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UN joins global task force to create new ‘green’ economy

UN joins global task force to create new ‘green’ economy

United Nations officials will begin work with a task force, launched today in London, charged with developing a set of practical projects and policy proposals to stimulate a new low-carbon global economy.

The initiative comes in response to an invitation made by United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the annual World Economic Forum Summit in Davos, Switzerland, in January to create an unprecedented low-carbon prosperity task force.

Some 52 businesses and 34 experts and organizations have joined the task force, which will work with governments and organizations such as the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Foundation to identify how to create millions of urgently needed “green jobs” and to steer global economic growth onto a more sustainable, low-carbon direction.

“We believe 2009 is a crucial year for two reasons,” Richard Samans, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, said in an open letter to Mr. Brown ahead of this week’s so-called Group of 20 (G-20) Summit in London, which will discuss solutions to the current global economic crisis.

Mr. Samans suggested that by placing low-carbon growth strategies at the heart of economic stimulus measures being injected into many ailing economies, tackling the global recession and achieving a new international treaty on reducing greenhouse gas emissions – to be concluded at the UN-led climate change conference in Copenhagen in December – can be mutually reinforcing.

“The G-20 governments can, politically and practically, signal their determination to transform the current economic crisis into an opportunity by committing a serious part of the multi-trillion dollar stimulus packages to low-carbon investments,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.

“In doing so, they will be setting the stage for sealing the deal in Copenhagen, and setting the stage for a resource efficient, innovation-led 21st century green economy. That is what business needs to know and that is what the low-carbon prosperity initiative is calling for,” he added.