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Saturday, 27 June 2009
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Climate Change Policy & Practice
Vienna Energy Conference 2009

22-24 June 2009 | Vienna, Austria

Nikolaus Berlakovich (right), Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austria, thanks Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, Director General, ADC, for her work throughout GFSE’s history.
Funding for coverage of this conference has been provided by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria
Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General UNIDO, underscored energy access and the need for International cooperation on energy in his closing speech.
The Vienna Energy Conference 2009 was held at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, from 22-24 June, 2009, and was jointly organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE). The meeting brought together 778 participants from 93 countries, including 20 ministerial-level participants, energy representatives and experts, as well as representatives from UN agencies, bilateral organizations, the private sector, academia and regional and international non-governmental organizations.

The overall objective of the Conference was to provide a platform for high-level policymakers and private sector and civil society representatives from developing and industrialized countries to discuss energy issues in the context of the current global financial and economic crisis. The conference served as an opportunity to, amongst other things: shift the debate on energy and development beyond generalities and identify specific courses of action; initiate and advance regional and international co-operation in dedicated result-oriented working sessions; celebrate the tenth anniversary of the GFSE; provide inputs to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen; and present new international energy initiatives such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The three day conference consisted of five plenary sessions, six parallel sessions, and one high-level panel.

During the closing plenary six recommendations were made:

Energy Development Goals (EDGs) for 2030 – Need to set long-term EDGs that would address energy poverty issues, with appropriate timeframes and milestones;
Energy efficiency fast track – Sectoral energy efficiency targets to speed up action and implementation, developing policies at the national and regional levels, and encouraging stronger international cooperation and sharing of best-practice information;
Accelerate energy R&D – Need to increase global spending on energy R&D to a level commensurate to the vital role energy plays in society, with ambitious long-term targets for energy R&D;
Enhance diffusion of energy technologies – With particular focus on end-use technologies, which have shorter diffusion timeframes than supply technologies;
Strengthen UN Energy – to provide frameworks of using energy-related resources and making them available to other global processes;
Global energy support – Need for reliable energy research, such as the Global Energy Assessment, to increase global knowledge and support on energy issues.    
Photographs courtesy of UNIDO
Related Links
Relevant resources
Official conference site
UNIDO website
IIASA website
GFSE website
Austrian Development Cooperation

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