ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, 17 May 2011 – The Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh K. Yumkella, today called for a fundamental change in the way the world produces and consumes, saying that countries should green their economies.
“We need a fundamental change in how we produce, consume and exchange goods. This is how we can green our economies, our growth strategies, and our industries, creating new green jobs, stimulating green investments, and encouraging green innovations,” said Yumkella. He was speaking at the Fourth Nevsky International Ecological Congress in St. Petersburg.
The event was co-hosted by the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. As a co-organizer of the congress, UNIDO presented its Green Industry concept. The Nevsky Congress adopted a Declaration on Green Industry.
Yumkella said that as a UN specialized agency for industrial development, UNIDO was particularly concerned with how industrial development contributed, or impeded progress towards sustainable consumption and production. “This means doing more of what we are already starting to do - switching to resource efficient and cleaner production, and renewable energy to power our economies and industries. This in turn will improve the efficiency of our energy, material and water use, and practicing conservation,” he said.
UNIDO’s Green Industry initiative is about ensuring that all industries, regardless of sector, size or location, continuously improve their environmental performance by reducing the environmental impacts of processes and products through using resources more efficiently; phasing out toxic substances; substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy sources; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; improving occupational health and safety; taking increased producer responsibility; and generally reducing risks to the environment, climate and people.
The results and declarations of the IV Nevsky Ecological Congress will support the countries of the region and the UN system and its specialized agencies in their preparations for the Rio+20 Summit on Environment and Development, which will take place in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Nevsky International Ecological Congress was launched in 2008 to address the global environmental challenges and to promote environmental security though strengthening trans-border cooperation and developing environmental legislation in the CIS member nations.
To read the full speech of Director-General Yumkella, please go here:
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