Davos Climate Focus: Ban Urges Leaders to Think Green & Steiner Promotes Design for Good

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Thursday, called on the world's political and business leaders participating in the World Economic Forum in Davos to use the current economic crisis to commit to a "Green New Deal" that creates jobs and fights climate change by investing in renewable energy and technological development.

The Secretary General told the World Economic Forum in Davos, "Climate change threatens all our goals for development and social progress. Indeed, it is the one true existential threat to the planet." He added, "We must break the tyranny of short-term thinking in favour of long-term solutions. This will demand a renewed commitment to core principles."

The Secretary General also noted that United States President Barack Obama has made a clear commitment to re-energizing the American economy by boosting the "green economy," emphasizing that, "The green economy is low-carbon and energy-efficient. It creates jobs. Investment in sustainable technologies will turn today's crisis into tomorrow's sustainable growth."

Also participating at the Davos Forum, Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, took part, Friday, in a session entitled the "Copenhagen Challenge", where panelists - including former US Vise-president, Al Gore and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen - emphasized the importance of rising to the Copenhagen challenge and delivering an agreement that has the full support of policy-makers and industry leaders from both industrialized and developing economies.

Prime Minister Rasmussen, who is host of the UN Climate Change Conference, said it is essential for heads of states to engage in the process and for countries to commit to reducing their current levels of CO2 emissions. "The essential thing is to agree on clear targets ... a prerequisite for creating a private market," said Rasmussen, who went on to emphasize that, "Green efficiency is sound economics."

Steiner was also a panelist at a session entitled "Design for Good", which explored new roles for design in the context of the problems and inadequacies that face today's world. It is worth noting that UNEP has pioneered a project known as "Design for Sustainability", which promotes eco-design and innovation that aim to achieve cleaner production and eco-efficient industrial systems.


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