Press releases April 2009 - Powering a Global Green New Deal - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
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Powering a Global Green New Deal

Business for the Environment Summit brings together hundreds of key business leaders to discuss green solutions

Paris, 15 April 2009 - More than 700 leaders from business, civil society, international organizations and government are set to meet at the Business for the Environment Global Summit in Paris on 22-23 April to discuss ways of powering green growth around the globe.

The event, now in its third year, is the world's leading international conference for business-driven action for the environment. As the world struggles with a deep economic recession, the conference will highlight the green solutions that can turn crisis into opportunity.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP, said: "Today's crises are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient society. Business has a key role to play in this transformational process, and the B4E summit is a crucial opportunity to bring together key decision-makers to sharpen and discuss their role in delivering a Green Economy."

Participants to B4E will include the Chief Executives of Suzlon, Suntech, Alcatel-Lucent and Siemens France, as well as the seven inspirational laureates of the 2009 UNEP Champions of the Earth awards, who will be announced in an award ceremony on 22 April.

With a focus on a new, green economy driven by leadership, technology and innovation, the summit will bring together participants from more than 30 countries to make the connection between the environment and global economic recovery.

Delegates will learn how to identify and manage the challenges posed by climate change, and explore the many opportunities of investing in a green economy.

The two-day conference will feature sessions on the Green Economy Initiative, innovation and technology, policy, resource efficiency, the extractives industry, and the global water crisis among other key topics.

The event is also held in conjunction with the UNEP Champions of the Earth 2009 awards presentation on 22 April, which is also Earth Day. The seven laureates - all of whom are inspirational environmental leaders - are the living proof that amid today's environmental and economic crises lay unprecedented opportunities for innovative solutions, fresh approaches and dynamic leadership, from policy action to grassroots initiatives.

The Business for the Environment conference comes on the heels of the UNEP Global Green New Deal Policy Brief, which advises policymakers on the key areas where investment is required in order to power sustainable economic recovery.

The Policy Brief argues that investing just one per cent of global GDP, or around $750 billion, into five key sectors could be the key to realizing a Global Green New Deal that in turn can set the stage for a Green Economy The five sectors, from renewable energy to freshwaters, could in conjunction with other measures play an important role in reviving the global economy and boosting employment while accelerating the fight against climate change, environmental degradation and poverty.

Notes to Editors:

The Business for the Environment Summit is co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme and the UN Global Compact. The event is organized by UNEP and Global Initiatives, and supported by leading international organizations including MEDEF (the French Employers Confederation), the AFP Foundation, WWF, Greenpeace, Business for Social Responsibility and many others.

In the margins of the summit, a Media Seminar, co-organised with the AFP Foundation on 21 April, will be the opportunity for journalists to learn more about climate change, the Global Green New Deal and how the environment can feed into global economic recovery. The seminar will feature Pavan Sukhdev, UNEP Project Leader on The Green Economy, as well as participants from the B4E Summit.


21 April: Media Seminar at the Centre d'Accueil de la Presse Etrangère, Grand Palais, Cours la Reine, Perron Alexandre III, Paris

22-23 April: Business for the Environment Global Summit at the Palais des Congrès

22 April: UNEP Champions of the Earth Awards Ceremony, Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel, 2 rue Scribe (By invitation only - please advise us if you are interested in attending)


22 April - 4.15pm: Announcement of the laureates of the UNEP Champions of the Earth Awards, Palais Des Congrès, Level 3 Media Room, Room 341

23 April - 6pm: Closing press conference to announce the outcome of the Summit, Palais Des Congrès


Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
H.R.H Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Crown Prince, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Juan Elvira Quesada,Mexican Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources
Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Photographer and chairman of
Ben Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent
Tulsi Tanti, Chairman & Managing Director, Suzlon Energy
Shi Zhengrong, Chairman & CEO, Suntech Power Holding
James Leape, Director General, WWF International
Pascal Husting, Executive Director, Greenpeace France
Kevin Conrad, Executive Director for the Coalition for Rainforest Nations
Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Minister of State to the Prime Minister on the Digital Economy & Strategic Studies, France
Philippe Carli, Chairman and CEO, Siemens France
Graeme Sweeney, Executive Vice President, Future Fuels & CO2, Shell International Petroleum
Anders Wijkman, Member of the European Parliament
Philippe Huet, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy and Coordination, Electricité de France SA
Joost Martens, Director General, Consumers International
Steffen Frankenberg, VP Corporate Development, Deutsche Post WorldNet
Pavan Sukhdev, Project Leader on the Green Economy, UNEP
Aron Cramer, President & CEO, Business for Social Responsibility
Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman, Sustainable Development Commission, MEDEF
Neil Hawkins, Sc.D., Vice President & Chief Sustainability Strategist, Dow
John Gaffney, Executive Vice President, First Solar

For more information, and to request interviews, go to

To register as a journalist for B4E and the media seminar, please visit:

The UNEP Green Economy initiative is at:

The UNEP Global Green New Deal Policy Brief is at:

For more information please contact:

Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, at tel: +254 20 762 3084, mobile: +254 733 632755, or e-mail:; or Anne-France White, Associate Information Officer, at tel: +254 20 762 3088, Mobile: +254 (0)728 600 494, or e-mail:

Full Release




Further Resources

Podcast by UNEP Executive Director on B4E Summit

B4E Summit

UNEP Green Economy Initiative

UNEP Global Green New Deal Policy Brief


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