DURBAN, 5 December 2011 – In an effort to “green” the COP17 UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will organize several side events this week.
In partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNIDO will demonstrate South Africa's strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting clean energy sources and by supporting targeted climate change awareness activities by decision-makers and the general public.
Journalists are invited to attend the following side events:
On December 6, at 13:00, to promote low carbon public transport, a bicycle event will take place at the North Beach. From there participants will bicycle to the security controlled area to the Hilton Hotel, and then to the CCR Expo area. The event is organized together with eThekwini Municipality. A total of 300 bicycles will be provided to COP17 delegates and personnel through a grant by the GEF will be used on the upgraded bike paths eThekwini, and for delegates to move around the COP venue area, as well as between the COP area and the inner city. Recommended bike paths that Durban prepared for the FIFA World Cup 2010 have since been expanded and upgraded for COP17.
After COP17, some of the bicycles will be distributed to local schools and communities in line with selection criteria applied by the Durban municipality. Others will remain in Durban to continue supporting the Durban city initiative of greening inner city transport in the future by promoting public-private partnership to commercially promote the bicycle rental business to tourists and local inhabitants.
On 8 December, at 13:00, in support of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, UNIDO, together with GEF and the Government of South Africa will showcase the village Illembe that has benefited from the UNIDO/GEF Greening COP 17 project. Located some 70 km from Durban, it now features solar water heating systems for schools and hospitals, an example of the role of renewable energy in improving health services delivery and simultaneously reduce the ecological footprint of COP17. Participants will include the President Jacob Zuma, UNDP Administrator Helen Clarke, Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters, and UNIDO Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella.
On 8 December, at 19:00, together with GEF and the South Africa Ministries of Energy, Environmental Affairs, and Industry, UNIDO will host a Cleantech Competition Award and a reception at the Southern Sun Elengeli Hotel, in Durban. The competition will honour selected solutions for some of the most critical environmental and economic issues and contribute to initiatives to stimulate the economic growth of South Africa.
More information on the competition can be found here
To download a brochure on UNIDO's energy efficiency project in South Africa, please click here
For more information on UNIDO, please contact:
UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator