Vienna Energy Club Members Highlight Sustainable Development at IAEA General Conference Side Event
affecting long-term sustainable energy development at a side event at
the IAEA's 57th General Conference (Photo Credit: D.Simittchieva/IAEA)
2 October 2013 - Member organizations of the Vienna Energy Club (VEC) highlighted the central role of energy to sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts, at a side event of the 57th IAEA General Conference.
The Energy Community, the IAEA, UNIDO, IIASA and OFID presented their perspectives and contributions to the global agenda in this area, and reviewed how energy affects all aspects of development, from social to economic to environmental. Global issues, sectoral drivers and their impacts were presented, such as the increased demand for goods and services or greenhouse gas emissions.
The side event highlighted the need to alleviate energy poverty, which is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, it was recognized that addressing energy poverty cannot be accomplished without moving energy production and consumption towards cleaner, more efficient and sustainable patterns. These two predominant forces, currently shaping the global energy agenda, create not only challenges but also opportunities for all countries to ensure long term sustainable energy development.
Participants agreed that all energy sources and technologies are needed as part of the solution to energy poverty. As countries choose their future energy mix, decisions should be based not only on economics, but with full consideration of the implications on emissions and waste streams, health and environmental impacts, resource use, land use, import dependence, and investment requirements. In this regard, VEC member organisations hold the capacity to assist their member states in developing a well-balanced sustainable energy portfolio.
The side event also examined the water, energy and food nexus and its impact on sustainability. Although often treated separately, the interdependence of food security, water and energy is expected to grow in the future and requires solutions developed in an integrated, holistic manner.
The Issues Affecting Long-term Sustainable Energy Development side event was hosted and chaired by the IAEA on Thursday, 19 September 2013, at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria.