Remarks by Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson on Low Carbon Asia
Address To China Daily and Asia News Network
Beijing 8 April, 2010 - Climate Change has been described as the biggest market failure of this generation.
But there are other market failures too.
The recent food or food price crisis and the rapidly emerging natural resource scarcity crisis are also part of this market failure mentality.
There is also an employment crisis with two billion people likely to be unemployed or under-employed within the next decade.
Will they all be put to work making cars, washing machines and I-pods-will we all own three or four cars; 10 mobile phones and PCs?
Or are there different kinds of jobs in sustainable industries such as recyling, materials recovery and natural resource management?
We live in a world that is pushing, if not pushing past critical limits-climate change is a key one.
In the past, in a world of a few millions or hundred million people, one option was too mine the natural world and to pollute the seas, the land and the atmosphere and move on.
This is not possible in a world of six billion, moving to nine billion people by 2050.
There is no where to go.
It is also not possible if, as appears to be happening not least as a result of climate change, humans are fundamentally and systematically changing their life support systems at regional and global level.
We need to manage the multiple challenges.
And manage not in a piecemeal, bit by bit way, but in a joined-up far smarter and intelligent strategic approach.
UNEP recently launched its Green Economy Initiative.
It is a broad-based and aimed at catalyzing a transition to a low carbon, high-tech, resource efficient and job generating 21st century global economy.
It is showcasing smart market mechanisms and intelligent fiscal and other government policies able to unleash the private sector towards a less wasteful economic path.