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Vienna Energy Forum Addresses Universal Energy Access

Vienna Energy Forum 201123 June 2011: The Vienna Energy Forum 2011, which took place from 21-23 June 2011 in Vienna, Austria, addressed the theme “Energy for All – Time for Action.” The Forum focused on energy poverty and increasing energy access in developing countries.

The Forum was organized jointly by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis. Participants addressed, among other things, the key building blocks for developing a strategy for prioritizing the energy access agenda, as well as energy efficiency and reducing global energy intensity. It included sessions on: paving the way for universal energy access; sustainable energy for a green economy; defining and measuring energy access; concrete energy action to address climate change; pathways to sustainable energy systems; the roles of energy efficiency and renewable energy in promoting energy access; low-carbon transformational technologies; and financing universal energy access.

Speaking at the close of the Forum, Kandeh Yumkella, UNIDO Director-General, noted that the three goals of achieving universal access to energy for all, reducing energy intensity by 2.3% annually and having a global renewable energy mix of 30% by 2030, have been given more substance and are now gaining momentum. He added that the energy revolution is launching another industrial revolution, one that will bring individual freedom and access to dignity.

The Forum also included the pre-launch of the Global Energy Assessment, due to be released in late 2011. In addition, the Forum was held in parallel with a Ministerial Meeting on Energy and Green Industry, which aimed to initiate a high-level dialogue on strategies and solutions in support of three inter-related global objectives: expanding access to clean energy; enhancing industrial energy efficiency; and promoting green industry. [UNIDO Press Release] [Vienna Energy Forum 2011 Website] [IISD RS Coverage of the Vienna Energy Forum 2011]