BRUSSELS, 5 June 2012 - At the invitation of the European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, the Director-General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella, today participated in the first meeting of the European Resource Efficiency Platform in Brussels.
Resource efficiency, which provides the sustainability dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy, is a top priority for the European Commission, combining an environmental and climate policy agenda with key economic and social objectives. The intention is to combine the Platform's members' backgrounds and skills to provide useful guidance to the European Commission, Member States and market actors on resource efficiency.
Director-General Yumkella will serve as a member of the Platform, which is chaired by John Bruton, a former prime minister of Ireland and EU Ambassador to the US. Other members include Vice-President Tajani, Commissioners Hedegaard, Potočnik, Rehn and Šemeta; Italian Environment Minister, Corrado Clini; Estonian Environment Minister, Keit Pentus; OECD Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist, Pier Carlo Padoan; CEO of Veolia Water, Jean-Michel Herrewyn; CEO of Kingfisher, Iain Cheshire; KPGM Global Chairman of Energy and Natural Resources Industry, Michiel Soeting; Chief Executive of RioTinto, Tom Albanese; Member of the Managing Board of Siemens, Barbara Kux; CEO of Mapei, Giorgio Squinzi; General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, Bernadette Ségol; and Director-General of the European Consumer’s organisation BEUC, Monique Goyens.
Director-General Yumkella noted that UNIDO had also prepared a similar initiative, a Green Industry Platform, in which the EU is represented.
“The objective of UNIDO’s Green Industry Platform is to mainstream social and environmental considerations into the operations of enterprises in all countries and regions through a more efficient use of energy and raw materials, innovative practices and applications of new green technologies,” he said.
The Green Industry Platform will also promote the creation of new green industries and help existing industries improve their contributions to economic development and to societal and ecological protection. It will be officially launched at Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development which will take place in Brazil from 20 to 22 June.
“With these complementary initiatives, UNIDO and the EU are joining hands to make sure that we have a forward-looking strategy after Rio,” said Yumkella.
UNIDO is implementing green industry programmes in Asia, Latin America and Caribbean region and in countries with transition economies.
In recent years, UNIDO has organized green industry policy and technology forums in Brazil, Japan, the Philippines, and Russia.
Kandeh Yumkella also serves as a member of the China International Council on Cooperation for Environment and Development (CICCED).
For more information, please contact:
UNIDO Representative in Brussels