4 September 2020

Secretary-General, at Global Industrialization Summit, Calls for Faster, Bolder Action in Manufacturing Sector to Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2050

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit, in New York today:

It is a pleasure to address the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit.  You gather as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present colossal challenges.  The world’s reliance on manufactured products can be seen clearly through the shortage of critical supplies and disruptions in global value chains.

Yet, we have also witnessed a leap in digitalization in learning, working and connecting with others.  Indeed, technology has the potential to restore business, improve industrial efficiency and safety, and fortify critical infrastructure.  It can also help safeguard the environment and move towards a cleaner and more resilient world.

Efficient, green technologies can help to mitigate more than 70 per cent of today’s emissions.  Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels.  We need industries to take rapid and ambitious steps that will get the world to carbon neutrality by 2050.  Some sectors have already started this transition, such as steel and auto manufacturing.  Others should accelerate, especially when they have the know-how and the financial means.

The information technology industry has a special responsibility.  We must also address vulnerabilities, such as cybersecurity and the automation of labour‑intensive jobs.  Digital technologies must not increase the risk of unemployment for women or worsen economic and other inequalities.

The joint effort of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Arab Emirates in convening this platform is an opportunity to address these challenges as we pursue recovery from COVID-19.  I wish you every success as we strive together towards an inclusive and sustainable fourth industrial revolution.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.