The Vienna Energy Forum 2018 Special Session concluded yesterday with participants agreeing that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is essential for the achievement of both the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
A series of plenary and round table discussions highlighted the opportunities and challenges that the clean energy transition presents for developing countries. The outcomes of the Forum will support the UN’s High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in its review of the global progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
According to Tareq Emtairah, Director of the Department of Energy at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), “One of the main agreed outcomes from the discussions was that if the transition is to make a difference, it has to create prosperity.”
Emtairah said that the advent of new climate technologies and the urgent need to move towards a low-carbon development path is driving the growth of new green industrial sectors, creating new jobs and new opportunities. However, Vienna Energy Forum participants agreed that entrepreneurs and start-ups in developing countries need support so that they can develop innovations and take their place on the global market.
There was also agreement on the need for a shift from technology transfer to technology cooperation. The exchange of knowledge and the co-creation of solutions are necessary to support the integration and application of clean technologies in developing countries.
A final conclusion shared by the Forum participants was that the process of empowering and catalyzing entrepreneurial eco-systems for climate innovation in developing countries takes time and requires patience. Partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society actors must be maintained.
VEF2018 was organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), and in collaboration with Austria’s Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).