Vienna Energy Forum 2020/2021

Contract partner: UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development OrganizationCountry: Entwicklungsländer, unspezifisch Funding amount: € 350.000,00Project start: 01.09.2020End: 31.07.2022

Short Description:

Overall goal

The Vienna Energy Forum (VEF) is a biennial event that has over time established itself as a leading forum for policy-makers, thought leaders and practitioners to address issues surrounding sustainable energy for development. The VEF 2020 was scheduled to take place from 16 to 17 June 2020 at the Hofburg Imperial Palace.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the co-organizers of the Vienna Energy Forum decided to postpone the Vienna Energy Forum to 2021.

The VEF 2020/21 will take place from 6-7 July 2021. To support getting towards action oriented recommendations and enhance the VEF visibility, the preparations for the VEF 2020/21 will include a virtual series, which is expected to kick off in October 2020. The virtual series will focus on strategies and pathways to boost energy demand and recovery in end use sectors such as industry, food systems and products.

Expected results

The VEF 2020/2021 will be designed to allow a rich dialogue on key issues of the energy debate to move the global energy agenda forward and to move from declarations of intention to tangible action on the ground, stressing the need for more international cooperation and demonstrating the role that can be played by the UN and international financial institutions, partners and agencies in the field of sustainable energy, nexus, innovation ecosystem and technology transfer areas, including mechanisms of private sector engagements.

The VEF 2020/21 aims to look at multiple pathways, which lead to a future energy system that is secure, sustainable, affordable and inclusive. Leveraging the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and enhanced public-private collaboration will be critical to these efforts. To support the outcome orientation of the VEF, the engagement through the virtual series will support the delivery of policy briefs that can feed into the main session in July 2021 as well as other relevant UN events and fora such as the HLPF, the high level dialogue on energy and the COP26. The main VEF session will aim to demonstrate and bring commitments to actions from key countries towards promoting economic recovery through the nexus of sustainable energy with the three end use sectors.

Target group / Beneficiaries

The VEF 2020/21 is expected to bring together over 1,500 participants from around the world including ministers, high-level dignitaries, policymakers, experts and representatives from the private sector and civil society. The target group of this project will be both women and men since UNIDO recognizes that gender equality and the empowerment of women have a significant positive impact on sustained economic growth and inclusive industrial development, which are key drivers for poverty alleviation and social progress. Therefore, women and men will be beneficiaries as audience, speakers and panelists of the events.


The programme of the virtual series will include sessions on the state of the market, Covid-19 impact on the sectors, role of innovation and sustainable energy in recovery and other topics.

In parallel, there will be side events, exhibition spaces and workshops organized by partners and pitching sessions for the private sector.

The City of Vienna and the Austrian government will provide cultural activities.


In November 2008, a decision was taken to organize a biennial global energy event in Vienna in close cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

Over the last years, the VEF has established itself as a global biennial forum. Recognizing the expertise of its co-organizing institutions, its strategically favorable establishment in the energy-hub Vienna, its positioning in the global energy debate and the mutually beneficial networking with other key energy initiatives and institutions, the VEF has been successful in advancing the global debate on energy for development and in mainstreaming the energy agenda into the UN’s SDGs. Over the years, the VEF has substantially grown, profile and outreach, as can be seen from the growing number of participants and participating countries, the growing number of high-level segments and side events as well as the increasing financial commitments. It has developed into a widely recognized leading forum for policy makers, energy practitioners and thought leaders for addressing energy for development issues.

project number2767-00/2020
source of fundingOEZA
sector Energiegewinnung, -Verteilung und -Effizienz, allgemein
modalityProject-type interventions
marker Environment: 2, Climate change mitigation: 2, Gender: 1
  • Policy marker: are used to identify, assess and facilitate the monitoring of activities in support of policy objectives concerning gender equality, aid to environment, participatory development/good governance, trade development and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Activities targeting the objectives of the Rio Conventions include the identification of biodiversity, climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, and desertification.
    • 1= policy is a significant objective of the activity
    • 2= policy is the principal objective of the activity
  • Donor/ source of funding: The ADA is not only implementing projects and programmes of the Austrian Development Cooperation , but also projects funded from other sources and donors such as
    • AKF - Foreign Disaster Fund of the Austrian federal government
    • BMLFUW - Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water
    • EU - Funds of the European Commission
    • Others - various other donors are listed in ADA’s annual business report.
  • Type of Aid – Aid modalities: classifies transfers from the donor to the first recipient of funds such as budget support, core contributions and pooled programmes and funds to CSOs and multilateral organisations, project-type interventions, experts and other technical assistance, scholarships and student costs in donor countries, debt relief, administrative costs and other in-donor expenditures.
  • Purpose/ sector code: classifies the specific area of the recipient’s economic or social structure, funded by a bilateral contribution.
  • Tied/Untied: Untied aid is defined as loans and grants whose proceeds are fully and freely available to finance procurement from all OECD countries and substantially all developing countries. Transactions are considered tied unless the donor has, at the time of the aid offer, clearly specified a range of countries eligible for procurement which meets the tests for “untied” aid.