The global green economy has become a reality but world governments must do more to ensure its success, the head of the United Nations agency responsible for poverty reduction and environmental sustainability declared today.
“One thing is clear: green industry is real. It is already here,” UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella told the opening session of the agency’s biennial conference in Vienna.
“UNIDO has been at the forefront of the industry and environment nexus for many years,” he added, spotlighting the role played by UNIDO’s Green Industry Initiative in hastening the environmentally-friendly growth of industry and fostering sustainable development in the world’s poorer nations.
Citing UNIDO’s “major role” in driving the UN agenda forward on green energy issues, Dr. Yumkella also pointed to progress made by developing countries in greening their industries as an example of his agency’s contribution to next year’s meeting on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Rio+20).
The General Assembly has also named 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
In his address to the week-long meeting, whose theme is “The new industrial revolution: making it sustainable,” Dr. Yumkella also emphasized that a key element for establishing a successful global green economy was guaranteeing the availability of sustainable energy for all.
“UNIDO’s message is: energy access matters for poverty reduction and wealth creation. It matters for business opportunities in Africa and elsewhere,” he said.
Dr. Yumkella called for stronger government policies, public-private partnerships, and collaboration between businesses, academia, technology providers, financial institutions and civil society to further secure the longevity of green industrial development throughout the world.
In recent years, UNIDO has assumed an enhanced role in global development by focusing on poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability, based on two core functions – as a global forum to disseminate industry-related knowledge, and as a technical cooperation agency to provide technical support and implement projects.