Vienna Energy Forum Sees Launch of SE4ALL Tracking Framework, Post-2015 Goal Recommendations, MoU for Renewables Center

vienna-energy-forum30 May 2013: The Vienna Energy Forum (VEF) 2013 brought together over 1,200 participants from 100 countries, including ministers, policymakers, experts and representatives from the private sector and civil society under the theme 'One year after Rio+20: the energy future we want.'

The Forum was held from 28-30 May 2013, in Vienna, Austria, and included ministerial and high-level segments, plenaries and parallel sessions addressing a range of issues including energy access, financing the energy future and the development of an energy sustainable development goal.

Participants also considered the 'Key Recommendations on Energy in the Post-2015 Development Framework' directed to the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. These draft recommendations included that: the business-as-usual approach to energy access will not suffice; energy must be fully integrated into the universal post-2015 development agenda; there should be one global energy goal based on the targets of the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative; SE4ALL efforts need to take place at all governance levels; and monitoring progress of an energy goal will be key to its success.

The forum also saw the launch of the first analytical output of the SE4ALL initiative, in the form of the 'The Global Tracking Framework,' a collaborative effort of 15 international and non-governmental organizations led by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Bank and building on the methodology developed by Practical Action. The Framework determines a starting benchmark of energy access and poverty for the SE4ALL initiative to measure progress against. Vivian Foster, World Bank, explained that a data platform associated with the report is available online for 180 countries, covering 98% of the global population, and highlighted that China and the US account for 40% of global energy consumption. She lamented that, from 1990-2010, energy needs have grown faster than renewables deployment. Dan Dorner, International Energy Agency (IEA), highlighted that the report identifies 20 “high impact” countries that collectively account for 65-80% of the global energy poverty challenge and are therefore key to meeting global targets. He explained there are also “fast moving” countries where rapid gains have been seen and from which others can learn.

Several memoranda of understanding were signed during the Forum, including between the East African Community, UNIDO and the Austrian Government, for an East African regional center on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Organized jointly by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the meeting addressed sustainable energy in the context of negotiating a post-2015 development framework, a process initiated at the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20). [IISD Reporting Services coverage of Vienna Energy Forum 2013] [Vienna Energy Forum 2013 website] [Publication: Forum Recommendations on Energy in the Post-2015 Development Framework] [SE4ALL Global Tracking Framework launch video and press release]