In June 2013, Mr. LI Yong was elected the Director General of UNIDO and became the Chairperson of the Green Industry Platform. With a strong passion for international initiatives on infrastructure financing, green growth and climate financing, Mr. LI Yong was recently interviewed by Making It: Industry for Development magazine in which he outlines his views on inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
His statements regarding the decoupling of economic growth from unsustainable resource use and negative environmental consequences were particularly important, as well as those on the partnership approach needed to realize this goal.
On the topic of sustainable industrial development, LI said:
“For the meaning of “sustainable” in this context, we are clear that industry generates the wealth needed to address critical social and humanitarian needs. At the same time, however, it is also clear that this growth must urgently be decoupled from increased raw material use and negative environmental impacts. As a key driver of this growth, industry must play its part by becoming significantly cleaner and vastly more energy and resource-efficient, to guarantee the health, prosperity and security of our peoples. In short, when we promote industrial development and manufacturing activities, we should try to incorporate the environmentally sound production methodologies available to us, such as energy efficiency, clean production technologies, reduced emissions and more effective use of resources.”
LI goes on to explain the relevance of partnerships as a way to create the enabling environment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development:
“To achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development for our member states, all of UNIDO’s tools in its own tool-box will be used. In addition, we need to develop stronger partnerships to make our development impact even bigger. This means further expanding the strategic partnerships that we have now with our member states, with the UN family members, and also with private sector companies, with whom we are developing the Green Industry Platform and many other important programmes.
These kinds of partnership should be expanded, because industrialization is not about building one or two factories, or just one or two assembly-lines. Industrialization is a holistic movement that helps countries to rise from a lower level of development to a higher level. This is a set of processes that is beyond the capacity of any single institution to support fully, and requires strong partnerships with all related stakeholders, including bilateral and multilateral development agencies, international financial institutions, the private sector, academia and civil society.”