On 3rd Octobter 2018 a high-level conference on “Regional Cooperation to Accelerate Sustainable Energy Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries” has concluded with a strong international commitment of support to the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC).
The GN-SEC has been created by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with various regional organisations and financial support of the Austrian and Spanish Governments. The network helps to make the use of clean energy technologies attractive to business, public institutions and households, and to strengthen economic partnerships.
The meeting, under the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was organized by the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, ADA and UNIDO. It was a concrete follow-up to the EU Council Conclusions on Energy and Development adopted in May 2018. These conclusions underlined the importance of regional cooperation and centres to accelerate the energy and climate transformation in developing countries.
During the opening of the conference, Stefano Manservisi, Director General of DG DEVCO, European Commission, said “The GN-SEC is an excellent platform to boost knowledge exchange and experiences between various regions.” He called the conference an important preparatory meeting for the EU-Africa Summit on economic development and innovation to be held in December in Vienna.
In his remarks, Philippe Scholtès, Managing Director of the Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division at UNIDO, offered “to support the upcoming EU-Africa Summit by presenting a concept for a network of regional sustainable energy centres for industrialization and innovation under the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa between 2016 and 2025”.
Tareq Emtairah, Director of the UNIDO Energy Department, said “regional cooperation can address the barriers for renewable energy and energy efficiency more effectively and at lower cost.”
Martin Lugmayr, UNIDO coordinator of the GN-SEC programme, emphasised that the GN-SEC as important tool to promote inclusive sustainable energy and climate technology markets in developing countries. “We must ensure that technology transfer contributes to the wider industrialization strategies of developing countries and generate jobs and employment.”
Johannes Peterlik, Secretary-General of the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affair, concluded, “Through this network of regional centres, Austria – in cooperation with ADA and UNIDO – is making a significant contribution to promoting the use of renewable energy sources around the world. This will make an effective contribution to the fight against climate change.”
During the conference, EU Directors General had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and views with the directors of the various regional sustainable energy centres in the Arab, African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.