summary of the key outcomes of the workshops here.