12 November 2009

Reissued as received

UNIDO Director-General Visits China For High-Level Council On Environment and Development

VIENNA, 12 November (UN Information Service) - The Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh K. Yumkella, has undertaken a three-day visit to Beijing for meetings with Government officials and to take part in a session of a high-level international advisory body that advises top Chinese Government officials on environment and development.

The China Council of International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) was launched in 1992 and consists of senior Chinese officials and international experts. UNIDO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are the only members from the UN. Yumkella is UNIDOs first Director-General to serve as a member of this Council.

The CCICED is currently chaired by the Vice Premier of China, Li Keqiang. The previous chair was Wen Jiabao, now the Premier of China.

Quoting a report prepared by the Council, which will be submitted to the Government of China, Yumkella said: If China is to meet the target of year-on-year emissions cuts of between 4 and 5 per cent, it will need to reduce energy intensity by between 75 and 85 per cent by 2050. The proportion of manufacturing industry within the national economic structure would need to be cut from the current 50 per cent to around 30 per cent by the middle of the this century. By 2030, more than half of new energy demand should be met by low-carbon energy and by 2050, all new energy should be clean energy.

The report also encourages the promotion of carbon capture and storage technology.

The UNIDO Director-General added that another proposal of the Council was for China to reform its environmental tax system and begin collecting taxes from companies that emit pollutions and carbon dioxide that are the side effect of burning of fossil fuels.

The Council session is also providing important inputs for the Chinese 12th Five Year Plan and is focusing on ways to put China on a green industrialization and low-carbon path. It is discussing issues such as the economic instruments needed to promote energy efficiency and protection of the environment, energy efficiency in urban development, rural development and energy, environment and climate change adaptation, and the sustainable use of coal in China.

UNIDO has been promoting a greener and more energy efficient industry in China for many years. It is heavily involved in Chinas efforts to rid itself of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer and those organic pollutants that are persistent in the environment. It is also working with several industry sectors to assist them in adopting more energy efficient technologies and practices. Recently, together with the International Labour Organization, UNIDO has begun promoting the uptake of Corporate Social Responsibility practices in a number of industry sectors.

* *** *

For further information, please contact:

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

Website: www.unido.org