Leadership for a Sustainable Future

The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is a top-level summit about leadership on implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This annual event is organized by Arnold Schwarzenegger´s "R20 Regions of Climate Action" office in Austria. The summit brings together international leaders from politics, businesses, investors, civil society, academics, start-ups, and climate experts as well as representatives of regions and cities from around the world.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is joined by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and many international pioneers strengthening leadership for climate action and creating a positive momentum for this year's UN Climate Change Conference: COP 24 in Poland. The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT serves as a meeting place for “action heroes” committed to sustainability and climate protection projects. It continues and helps deliver the work undertaken at COP 23 in Bonn and the One Planet Summit in Paris last December. Channeling the spirit of the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue, the traditional Fijian process of community driven participatory and transparent conversation, the Summit will share ideas, skills and experiences through storytelling, applied practical knowledge, and cutting edge technology to inspire pioneers working toward a sustainable future.

The summit shares ideas, skills and experiences - applied practical knowledge and cutting edge technology to inspire pioneers working towards a sustainable future. The objective of the summit is to gain awareness and harness our collective expertise to chart a course for the future that benefits everyone in the global society. A healthy environment affects all aspects of society, therefore our summit is building new bridges between key stakeholders.

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Program Draft

08:30 – 09:20 Registration
09:30 Start - please be seated on time, due to the live broadcasting of ORFIII (Austrian TV)
09:30 – 09:40 Opening - A Message to the World
09:40 – 10:20 Welcome & Keynotes
Conference language: German & English, translation will be provided
Live broadcasting of ORF III (Austrian TV)

Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of Austria
António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chair, R20 Regions of Climate Action
Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of Austria
10:20 – 12:30 High Level Panels
Conference language: German & English, translation will be provided
Moderation: Melinda Crane, Chief Political Correspondent, Deutsche Welle

Solutions Panel - Fulfilling our Goals
Elisabeth Köstinger, Austrian Minister of Sustainability and Tourism
Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway
Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister, Denmark
Jane Goodall, Primatologist, Anthropologist, UN Messenger of Peace
Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union

Enabler Panel– Providing the Instruments
Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC
Laurent Fabius, President COP21
Howard Bamsey, Executive Director, Green Climate Fund
Günther Thallinger, Member of the Board of Management Allianz SE, Investment Management, ESG
Li Yong, Director General, UNIDO

Implementation Panel – Identifying the Driving Forces
Maria Vassilakou, Vice-Mayor, City of Vienna
Bertrand Piccard, Founder, Solar Impulse
Fran Pavley, Former California State Senator
Valérie Pécresse, President of Paris Region
Sui Zhenjiang, Vice-Mayor, Beijing
Klemens Hallmann, CEO, Hallmann Group
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 – 16:30 Parallel Sessions
Conference language: English

A New Era of Financing Climate Action
The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT will discuss innovative financial mechanisms to accelerate climate protection and green projects at subnational level. Enabling sustainable investments and access to funding instruments for local and regional authorities will be crucial to direct the investment capital. Financial institutions and private foundations can contribute significantly to the global movement of climate action.

SESSION 1: Sustainable Investments: New Directions for the Finance Sector
SESSION 2: From Action to Transaction
SESSION 3: Responsible Investments

Paving the Way for New Solutions
Cities and regions are taking the lead in providing new solutions in many sectors: From building the cities of the future, to designing concepts for future mobility, and smart solutions for new energy supply models. The collaboration on subnational level becomes a major driver for the transformation in climate protection and tackling environmental pollution.

SESSION 4: Building the City of the Future
SESSION 5: Interactions of Cities and their Surroundings
SESSION 6: Smart Solutions for the New Energy World
SIDE EVENT of the VIENNA ENERGY FORUM: Transformation towards Sustainable & Resilient Societies

The Fight against Environmental Pollution
According to current scientific reports pollution causes nine million deaths per year worldwide. Air pollution exposure is the world’s single largest environmental health risk. Legal action to improve air quality becomes therefore a crucial element in implementing regulatory measures and standards.

SESSION 7: Designing Concepts for Future Mobility
SESSION 8: Strategies and Actions to Tackling Pollution for Better Health

16:45 – 17:15 Closing Ceremony
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chair, R20 Regions of Climate Action
Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of Austria
Monika Langthaler-Rosenberg, Director R20 Austria&EU
19:15 – 22:00 Movie Night at Gartenbaukino: Good Shepherds - Music for Mankind and Other Animals

A musical journey with the Vienna Boys Choir around the world. A visualized song in the cinema.Together with the Vienna Boys Choir Curt Faudon visited shepherds worldwide – and created a new genre: a visualized song. Powerful pictures and a poetic appeal to responsibility. Curt Faudon’s recent movie will be presented at the Cannes Film Festival 2018.

Curt Faudon, Austrian Film Director
Jane Goodall, Primatologist, Anthropologist, UN Messenger of Peace
Monika Langthaler-Rosenberg, Director R20 Austria&EU

16|05|18 Excursions

10:00 – 12:00 Excursion 1: Incineration Plant Pfaffenau
Visit a modern waste management site of the City of Vienna and learn about it's contribution on climate protection.

Excursion 2: TU Vienna
Cutting-edge construction: The Plus-Energy Office High-Rise Building

Excursion 3: aspern Seestadt
Discover a new part of Vienna with modern living standards

Excursion 4: Fuel cell train - Tour
Ride Austria´s first little train powered by Hydrogen in the Wiener Prater

High-Level Speaker


Hofburg Vienna
Heldenplatz, P.O. Box 113
1014 Vienna, Austria



We kindly ask you to use public transport.

    From the airport to the City Center:

  • City Airport Train (CAT) – Direct Connection to Wien Mitte/Landstrasse, 16 minutes
  • Rapid Train S7 – Connection to Wien Mitte/Landstrasse, 26 minutes
  • Airport Bus – Connection to Morzinplatz, 23 minutes

Public Transport

    Direct connection to the Hofburg:

  • By underground U3 (orange), alight at Herrengasse
  • By tram 1, 2, D, J alight at Burgring
  • By bus 2A and 3A, alight at Hofburg


Citybike Wien is a sustainable and environmentally friendly system of public transport. You can hire bikes at 110 bike stations across the city and return them at any station. To use this service a very quick one-time registration (1,00 € only) is required via the Internet or directly at a Citybike station. For registration you need a MAESTRO card, credit card from VISA, Master-Card or JCB. The first hour of every ride is free of charge, afterwards it costs 1,00 € for each additional hour

Green Meetings eco-label

Green Event
The Austrian World Summit will be organised according to the standards of the Austrian Green Meetings eco-label
Climate Neutrality

Together with our partner „Klimaneutralitätsbündnis 2025“, the Austrian World Summit will be conducted as a climate neutral event. All energy needed for the conference itself comes from sustainable sources. We also rely on energy efficient and climate friendly technology, transportation and mobility. Emissions that are unavoidably produced by travels are being compensated through the support of a climate initiative in Ethiopia. In cooperation with the Caritas Vorarlberg foreign aid and the University of Applied Life Sciences, 5.000 households in 8 communities over an area of 400 km² will be supported. The package for one household compromises two efficient ovens, vegetable seeds, including a training for vegetable cultivation, tree seedlings including reforestation projects, one solar-powered light source as well as the drinking water treatment WADI, which is sun-powered. For more information: here

Conservation of resources & Regionality

For all materials in use as well as for the catering conservation of resources, the protection of the environment and sustainability are top priorities. Food originates from regional and organic production and fair trade respectively. Also give-aways fulfil the sustainability standards. In order to avoid waste, drinks and meals will be served solely in and on reusable dishes. Leftovers can be taken home in the “Tafelbox”. For each box 20 cent go to the Austrian Tafeln, a charity organization, which serves impoverished people with saved food.

Environmentally-friendly mobility

It is especially important to us that participants can travel to and from the venue in an environmentally friendly manner. The venue, Hofburg, is located centrally and can be conveniently reached by public transport (for more on transportation, also see above). There is sufficient space to park bicycles around the venue. Furthermore, there is also a city-bike station as well as e-charging stations (for example, in the garage on Robert-Stolzplatz).