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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Tokyo conference lauds green growth in Asia, calls for Green Industry action under Rio+20

TOKYO, 16 November 2011 – Some 500 participants representing countries predominantly from within the Asia and Pacific region gathered in Tokyo today to discuss Green Industry progress: the application of environmental and resource conservation techniques and practices to the benefit of business, the environment and climate, new job creation, as well as for communities and consumers.

The three-day Tokyo Green Industry Conference is organized by the Government of Japan through its Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The Vice Minister of METI, Keiro Kitagami, and the Director-General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella, emphasized the importance of Green Industry for achieving green growth and green economy in the region and worldwide, and the critical importance of transfer and deployment of technology.

Participants said the June 2012 Rio+20 Conference in Brazil will provide an opportunity to achieve renewed international commitment for the concepts of Green Economy and Green Industry as one of its main sector contributions. This was echoed in a message read on behalf of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Participants said UNIDO and its partners should propose Green Industry actions, with policy goals and specific activities, recognizing the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders.

Keynote presentations were delivered by the Chairman of the Board of the Toshiba Corporation, Atsutoshi Nishida, and the President of the Japan National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Takashi Shiraishi. They emphasized from different angles the need for business initiative to green products and operations.

The mayors of Japanese eco-towns, Kitakyushu and Kawasaki, Kenji Kitahashi and Takao Abe, as well as the deputy mayor of Yokohama, Takashi Komatsuzaki, and the Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hoi An (Viet Nam), Truong Van Bay, presented the achievements of their respective cities, which serve as a clear demonstration of the diversity of approaches local governments can take to promote Green Industry.

“Despite the multiple development benefits, Green Industry is still not implemented widely enough. I am convinced that Government policies and public private partnerships can serve as a lever for Green Industry. They are vital for supporting technology transfer and for utilizing proven environment, energy and resource conservation techniques, and for research and technology development. Collaboration between businesses, academia, providers of technology, financial institutions and civil society is a must if we want to see green growth,” said Yumkella.

He noted that UNIDO launched its Green Industry strategy in Manila in 2009 as the sector strategy for achieving green growth and green economy in the manufacturing and associated sectors. Green Industry, he explained, was a two-pronged approach which consists of the Greening of Industry (ensuring that all industries, regardless of sector, size, ownership, markets and location, continuously improves its environmental performance and resource productivity), and of the actual creation of Green Industries (stimulating the development and creation of industries that deliver environmental goods and services).

Through related activities organized in collaboration with the INCHEM 2011 environmental technology exhibition, the Tokyo Conference offered opportunities to match environmental technology needs of participating developing countries with the international supply of best available techniques and best environmental practices.

On Tuesday, senior Government officials representing the Ministries of Industry, Trade, Economy and the Environment from Afghanistan, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, People’s Republic of China, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam discussed the achievements made in the implementation of Green Industry and challenges faced in scaling up and mainstreaming Green Industry. They reported on a variety of initiatives on the country level since the Manila Green Industry Conference and noted that the effective implementation of Green Industry initiatives was dependent on government leadership, including on political will, in tandem with enhanced business sector ownership.

For more information on the Conference, please go here:

http://www.unido.org/index.php?id=1001806

www.greenindustrytokyo.org 

For more information on UNIDO’s Green Industry initiative, go here, or contact:

Rene Van Berkel
Chief, UNIDO Cleaner Production Unit, Environmental Management Branch
 E-mail

For more information on UNIDO, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329  
 E-mail