Participants at the Vienna Energy Forum, VEF holding in the capital of Austria have said that sustainable energy is the golden thread that connects both inclusive development and efforts to combat climate change.
Over 1,000 participants, including high-ranking government officials and experts in the field, according to a statement by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO are attending the three-day major international event that ends today.
It said the event preceded the Sustainable Development Goals, SGDs summit in New York and the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, COP 21 in Paris.
By emphasizing the multiple benefits of both the post-2015 development and the climate agendas and showcasing best practices and actions on the ground, it said the VEF 2015 aims to contribute to both the SDGs Summit and COP21.
Director General of UNIDO, Li Yong while speaking at the opening of the Forum said, “Energy systems can be overhauled to support a sustainable future; they need to be affordable, reliable and environmentally sound.”
“To make economic growth and development more inclusive and sustainable, we must rapidly reform our industrial processes towards sustainability. We must promote energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy more effectively, and reduce our carbon footprints.
“We need to also work on the constructive inclusion of women and youth through their economic empowerment and entrepreneurship development in order to firstly address inequalities and secondly to unlock the full potential of the countries and society to innovate and motivate for solutions.
“We must use our scarce resources more efficiently and effectively. And lastly, we must also advance our cleaner production abilities,” Yong stressed.
Also speaking, Secretary General of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, BMEIA, Michael Linhart, referred to energy as the “central nervous system of the world economy.”
“The programme of this year’s Vienna Energy Forum reflects the manifold ways in which energy comes into play: as a nexus with other sustainable development goals, as a driver for urban development and as part of mutual linkages with gender equality and the empowerment of women.
“Developing successful business models and smart policies will be key in making sure that sustainable energy can make a major impact on inclusive development. Austria has a long tradition of know-how and expertise in renewable energy and energy efficiency which it is willing to share,” he added.
Director General and Chief Executive Officer, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, IIASA, Pavel Kabat, said, “This year’s Forum comes at a key moment in the lead-up to agreements later this year on climate and sustainable development.”
“It is impossible to ignore the fact that energy is at the heart of sustainable development, and inextricably linked to climate change. IIASA research is providing unique insight into these problems by exploring the interlinkages between them and the potential pathways to achieving a just and sustainable future for all the people on our planet,” he said.
Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, Kandeh Yumkella said: “We need to transform the world’s energy systems by taking a fresh, joined-up approach that can fuel development and at the same time combat climate change”.
“We can change the game by mobilising multiple players public sector, private sector and civil society to work together in new partnerships and leverage the necessary large-scale investment”, he said.

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