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Sustainable energy tops agendas of UN-backed forums in Vienna, Russia

Photo: UNDP
Photo: UNDP

Sustainable energy tops agendas of UN-backed forums in Vienna, Russia

Sustainable energy for all should be integrated into a new set of global targets for the period after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015 according to a United Nations-backed forum that started today in Austria.

“Energy is now recognized as a defining issue of our time,” said Kandeh K. Yumkella, the UN Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All, and the Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) which organized the three-day Vienna Energy Forum along with Austrian authorities and the Intentional Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA).

“The lack of access to energy is a crucial constraint for development efforts. This is why the post-2015 framework should put in place a clearly articulated, global, long-term goal on universal energy access, supported by short-term targets and a robust monitoring and reporting system,” he added.

More than 1,500 participates are attending the forum. Mr. Yumkella vowed that the organizers will work with the stakeholders “to achieve sustainable energy for all and drive real action on the ground to help transform lives, communities, economies and continents, and at the same time protect the environment.”

The Sustainable Energy for All initiative which the forum supports is aimed at achieving three inter-linked global targets by 2030: universal access to modern energy services; the doubling of energy efficiency; and the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix.

Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific countries are meeting in a four-day conference on regional cooperation for enhanced security and sustainable use of energy in Vladivostok, Russia, under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The conference, which started on 27 May, is the first Asia-Pacific region-wide intergovernmental ministerial meeting on energy convened by the UN.

High-level participants include heads of government and ministers from 35 regional countries across the Asia-Pacific region are focusing on access to energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy and environment, energy economics, trade and investment, and connectivity.

Business leaders and representatives of civil society are also attending.