Green Cities Fit for Life

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Vienna Energy Forum

28th to 30th March 2013, Vienna, Austria

The 3rd Energy Forum will take place, as previously, at the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, Austria this month. The three-day event has been jointly organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

28 05 13 Vienna Energy Forum D01

The Vienna Energy Forum 2013 (VEF 2013) will gather over 1000 participants from all over the world, including heads of State, ministers, experts, policy makers, representatives of international and non-governmental organisations, academia, civil society, press and private enterprises members. All will focus on how energy should be integrated into the post-2015 global development framework, following the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development “Rio+20”, entitled “The future we want”.

The following topics will also be addressed in the programmed sessions:

  • Framework for Action – High Impact Opportunities
  • Energy and Green Growth
  • Planning for Sustainable Cities
  • Energy Access and Efficiency
  • Renewable Energy as a Tool for Sustainable Development
  • Technology Transfer and Innovation
  • Financing the Energy Future We Want
  • Public and Private Partnerships
  • Green Mini-Grids Africa – Sector Transformation Towards Sustainable Energy For All
  • Adoption of VEF 2013 Declaration: Energy Goals Beyond 2015

The full programme with the details of keynote speakers attending each session can be found here. In addition, several side-events have been organised and will be running parallel to the VEF 2013.

Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, energy is undoubtedly becoming an important area for local authorities, with European countries aiming to achieve more sustainable policies, reduce CO2 emissions, increase renewable energy and improve energy efficiency.

Vienna, applicant city for the European Green Capital 2014 title, is an example of good practice in terms of energy use as a tool for sustainable development. In this particular moment, it is critical that cities use energy at its most efficient and also move towards an energy mix that includes more renewable and sustainable energy sources. For the production of energy in Vienna, modern innovations, such as the consistent use of heat-power combination and the expansion of the district heating and cooling networks, lead the way.

The most important energy carrier is natural gas with a 48% proportion of the total energy supply. The high use of natural gas together with the consistent use in a combined heat and power plant leads to very low emissions and therefore provides a considerable contribution to Vienna’s climate protection.

Further successes include: practically no coal use, and practically no use of petrol. Instead renewals gained terrain, as Vienna has been providing incentives for the expansion of solar-thermal installation for water heating and photovoltaic plants for electricity production for quite some time. At the moment there are 52 solar thermal facilities with a total surface area of 16,000 m2 have been installed on the municipal authority’s buildings.

The European Green Capital Award recognises the important role that local authorities play in improving the environment and provides an incentive for cities to inspire each other and share best practices. Applicants for the award are assessed by an Expert Panel and shortlisted cities are invited to present their vision, action plan and communication strategy to the Jury. Energy performance is one of 12 environmental indicators assessed.

For more information on the Award click here.

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