UN industrial agency partners with China to tackle climate change

7 November 2008

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has joined forces with China to address climate change by increasing clean energy projects under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and boosting the use of hydropower in Africa.

Under an agreement signed in Beijing yesterday by UNIDO Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella and Chen Huan, Deputy Director-General of the China CDM Fund Management Centre, the two bodies will implement schemes – including transitioning to a low-carbon economy and expanding the transfer of adoption and technology – over the next three years.

The CDM allows industrialized countries to generate credits through investment in emission reduction projects in developing countries.

Also yesterday, Mr. Yumkella entered into an agreement with Chinese and Sierra Leonean officials to build a small hydropower plant on the Bankasoka River in the West African nation, with construction slated to begin next month and be completed by the end of 2009.

The project hopes to pave the way for further trilateral cooperation under UNIDO’s Lighting-up of Rural Africa initiative, which aims to reverse the lack of access, low purchasing power and over-dependence on traditional fuels currently characterizing the continent’s energy situation.

Also in Beijing, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored the need for increased funding for clean technology, given that global energy demand is estimated to surge by over 50 percent by 2030.

“Clean technologies have proven their worth again and again,” he said in an address delivered by Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, to the High-Level Conference on Climate Technology Development and Technology Transfer.

“Investments in clean technologies can generate jobs and growth while safeguarding the environment, in effect addressing the financial crisis and climate change at the same time.”

Mr. Ban stressed that the poorest and most vulnerable, who have contributed least to global warming, face the greatest challenges in adapting to its impact.

He called for “decisive action and global solidarity,” urging participants to ensure that the next round of UN climate change talks in Poznan, Poland, next month will be successful and to usher in a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol when talks wrap up in December 2009 in Copenhagen.

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