Pioneers for a Sustainable Future

The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is an annual event organized by Arnold Schwarzenegger´s "R20 Regions of Climate Action" organization. The Summit serves as a meeting place for “action heroes” committed to sustainability and climate protection projects. Continuing the work undertaken at COP 23 in Bonn and the One Planet Summit in Paris last December, the conference will bring together leaders from politics, businesses, investors, civil society, academics, start-ups, and climate experts as well as representatives of regions and cities. Channelling 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 and the COP 24 in Poland. 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, because environment affects all aspects of society.

The second R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT will highlight important aspects for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically the Summit will explore the powerful role of creative financing instruments coupled with the ability of subnational governments to implement solutions

08:30 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 10:00 Welcome & Keynotes
Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of Austria
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chair, R20 Regions of Climate Action
Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of Austria
10:00 – 12:30 High Level Panels
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 – 16:00 Parallel Sessions

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: Sustainable Investments: New Directions for the Finance Sector
Hosted by Allianz
The Paris Agreement addresses directly the financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low-emissions, climate-resilient development. The finance sector is a key player in directing future investments. In anticipating developments in climate policies, financial risks linked to climate change and taking responsibility a growing number of asset owners and investors decide to divest from fossil fuels and invest in low carbon technologies. Insurance companies, banks, pension funds, as well as governments on national, regional and local level have to take climate aspects into account when it comes to future investments. This session will provide best practice examples, discuss barriers and opportunities linked to divest-invest.

SESSION: From Action to Transaction
Hosted by R20 Regions of Climate Action
Aiming at unlocking an effective deal flow of low carbon and climate resilient infrastructure projects, the SnCF (Subnational Climate Fund) initiative is the first of its kind to address the funding gap for green infrastructure projects at the subnational level in frontier and emerging markets and is also the first SDG certified Fund. Let´s discuss various instruments and strategies to break down the obstacles to financing and foster collaboration between local governments, clean tech companies and investors.

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: Building the City of the Future
Hosted by the City of Vienna
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector is key to reach climate and energy goals. At the same time rapid urbanization is a global megatrend. Most cities are facing major challenges due to increasing population and climate change. The main areas are innovative buildings, urban planning, and integrated energy supply. High ecological building standards, low carbon technologies as well as research and education infrastructure have to create a functional ecosystem. The session will provide a big picture for a sustainable building sector and show pathways to zero emission cities,

SESSION: Interactions of Cities and their Surroundings
Hosted by Langenburg Forum for Sustainability
This session will focus on creating a blueprint for better collaboration between cities and their surrounding areas. Cities, as home to an increasing share of the global population, are emerging as centers of demand and consumption while their surrounding areas provide much of the resource supply. How can we ensure that the urban-rural linkage becomes a major element of sustainable development? How can we avoid the most extractive aspects of market-driven interactions? How can we help cities recognize and nurture the deeper roots beyond their administrative boundaries? How can we leverage the interactions between cities and their surroundings to co-create new social and environmental values?

SESSION: Smart Solutions for the New Energy World
The transformation of energy systems has already begun. With the rise of renewable energy in the electricity markets and innovative technologies, the need for more flexibility and storage options goes hand in hand with the development of new information and digital technologies. Intelligent energy systems create new infrastructure and completely new business models. Additional investments will be required as research and development labs add new solutions to the energy world. What will this new energy system look like? This session will illustrate a future picture and show concrete business opportunities on a regional and global scale.

SESSION: Designing Concepts for Future Mobility
The transportation sector is of highest relevance for global energy demand. Expecting future growth for passenger transportation and the carriage of goods are a major challenge in cities and regions. The renewable energy revolution needs to run parallel to the breakthrough of low carbon drive technologies and alternative mobility concepts. The vision of a zero emission mobility is the foundation for policy decisions, concrete measures and best-practice examples. A sustainable transportation system and investments in public infrastructure provide solutions to climate change and to a high quality standard of living.

SESSION: Strategies and Actions to Tackling Pollution for Better Health
Hosted by WHO and R20
Environment protection is a powerful lever to improve human health on a global scale. In 2015, an estimated nine million deaths worldwide were related to pollution. Air pollution is by far the largest contributor to early death according to a report by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. Tackling pollution is a key driver to phase out coal power plants and promote renewable energy systems and energy efficiency. Especially fast growing economies such as China and India are facing major challenges. The session highlights opportunities to make a shift in combining the environmental, social and health agenda.

16:30 – 17:00 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



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).

>> Register here