VIENNA, 14 May 2018 – During the 2018 Vienna Energy Forum, Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Robert Zeiner, Head of International Programmes at the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), signed a funding agreement on the preparatory phase of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Clean Energy Centre (ECEC).
During the next months, the centre will be designed in a consultative process between UNIDO, the Teheran-based ECO Secretariat and its Member States, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
“In line with the ECO Vision 2025, the new centre is expected to work towards the creation of integrated regional markets for sustainable energy and climate technology products and services. The setting of regional targets, policies, standards and incentives, as well as the joint de-risking of investments through the provision of reliable data, analytics and bundling of projects, is an important step in this direction”, said UNIDO’s Kuniyoshi.
The signing ceremony was attended by Ambassador Désirée Schweitzer, Director-General for Development Cooperation at Austria’s Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, who highlighted the partnership as an important follow-up to the Astana Communiqué on Accelerating the Uptake of Renewables in Central Asia, released by the Central Asian ministers at the Expo 2017 in Astana.
“We congratulate UNIDO for the further expansion of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers. The regional centres are important hubs to accelerate the energy and climate transformation by creating economies of scales, equal progress and spill-over effects between countries,” said ADA’s Zeiner.
The joint endeavour is also a result of UNIDO’s long-standing cooperative relationship with ECO, based on a 1994 agreement. Since then, UNIDO has implemented regional projects on trade capacity building for the ECO Member States in the areas of standardization, metrology, testing and quality infrastructure. UNIDO has also partnered with ECO countries regarding the promotion of cleaner and resource efficient production practices, as well as renewable energy and industrial energy efficiency. The new centre will also contribute to the integration efforts of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which UNIDO is supporting through various activities. ECO states were part of the original Silk Route, the ancient trade route which was one of the oldest and historically important trade routes linking the regions of the ancient world stretching from China through the Indian sub-continent, Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia to the African and European continents.
Sustainable Energy Expert
Climate Policy and Partnership Division (CPP)
Department of Energy