Ministerial Meeting on Energy and Green Industry
June 21-22, 2011
Schatzkammersaal, Hofburg Palace
The Vienna Energy Forum 2011 (VEF) will be held one year before the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that will take place in Rio de Janeiro from 4 to 6 June 2012, nearly twenty years after the historic Earth Summit of 1992.
The 1992 Rio Earth Summit revolutionized the global development agenda by introducing the concept of “sustainable development” as a policy framework based on the three pillars of economic, environmental and social sustainability. It is now widely recognized that energy is central to sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts. Energy affects all aspects of development – social, economic, and environmental – including gender inequality, economic growth, climate change, food security, health and education, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Rio+20 Conference will take place in a world that is very different from that of twenty years ago and is faced with formidable challenges that impact every aspect of our economic, social and environmental survival and growth. To contribute to the official objectives of the Rio+20 to address these new and emerging challenges in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable devlopment, UNIDO is organizing, a Ministerial Meeting on Energy and Green Industry to be held in parallel with the VEF meetings on June 21 and 22 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.
Perhaps the most critical challenge related to energy for sustainable development is how to increase access to affordable, modern energy services, while also ensuring that the energy services provided do not cause further adverse environmental and socio-economic impacts.
At the same time it is clear that industrialization can no longer continue along the business- as- usual industrial pathway, i.e. carbon- intensive and resource- intensive growth is no longer an option. What is needed is a greater resource and energy efficiency in industrial production and decoupling of industrial growth in absolute terms from material and energy intensity.
To address these issues and challenges the Ministerial Meeting will focus on the following three inter-related global objectives:
- Expanding access to clean energy,
- Enhancing industrial energy and resource efficiency, and;
- Promoting green industry as an integral component of the transition to a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
The meeting will address key challenges with regard to policies, finance and technology as well as the role of the private and public sector and international cooperation and will aim at providing a contribution that the Member States may find useful in their intergovernmental preparations for Rio+20 and the consultations on the outcome document.
The ministers will meet in round-table discussions to share experiences including best practices, programmes and other steps in support of scaling up of clean energy and greening industrial development. The outcome document will be developed with a view to contributing to the discussion on these issues at Rio+20 Conference.