Senior UN official spotlights Japan’s role in slashing greenhouse gas emissions

UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella

16 June 2010 – By transferring technologies to the developing world, Japan can lead global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the head of the United Nations industrial development arm said today.

“The international community must harmonize technical standards for key energy-consuming products and equipment,” Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), told reporters in Tokyo.

This, he pointed out, requires the transfer of know-how and developing capacities to implement plans, as well as enhanced investment in energy efficiency.

Promoting the “clean energy agenda” requires action from both the public and private sectors, as well as collaboration across borders, Mr. Yumkella stressed.

“Japanese industries have shown world-class energy intensities in several sectors,” he said. “Through technology transfer, Japan can play a leading role in global issues such as energy and climate change.”

The UNIDO chief is the chair of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s high-level Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change, which in April issued a report underlining that increasing access to clean energy and improving its efficiency will be vital to both enhancing global prosperity and combating climate change.

Mr. Yumkella said that current energy systems were failing to meet the needs of the world’s poor, with 2.6 billion people worldwide relying on traditional biomass for cooking and 1.6 billion not having access to electricity.

He pointed to Japan’s efficient coal power technology as having the power to benefit the developing world.

During his three-day visit to the country, which is one of UNIDO’s biggest donors, he met with officials from the foreign affairs, trade and environment ministries.

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