Financial turmoil could usher in new ‘green’ era, says top UN climate official

Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

10 October 2008 – The current global market crisis could provide an opportunity for the world financial system to reconstruct itself to promote “green” growth, the top United Nations climate change official said today in New York.

“Governments now have an opportunity to create and enforce policy which stimulates competition to fund clean industry,” Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) told reporters.

The demand for energy worldwide is expected by surge more than 50 per cent by 2030, he said, requiring a $22 trillion investment – half of that in developing nations – in energy supply infrastructure. Massive increases in greenhouse gas emissions would result unless those funds are earmarked for clean energy, he stressed.

For the first time since last December’s landmark UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, where countries agreed to launch formal negotiations to reach a long-term global agreement on climate change, dozens of environment ministers will meet next week before the next set of talks in the Polish city of Poznan begin in December.

The Poznan conference will be crucial since it will be the first time that a text, for a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, will be discussed, Mr. de Boer said.

“It will be very important, in that context, that ministers focus their attention on a shared vision of cooperative action,” he noted.

While there has been much talk regarding what developed and developing countries must do to slash emissions, little emphasis has been placed on the infrastructure and resources that poorer nations require, the Executive Secretary said, calling on leaders at Poznan to make the necessary commitments.


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