Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and as co-organizer of the Vienna Energy Forum, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all participants gathered here today.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour and a privilege for me to address and welcome all participants of the Vienna Energy Forum 2018-Special Session. Today’s Special Session has been co-organized by UNIDO in partnership with UN DESA together with the assistance of the Government of Austria; the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) and the Austrian Energy Agency.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my warmest appreciation to all partners and sponsors for their longstanding cooperation and strong support in making this important event happen now for the sixth time!
This year’s Special Session is taking place against the backdrop of the global review of Sustainable Development Goal 7, Affordable and Clean Energy. It is our hope to capture today’s discussions, enriched by your experience and expertise, in the VEF outcome document, which will be presented as an input to the SDG 7 Review, particularly the ministerial segment of the High-Level Political Forum that will take place in July this year.
Beyond the SDG review process, the topics that will be under discussion here today lie at the heart of a broader need to transform and shape both the energy markets as well as economic development pathways towards a sustainable and inclusive future.
Climate change, stress on natural resources, as well as geo-political factors are only some of the many forces re-shaping today’s energy industry. However, while many challenges exist, there are also many opportunities being driven by factors such as technological change, business model innovation and the participation of new actors within traditional energy markets and infrastructure.
Industry is a key stakeholder in this endeavour, as the industrial sector firstly presents significant opportunities to realize large and highly cost-effective energy savings and greenhouse gases emissions reductions. Secondly, by fostering sustainable energy transitions, the opportunity exists to create new industries, new green jobs and new economic opportunities.
That is why in UNIDO, we believe that the transition to a clean energy future goes hand-in-hand with Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID).
The topics that we will therefore discuss today centres on -- HOW-- we, in the development community, along with our national and international partners from the private and public sector, can further leverage the opportunities that I have briefly mentioned.
This is imperative -- the international community must seek to broaden the benefits, engagement and inclusion of developing countries and their enterprises and entrepreneurs in the clean energy transition both at the global and national level.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am confident that this Special Session of the Vienna Energy Forum will generate the ideas and discussion that will contribute to driving this imperative matter forward as well as expanding on the connections between SDG7 and SDG9 -- SDG9 being the sustainable development goal that encompasses Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.
Furthermore, by convening here at VEF 2018 we also have opportunity to initiate and strengthen the partnerships which is of central importance in moving our mutual global energy agenda forward.
I look forward to the rich discussions that we will have today, and UNIDO counts on your participation and your sharing of best practices. Your contribution to this Forum is highly valued and I believe will be truly impactful in our endeavour to support member countries, and the international community towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular SDG7 – and SDG9.