Vienna Energy Forum 2011


The Vienna Energy Forum 2011 was held from the 21-23 of June 2011 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. The forum which focused on the theme, “Energy for All – Time for Action”, facilitated an international dialogue on providing universal energy access and on the multiple co-benefits of increasing energy efficiency. Organized jointly by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Forum will be a regular event held every two years. Core themes that were addressed at the conference include:

  • Agreeing on a common understanding of energy access
  • Agreeing on a strategy to ensure universal access to modern energy services and increase energy efficiency by reducing energy intensity by 40% until 2030
  • Identifying indicative targets and policies in support of these objectives
  • Prioritizing key national and regional actions on energy access and energy efficiency 
  • Presentation of results of the Global Energy Assessment coordinated by IIASA

The forum attracted over 1000 participants from around the world  including heads of state and their ex-counterparts, ministers, policymakers, experts, and representatives of civil society and the private sector, to discuss how to overcome energy poverty and how to move from declarations of intention to tangible action on the ground.

Speaking at the event, the Ex-Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger said it was time for “Energy Freedom” adding that universal energy access was not “just about lighting a dark room, or cooking on a better stove. It’s about the freedom that energy – and especially renewable energy – gives us”.

The Director General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella, chair of the UN-Energy, said that access to modern energy services is at the core of our economic development challenges, adding that “without access to modern forms of energy it is highly unlikely that any of the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals will be achieved”.

For more information, including press releases and summaries of the forum, is available on the UNIDO website at

A summary report published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is also available at, volume 93, number 11, sunday, 26 june 2011.


Brillant speech by Arnold Schwarzenegger at the forum