Wien, 19. Mai 2010 Rede/Interview

Rede von Außenminister Michael Spindelegger anlässlich der Präsentation des Berichtes der UN-Arbeitsgruppe zu Energie- und Klimawandel (nur englisch)

Check against Delivery!

„Towards a Sustainable Global Energy Future“
Launch of the AGECC Report
Vienna, 19 May 2010

Director-General,
Distinguished panellists, Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,  

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the Vienna Launch of the report “Towards a Sustainable Global Energy Future” by the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change. I am very thankful to his Excellency Kandeh Yumkella who also chairs the Advisory Group for his initiative to present this innovative and cutting-edge report for the first time in Europe. Vienna, given the large community of 8 international organisations with energy mandates is a natural location for this launch. And I want to stress that Kandeh Yumkella as head of UNIDO and UN Energy is a natural and long trusted partner. It is therefore a distinct joy for me to jointly present this eminent report with you, Mr. Director General.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Already in 2001, at the 9th Session of the Commission for Sustainable Development, the international community has acknowledged that the current energy system is not sustainable. Ten years later, under the personal leadership of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, this Report summons us to action. The Report has one big and important message: the time has come for the international community to actively work together and to immediately bring about a transition of the global energy system to greater sustainability.

The Report proposes to set two goals: first, by 2030, to realize access to energy for the 2 to 3 billion people who would be without modern energy by current trends, and secondly, by 2030 to reduce energy intensity by 40 per cent.

In meeting these two challenges the UN has a key role to play. It needs to make “Energy for sustainable development” a major institutional priority. The UN system could do this by facilitating global dialogue on energy for development. In addition, the UN-Energy framework should be strengthened in order to support the implementation of these recommendations.

The two goals also require the active participation and cooperation of the private sector, the research community and civil society. I am therefore very happy that Ms. Baumgartner-Gabitzer, Member of the Executive Board of Verbund, a major Austrian utility, and Mr. Stokes, President of Suntech Europe and member of the Advisory Group are here with me on the podium. I am also thankful to Prof. Nakicenovic, Deputy Director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), as representative of the research community and also member of the Advisory Group to join us here today.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Austria has been pushing for a greater recognition of energy in the context of development policy and cooperation for a long time. Therefore energy is one of the focus areas of the Austrian development cooperation. Within the EU, we co-chair the European Implementation Team of the EU-Africa Partnership on Energy. Austria will host its first ministerial meeting on 14 September in Vienna.

Within the UN, Austria supports the work of UN Energy both through staff secondment and through our advocacy. Austria is also one of the countries supporting the Global Energy Assessment, an initiative established by IIASA and under the direction of  Professor Nakicenovic. Furthermore, the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy which we launched in 1999 is recognized as a multi-stake-holder platform conducive to realistic dialogues on energy for sustainable development. The Global Forum was our contribution in June 2009 to the Vienna Energy Conference which already proposed energy access and energy efficiency objectives. Thereby we hope to further promote a shared global understanding of “Energy for Sustainable Development”.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The international community is currently preparing for the Millennium-Summit in September of 2010. The objective of the European Union is to use the remaining time until the deadline 2015 to achieve maximum progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. There is growing consensus that a strong and vibrant private sector is crucial in order to overcome poverty and to establish broad-based prosperity. Lack of access to energy for basic human needs and for productive activity is generally recognized as a key barrier to private sector development. Austria therefore strongly advocates for recognizing the importance of universal access to energy for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

The Report that we are presenting today comes therefore very timely.

Austria will continue to be a strong supporter of UN Energy and UNIDO’s Director-General Kandeh Yumkella as chair of UN Energy. I look forward now to his presentation of this ground-breaking report!

Thank you for your attention!