UN supports 30 countries on green economy

No fewer than 30 countries would be supported by four United Nations, UN agencies over the next seven years in building national green economy strategies that will generate new jobs and skills, promote clean technologies, and reduce environmental risks and poverty. The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO in a statement said a new Partnership for Action on Green Economy, PAGE to achieve these was launched yesterday in Vienna. It explained that the new partnership “is a response to the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), entitled The Future We Want, which recognizes the green economy as a vehicle for sustainable development and poverty eradication”. The statement said governments at Rio+20 called on UN agencies to support countries interested in accelerating their transition to an inclusive green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. “This is yet another example of how UNEP with partners is implementing the outcomes of Rio+20. The Partnership for Action on Green Economy will work with countries to catalyze change at the national level, assisting them with targeted economic and policy instruments and training that will accelerate their green economy transition across sectors ranging from clean energy to sustainable agriculture,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary-General. Steiner, who is also the UNEP Executive Director added: “With the support of PAGE, developing countries in particular can put in place the policies needed to reap the economic and environmental benefits of an inclusive, resource-efficient, low-carbon pathway, and avoid the risks and shocks of carbon-intensive infrastructures.” UNIDO said from Barbados to Mexico and Nepal to South Africa, many countries are already advancing green initiatives that will contribute to a more equitable and sustainable future. It added that Germany, Kenya and the Republic of Korea, among other states, have set out radical changes in their energy policies to harness the power of renewables, and reinvest in their natural capital. Lebanon and Madagascar are working to rebuild their agro-industries, while other countries – like Peru and Senegal – are focused on developing more capacity and green jobs. It noted that as The Future We Want recommends, PAGE will encourage “the implementation of green economy policies by countries that seek to apply them for the transition towards sustainable development as a common undertaking.” UNIDO specifically said PAGE would build enabling conditions in participating countries by shifting investment and policies towards the creation of a new generation of assets, such as clean technologies, resource efficient infrastructure, well-functioning ecosystems, green skilled labour and good governance. It also quoted the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder as saying that “ILO estimates that at least half of the global workforce or 1.5 billion people could be affected in some way by the transition to a green economy”. “PAGE aims to embed the right policies and opportunities at the national level as countries move forward with their inclusive green economy plans, and thus ensure this transition creates more and better jobs and benefits all of society”, Ryder added. In his remarks, Director General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella, said “Promoting green and clean new industries, and helping existing industries become more resource-efficient, will be a key focus of the partnership”. “While business and industry should be aligned with national green economy efforts, governments need to set the parameters in order for business to thrive”, Yumkella further pointed out. Also, the Director ad Interim of UNITAR, Sally Fegan-Wyles, said “Advancing green economies in the context of poverty eradication creates unprecedented needs and opportunities for learning and skills development”. Fegan-Wyles explained that “PAGE addresses this challenge, by offering a suite of learning programmes and by strengthening capacities of national research and training institutions to ensure sustainability.”

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