The summit took place under the patronage of the Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, supported by the Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern together with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his R20 climate action organization, who also held keynotes at the high-level session.
High-Level SessionThe high-level session was completed by keynotes of leading UN and WHO experts, such as Li Yong, Director General, UNIDO, Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC, Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and Environment Department, WHO and Erik Solheim, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
In subsequent panels the most important challenges on behalf of climate change and possible solutions where discussed among others by Laurent Fabius, President of COP21 in Paris, Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment from Norway, Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn or Christophe Nuttall, CEO, R20 Regions of Climate Action.
Business meets policy.
Why addressing climate change is good for environment, health, economy and society.
In times of massive changes feasible business and policy solutions for global challenges are crucial. Therefore, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the most ambitious global framework in history.
Leading policymakers and business people discussed how a sustainable transformation of the political and economic system can benefit human health, the environment, economy and society. We learned about new business models, innovative products, services and partnerships from companies focused on energy technology, production, infrastructure and insurance. Policymakers from different countries presented how to use ambitious policies and incentives to transform conventional systems while creating jobs and economic growth. We saw who’s on track meeting the 2030 targets and which countries are leading the way. The panelists dealt with the questions about the need to concentrate more efforts going forward and how the future world of business looks like.
Solutions in cities and regions.
Strategies and best practice examples to prepare for the future.
Air pollution has become the world´s single largest environmental health risk, linked to around 7 million or nearly one in eight deaths per year according to the WHO. Municipalities of cities and regions have the key role to create the path of future global development to prevent such risks. As the closest level of government to the people, they also have the capacity to transform lives directly. More than half of the global population lives in cities, and this level is expected to increase to two-thirds by 2050. Today, cities are responsible for 80% of the global Gross Domestic Product but they also consume two-thirds of the world’s energy and generate over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We need healthier places to live. This panel showed how we can redesign cities and rural regions in a way that is truly sustainable and what kinds of solutions have high global replicability for scaling up.
Best of sustainable projects.
What are driving factors in practice to moving fast forward?
Climate change is already affecting our health. This isn’t a future problem for the next generation. It is a problem that is present and growing. Among the most vulnerable groups are children, student athletes, pregnant women, elderly, people with chronic health conditions and the impoverished. The problems will get much worse as climate change continues. This panel showed solutions for people who live in impoverished areas. It gave insight into the landscape of best practice projects and showed solutions and innovative partnerships to build and promote sustainable projects in different parts of the world. The thematic focus was lying on the access to affordable and sustainable energy solutions in developing countries but also in crisis areas which is critical in delivering sustainable goals. Energy access is a basic human need and helps to generate jobs, improve education, empower women and enable businesses to grow. In this panel experts tried to find out about crucial issues and success factors in implementing projects with social and environmental impact. They also discussed which barriers need to be tackled to ensure a more global uptake.
How climate projects attract financing?
Accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
One specific aim of the Paris Agreement is “making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development." This is a clear signal for business and governments to speed up their efforts towards decarbonisation. In 2016, investment in renewable energies was twice the amount of that in fossil fuel generation. At the same time, clean technology costs continue to fall. Nevertheless, for achieving a complete transition towards de-carbonizing economies a big financing gap is still evident. CEOs discussed what incentives would it need for companies to more assertively move away from fossil fuels and whether the financial sector is up for the task. Further more they tried to find answers whether innovative finance mechanisms are needed to stimulate climate-relevant investments or whether we have the tools required already at hand and need to encourage a more efficient and frequent use.
Federal Minister of Austria for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
Heldenplatz, P.O. Box 113
1014 Vienna, Austria
We kindly ask you to use public transport.
- 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
From the airport to the City Center:
- By underground U3 (orange), alight at Herrengasse
- By tram 1, 2, D, J alight at Burgring
- By bus 2A and 3A, alight at Hofburg
Direct connection to the 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
The Austrian World Summit will be organised according to the standards of the Austrian Green Meetings eco-label
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 were 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.
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).