Wien, 19. May 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: "Expand Vienna into a competence centre for renewable energy"

Foreign Minister at the presentation of the UN report „Energy for a Sustainable Future"

Vienna, 19 Mai 2010 - „This UN report unmistakably states that the current global energy system is everything but sustainable. The international community must therefore immediately begin to convert the worldwide energy system toward greater sustainability. Vienna, as the seat of major international energy organisations, and Austria with its comprehensive know-how in the area of renewable energy can make decisive contributions to this process", said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger at the presentation of the UN report „Energy for a Sustainable Future" together with the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Chairman of the “UN Energy” initiative, Kandeh Yumkella.

The report was prepared by the Energy and Climate Change Advisory Group of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon under the guidance of Yumkella. It demands that all people are allowed access to renewable energy sources by the year 2030, while reducing the worldwide energy intensity by 40 percent. Furthermore, the United Nations should make the issue of energy an institutional priority, by integrating and mainstreaming it into all relevant programmes, and by regularly reviewing the achievement of objectives in the area of energy access and energy efficiency. Another proposal is the establishment of a regular global dialogue on "Energy for sustainable development" and the strengthening of „UN Energy“.

"By accommodating eight organisations with an energy mandate, Vienna has established itself as a hub in an international energy network. I intend to make increasing use of this potential in the future in close partnership with UNIDO, the UN's competence centre in the promotion of renewable energy“, said Spindelegger.

"Approximately one third of the world’s population currently has no access to modern energy services. Access to energy, however, is a basic prerequisite for sustainable economic development and the improvement of living conditions. We must therefore overcome this extreme energy poverty", said the Foreign Minister. Moreover, half of all humans cover their basic energy requirements with traditional biomass: „Conversion to sustainable energy sources is also one of the major challenges in containing climate change, both for the industrial and for the developing countries", said Spindelegger, concluding that "The targeted and successful implementation of this report would boost the private sector and would help people escape poverty and preserve global climate".

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