VIENNA, 24 June, 2011 - UNIDO's Green Industry Initiative provides the international community and national governments with a platform for fostering sustainable development – a platform that should be supported and guided by the governments. This, among others was the conclusion of the Ministerial meeting Rio+20 that took place within the framework of the Vienna Energy Forum 2011.
The meeting gathered ministers of economy, energy, industry, foreign affairs and environment as well as high-level government representatives from seventy-seven countries at the invitation of the Director-General of UNIDO and UN Energy to consider the urgent challenges sustainable development and energy are facing. Among those challenges are the Greening of Industry - ensuring that all industry, regardless of sector, size and location, continues to improve its environmental performance and resource productivity, and Creating Green Industry - stimulating the development and creation of industries that deliver environmental goods and services.
The participants of the Rio+20 ministerial meeting also voiced concern that nearly half of world's population does not have access to modern energy services and that 1.5 billion have no access to electricity at all and called for the establishment of an independent energy access fund.
The meeting also highlighted five key areas with regards to renewable energy deployment: credit worthiness of the energy sector, planning for tomorrow, integrating all energy sources with a green bias, financing the energy transformation and empowering local people and private sector.
The participants expressed hope that their deliberations at this meeting will contribute to the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20), to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in May 2012. The Ministers noted that these discussions will also contribute towards the implementation of General Assembly resolution 65/151 on the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All. General support was expressed for the Green Economy as a theme of the RIO+20 conference.
Agreeing that the issue of energy is urgent, the Ministers welcomed the call for action and endorsed the view that there was a need to act together, act now and act differently. They called upon UNIDO and its partners to develop an Action Agenda, with goals and identifiable measurable benchmarks.
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