The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the Green Industry Platform in the context of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Platform’s launch event attracted around 200 attendees and included several high-profile speakers such as the Director-General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik and the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environment Facility, Monique Barbut. High-level representatives from businesses such as Broad Group (China), Microsoft (USA) and Novozymes (Denmark) all took part in the launch event, as well as ministers from partner governments of the initiative such as Poland, Sierra Leone and Sweden.
Addressing the participants of the launch event, UNIDO’s Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, stated that: “The Platform is exemplary for the public-private partnerships that are needed to scale up and mainstream the greening of industrial development and the creation of green industry. It will give impetus to the many inspiring initiatives at national and sector level, that will be united to direct a global transition to low carbon and cleaner industry.”
The European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, explained the European Commission’s support for the Green Industry Platform as follows: “We are supporting this initiative because we think it is a good one that is quite innovative and is on the global level. It is encouraging not only businesses but also other stakeholders, from governments to civil society, to join and to push the process. I think it is really something that was needed and that is why we are committed to help both United Nations institutions – environmental and industrial – that are behind this concept…”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environment Facility, Monique Barbut, concurred by stating that: “These organizations have a self interest in delivering results, have demonstrated key experience in the target area, and have established critical relationships with local organizations and civil society.”
Following the Green Industry Platform’s launch, the Advisory Board will be selected, and a work plan decided on which will determine the future activities to take place amongst Platform members.