The Vienna Energy Forum (VEF), organized by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) Initiative, convened under the theme ‘Sustainable Energy for Inclusive Development.'
20 June 2015: The Vienna Energy Forum (VEF), organized by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) Initiative, convened under the theme ‘Sustainable Energy for Inclusive Development.’
VEF 2015, which took place in Vienna, Austria, from 18-20 June 2015, brought together over 2,500 participants from some 60 countries, including ministers, high-level dignitaries and senior representatives of international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, civil society and the private sector. The Forum aimed to contribute to the UN summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda scheduled to take place in New York, US, in September 2015, and the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris, France, in December 2015, by emphasizing the multiple co-benefits of sustainable energy and by showcasing best practices and actions on the ground.
VEF 2015 convened ten high-level panels on, inter alia: sustainable energy for productive capacities; ending energy poverty; business models and smart policies for scaling up renewable energy; regional strategies for sustainable energy; sustainable energy and climate change; sustainable cities; public-private partnerships for energy efficiency; sustainable transport; and new and innovative financing mechanisms. Numerous special sessions and side events were also held.
The VEF 2015 outcome document contains a number of key messages, including calls to: link climate action to action on the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); put in place effective polices and measures to allow necessary action and investments to untap two-thirds of energy efficiency potential; and scale up action and investments in targeted areas and sectors to meet energy efficiency and renewable energy potential.
The outcome document also emphasizes the nexus among energy, transport, food, water and health, and calls for greater effort to strengthen the synergies between the three SE4All goals for 2030 on energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy. It further highlights the need for regional approaches on energy efficiency and renewables, and states that empowering women to become agents of sustainable energy is key to achieving inclusive and sustainable development. [Vienna Energy Forum 2015 Website] [IISD RS Coverage of VEF 2015] [IISD RS Sources]