Green Industry: A Key Pillar of a Green Economy (2-2)
There is general agreement that industrial growth is needed in developing countries to alleviate poverty, deliver goods and services, create jobs, and raise living standards). Furthermore, for developing countries, economic and social development is considered to be an essential requirement for improved environmental protection. Many developing and transition countries are currently in a phase of rapid industrial growth, with still more on the verge of embarking upon such a path. This informal report on energy and industrial ministers explores the future of Green Industries.
UNIDO Green Industry initiative
Green Industry is a two-pronged strategy to decouple resource use and pollution from industrial development and promote the growth of sustainable productive sectors and entrepreneurship in developing and transitioning countries. By definition, green industry is: Ministerial Meeting on Energy and Green Industry Vienna, 21 and 22 June 2011
- Greening of industries - ensuring that all industries, regardless of sector, size or location, continuously improve their environmental performance.
This includes commitment to, and actions aimed at reducing, the environmental impacts of processes and products by using resources more efficiently; phasing out toxic substances; substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy sources; improving occupational health and safety; taking increased producer responsibility and reducing risks to the environment, climate and people.
- Creating green industries - stimulating the development and creation of industries that provide environmental goods and services. Green industry is a growing and diverse sector that covers all types of services and technologies aimed at contributing to reducing negative environmental impacts or addressing the consequences of various forms of pollution. This includes material recovery, recycling companies, waste management and treatment companies, as well as companies that transport waste. Further examples include engineering companies that specialize in wastewater treatment, air pollution control and waste treatment equipment, as well as companies that provide monitoring, measuring and analysis services. Green industries also encompass
environmental and energy consultants, in addition to the providers of integrated solutions, for example, energy service companies (ESCOS) that offer design, implementation of energy saving projects, energy conservation, energy infrastructure outsourcing, power generation, energy supply, and risk management. Green industries also include companies that manufacture and install renewable energy equipment and companies that develop and produce clean technologies.
This dual approach promotes sustainable patterns of production and consumption, i.e. patterns that are resource- and energy efficient, low-carbon, low-waste, nonpolluting, safe, and which produce products that are responsibly managed throughout their lifecycle.
Vision and Goals of the Green Industry initiative
UNIDO’s primary vision is to ensure that developing and transition countries attain their respective targets for sustainable industrial development. In order to achieve this, there is a need for fundamental changes in the way countries produce and Ministerial Meeting on Energy and Green Industry Vienna, 21 and 22 June consume. Through the Green Industry initiative, UNIDO focuses on the need for and value of approaches that target industry and promote more equitable access to the knowledge, technologies and production processes that are needed for achieving sustainable industrial development in these countries. In general, the initiative goals are: providing technical support and assistance to incorporate concepts, tools and methodologies of green industry; supporting bilateral, regional and international cooperation in the development and transfer of cleaner production technologies and practices; strengthening the economic and trade competitiveness of green industries; and actively engaging in partnerships, between and among governments, the private sectors, research institutions and civil society to green their industries.
More specifically, the UNIDO Green Industry initiative will work to: Incorporate Sustainable Production in industrial policies and strategies and related development plans, including through improvements of the business environment and supportive market and fiscal, trade, technology and training policies in 25 developing and transition countries by 2016 and expanding this to 75 in 2021;
Enhance and expand the availability of advisory services so that by 2016, 25% of SMEs in programme countries have access to appropriate services for implementation of Sustainable Production and increase this availability to at least 50% by 2021;
Support national learning and innovation hubs that bring together business sector, academia and knowledge sector, and government for collaborative development and realization of sustainability pathways for transformation of priority sectors through (applied) research, technology development, teaching and training, in 15 developing and transition countries in 2016, expanding to 30 countries by 2021;
Realize replicable models for Sustainable Production, including for (1) climate resilient solutions that combine mitigation of industrial GHG emissions with adaptation of industry to the likely impacts of climate change; (2) eco-industrial parks with enhanced uptake of Environmentally Sound Technologies by industries individually and collectively. This could aim to include 20 and 10 countries in 2016 respectively for eco-industrial parks and climate resilient production, expanding to 50 and 20 countries by 2021; and Encourage and support absolute resource use reductions in developed countries and relative decoupling in developing countries so that the impact of global natural resources use are kept within safe ecological limits. This includes Ministerial Meeting on Energy and Green Industry Vienna, 21 and 22 June 2011 providing solutions to decouple economic growth from the rate of natural resource consumption through an increase in resource efficiency, to ensure that resource consumption would not increase to three times its current level by 20503.
The key messages of the UNIDO Green Industry initiative are presented in Annex 1.
There are significant opportunities for utilizing the Green Industry approach to assist developing and transition countries to deal with pressing social concerns, while at the same time ensuring that these countries can grow sustainably. It is critical that the technologies, practices and production methods deployed in these countries are sustainable. If the current window of opportunity for integrating sustainable production approaches and technologies in the necessary industrial upgrading and development in these countries is missed, then these countries will face high costs and losses in the future due the need to clean up pollution and replace technological bases, missed business opportunities, resource scarcity, depleted ecosystems, and the inability to compete on the global market.
This refers to a scenario analysis on from UNEP International Resource Panel. Decoupling natural resource use and environmental impacts from economic growth. This analysis projects that resource consumption will increase to three times its current level by 2050, resulting in an annual consumption of 140
billion tons of minerals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass.
By Alula Berhe Kidani, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, 20/07/2012