Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    21 June 2016

    Yury Fedotov, Director-General, United Nations Office at Vienna:

    Statement at the VIC Climate Neutrality Event

    21 June 2016

    - as prepared for delivery -

    VIENNA, 21 June (UN Information Service) - I am pleased to join [the] Director General [of the UN Industrial Development Organization,] Li Yong and Ambassador Wolfgang Angerholzer [from the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs] in welcoming you to this celebration of VIC [Vienna International Centre] Climate Neutrality.

    The UN plays a crucial role in supporting member states in protecting the earth from degradation. Climate change threatens to destroy the natural world and has a crucial impact on sustainable development.

    The goal, based on the Secretary-General's initiative of attaining climate neutrality by 2020, ensures that the UN organizations are doing their part to preserve the earth, and to reduce carbon emissions within their facilities.

    UNOV [The UN Office at Vienna] has taken significant steps towards achieving this goal. Today's ceremony is an acknowledgement that the VIC has been successful.

    The VIC is one of the largest UN complexes in the world, accommodating numerous different UN organizations and nearly 7,500 people a day, including staff members, conference participants and visitors.

    Reaching the emissions goal for a facility of this size is the result of the collaboration, cooperation and commitment of UNOV, UNIDO, IAEA [the International Atomic Energy Agency], CTBTO [the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization ], as well as the Austrian government. 

    The Joint Committee to Administer the Common Fund for Financing Major Repairs and Replacements at the VIC ensures that energy efficiency and green best practices are incorporated into all facility upgrades and repairs.

    Since 2009, various initiatives such as "Greening the VIC" and the "Cool UN" have been introduced.

    Renovations have been made to the VIC, that have lowered the lighting system emissions by 50 per cent, and energy recovery heat exchangers recover over 60 per cent of wasted energy that would have been wasted.

    Awareness raising initiatives for staff members reinforce the perception that reducing carbon emissions is everyone's responsibility.

    It is our hope that energy saving practices will not only be observed within our facility but continued in the home place.

    Today, the VIC's annual emissions are half of the average emissions of non-residential buildings in Austria, and well below the UN System average.

    Reducing our environmental footprint is a fundamental necessity both for us and for future generations.

    We will continue to work closely with the other VBOs [Vienna-based UN organizations] and the Austrian government to implement additional measures.

    As Director-General of UNOV, I am proud to say that we have fulfilled our commitment to the UN to significantly reduce carbon emissions. UNOV is the first UN headquarters premises to become climate neutral.

    Thank you to every organization and your dedicated staff for their efforts in greening the VIC. Let us continue to work together and to keep up the good work!

    * *** *

    For further information, please contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]