GFSE - 1: Rural Energy - Priorities for Action, 11-13 Dec. 2000, Laxenburg, Austria

The 1st Meeting of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE) was held from 11-13 December 2000 at the Headquarters of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. The meeting, which addressed the topic of Rural Energy: Priorities for Action, was attended by more than 120 participants representing government agencies, United Nations bodies, business and industry, non-governmental organizations and academia. It was co-sponsored by IIASA, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the City of Vienna and the Austrian  Government (Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management). Support was also provided by a number of other donors, including the Governments of Norway and Sweden and the Leadership for Environment and Development Foundation (LEAD).

The GFSE developed from outreach efforts related to the World Energy Assessment initiative, which was organized by UNDP, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the World Energy Council. It is envisaged that the GFSE will provide a forum for a series of ongoing multi-stakeholder dialogues aimed at facilitating decision-making on energy policy issues in relevant fora.

Participants at this meeting convened in a series of plenary sessions to hear presentations and engage in discussions on: Linkages between rural energy and sustainable development; enabling frameworks for attracting investment for rural energy; lessons learned; financing issues; challenges and opportunities of regulatory reform; innovation; and the way forward, including a work plan for the GFSE. They also met in parallel break-out sessions to identify regional priorities and opportunities in relation to enabling frameworks, financing and regulatory issues.

At its conclusion, participants considered the key messages and actions discussed during the meeting. The GFSE's outcomes will contribute to various negotiations and processes, including energy related work being undertaken by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development at its ninth session (CSD-9) in April 2001. It is also expected to contribute to sustainable energy discussions at the Third UN Conference on Least Developed Countries taking place in Brussels in May 2001, and at the Ten Year Review of the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 2002.

Conference Report:

GFSE-1 Conference Report

IISD website on GFSE-1:

http://www.iisd.ca/sd/gfse1/

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