10 December 2019

Vienna Energy Forum 2020 announced at COP25

Her Excellency Maria Patek, Austria’s Minister for Sustainability and Tourism, announced the Vienna Energy Forum (VEF) 2020 during the high-level segment of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 25).

© Datsenko Marina | Dreamstime.com

© Datsenko Marina | Dreamstime.com

In light of COVID-19 developments, the Vienna Energy Forum 2020 has been postponed to 2021 – the new dates will soon be announced.

Austria, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) are co-organizing the seventh Vienna Energy Forum. Maria Patek stated, “the Forum takes place in an international city that has become a hub for innovative and sustainable energy solutions.”

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, in charge of Austrian Development Cooperation, pointed out the dilemma faced when addressing development and climate change: “Eight hundred and forty million people still lack access to electricity. Only 17.5 per cent of final energy consumption is from renewable energy.”

At the heart of the Vienna Energy Forum 2020 discussions will be the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the tremendous potential for a paradigm shift to low-emission, climate-resilient development pathways that it offers.  Albert van Jaarsveld, Director General and Chief Executive Officer at IIASA, said: “IIASA’s energy and technology research serves as an input to the VEF debates on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”  

Policymakers, development planners, industry and other stakeholders will play a key role in shaping how new technologies can support and accelerate the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. UNIDO Director General LI Yong emphasized: “It will be important for decision-makers in both the public and private sectors to understand the potential of the Internet of Things, 3D printing, blockchain, robotics, artificial intelligence, and other Fourth Industrial Revolution innovations.”

Martin Ledolter, managing director of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation, which has been co-funding the Vienna Energy Forum since it was first held in 2009, said:  “For the past 10 years, the biennial Vienna Energy Forum has been providing a most valuable high-level platform to debate practical solutions for sustainable energy. Access to clean, reliable and affordable energy sources is crucial to address climate change, combat energy poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Austrian Development Agency is proud to continue this successful path together with the Austrian Foreign Ministry and our trusted partners UNIDO and IIASA.

The Vienna Energy Forum will take place from 16 to 17 June 2020 at the Hofburg Imperial Palace. The ideas and initiatives discussed during the event will feed into the UN’s climate change and sustainable development processes.

Joint press release by UNIDO, BMEIA, ADA, and IIASA. 

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Last edited: 19 March 2020

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