4 June 2009

Re-issued as received

UNIDO Director-General Urges Continued Support for Developing Countries to make their Industries Cleaner

VIENNA, 4 June (UN Information Service) - United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, said today that the financial and economic turmoil could lead to a new green industrial revolution, but cautioned that developing countries must not lose out.

"We must make sure that the crisis is used to launch a new green industrial revolution. But it has to be a truly global one. Developing countries and poor communities, already the most afflicted by climate change, cannot afford to lose out," said Mr. Yumkella.

"They will need continued support to make their industries cleaner, to enhance their technological know-how, and to build policy toward new green industries and renewable forms of energy for productive purposes."

The Director-General made his comments to mark the World Environment Day, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, and observed on 5 June. This year's theme is "your planet needs you! UNite to combat climate change".

"I'm certain - a new industrial revolution is just around the corner, and this time it will be green. Industry, long regarded as the main source of emissions that cause climate change, should be in the driving seat moving the world towards a sustainable future. Cleaner production and renewable energy - as well as resource- and energy-efficient technologies - are set to change forever the relationship we have with our global commons," added Mr. Yumkella.

He said that action was needed "at the individual level to reduce, reuse and recycle; at the corporate level to invest in energy efficient and low-carbon production; and at the governmental level to 'Seal the Deal' at the UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen in December".

UNIDO will focus on these issues in a range of major international conferences, including one on Energy that will take place in Vienna from 22 to 24 June, and on Green Industry in Asia to be held in Manila from 9 to 11 September.


UNIDO is a specialized agency of the United Nations system that works towards improving the quality of life of the world's poor by helping countries achieve sustainable industrial development. UNIDO views industrial development as a means of creating employment and income to overcome poverty. It helps developing countries and economies in transition to produce goods they can trade on the global market. It also helps provide the tools - training, technology, and investment - to make them competitive. At the same time, it encourages production processes that will neither harm the environment nor place too heavy a burden on a country's limited energy resources. UNIDO has 173 Member States and has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. See also www.unido.org

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For further information please contact:

George Assaf
Spokesperson, UNIDO
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-3849
Email: g.assaf@unido.org