In preparation for the 2021 Vienna Energy Forum (VEF), UNIDO and the VEF founding
partners launched an online schedule of events entitled ‘the VEF Virtual Series’. The
purpose of the series is to discuss the role of sustainable energy and innovation in
driving recovery in three sectors, namely industry, products and food systems. The
Virtual Series brings together selected representatives from private sector, academia,
think tanks, NGOs, CSOs and Governments to consider key issues related to each
Sustainable Energy and Food Systems-Session 1
The first virtual session of Sustainable Energy and Food Systems brought together 36
experts who shared their knowledge, lessons learnt and proposed actions to identify
and develop opportunities to advance the energy/food systems nexus interventions.
The session commenced with a welcome and introductions from Ms. Leena Srivastavia
(IIASA) on behalf of the VEF founding partners and Mr. Olivier Dubois on behalf of
(FAO) as the partner of the track. Tareq Emtairah, Director of the Energy Department
at UNIDO explained the motivation behind the initiative, the objectives, and the
format of discussions.
This was followed by a presentation of the discussion paper from Dean Cooper, Energy
Lead at Practical Action. The presentation outlined the key barriers for progress and
some of the opportunities for energy to drive the food system from farm level to agribusiness production. The presentation also described the methodology for
classification of countries with a high potential impact for pursuing the energy/food
The experts then joined discussions in four breakout sessions chaired by the
moderators; Harish Hande (SELCO Foundation, India), Denise Umubyeyi (Practical
Action, Rwanda), Minoru Takada (UNDESA, US) and Ute Collier (Practical Action, UK).
The conclusions were then presented at the plenary
The discussion centred on the following main questions:
- What data is available to identify which countries offer most potential for sustainable energy in agriculture?
- Which are the most important enabling conditions to allow effective interventions on sustainable energy in food systems?
- How can positive outcomes related to the integration of sustainable energy into agriculture be best demonstrated and disseminated, both in and between countries?