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GC Today - 18 February 2009

Special Events:

Building Resource Efficient Economies and Sustainable Societies

Participants at the twenty-fifth GC/GMEF for the United Nations Environment Programme joined in a special event, Building Resource Efficient Economies and Sustainable Societies, to share opinions and discuss solutions. The dialogue focused on two questions:

  • How can the Marrakech Process on Sustainable Consumption and Production and the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management contribute to solving the food, energy and water crises?
  • How can these processes and mechanisms support the decoupling of economic growth from environmental degradation and the construction of a Green Economy?

The Marrakech Process is a global process to support the elaboration of a 10-Year Framework of Programs (10YFP) on sustainable consumption and production, as called for by the World Summit on Sustainable Development Johannesburg Plan of Action.
The overall objective of the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management is to provide independent scientific assessment of the environmental impacts due to the use of resources over the full life cycle, and advise governments and organisations on ways to reduce these impacts.

Towards a Low-carbon Future: Making the climate neutral case to the public

One year after the launch of UNEP’s Climate Neutral Network (CNNet) and with less than 300 days to go before the crucial Copenhagen COP 15 conference, over 80 delegates attending the UNEP Governing Council assembled to take stock of the experiences in moving towards low-carbon economies and societies. Panelists debated what is necessary to make a strong political, business and consumer case for a low-carbon future.

UNEP’s Satinder Bindra led the roundtable which included H.E. Erik Solheim, Minister of Environment and International Development, Norway; H.E. Roberto Dobles Mora, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica; H.E. Rashid Ahmad Bin-Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, United Arab Emirates; Torill Rolstad Larsen, Mayor, Arendal Municipality; Stephen Emmott, Head of Computational Sciences, Microsoft Research; and Mathis Wackernagel, Executive Director, Global Footprint Network.

Some of the discussion's thought-provoking questions included:
How do you strengthen developing country participation in climate neutrality and make the case for low-carbon economies?
How do you define climate-neutrality from the scientific perspective?
What is the role of corporations in promoting low-carbon economies, providing more climate-neutral products, and changing consumer consumption habits?
What is the role of local and national governments for setting appropriate regulatory frameworks to incentivize a low-carbon development model?

At the close of the roundtable discussion, the City of Copenhagen was announced as the Network’s 100th participant. All first 100 participants - CN Net Centurions - present at the debate received a recycled glass trophy made by a Kenyan CN Net participant Kitengela Glass Research & Training Trust to commemorate their membership. For the CN Net Centurions not present at the debate, UNEP will send trophies using DHL’s "climate neutral" parcel service.