Environment ministers stress key role of green economy

25 Feb 2011

Delegates to the UN forum stressed that a transition to a low-carbon “green economy” is vital for sustainable development.

At a week-long meeting of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), ministers across the globe said a green economy is needed to reduce carbon emissions and create a sustainable future.

Delegates at the meeting at the agency’s headquarters in Nairobi, which began on Monday, also stated that the UN Conference on Sustainable Development or “Rio+20” that will take place in Rio de Janeiro in May 2012, will be an opportunity to accelerate a global transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient green economy.

Minsters urged the UNEP to support countries keen to “operationalise” the transition, stating that green economies would be stronger economic models and would be “geared towards social equity and human well-being while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcity”.

The ministers are concerned that the overall efforts of the UN and member states in relation to the “environmental pillar” of sustainable development remained “weak, underfunded and fractured.”

Many delegates said countries needed “to move beyond pinpointing shortcomings and to focus on a real reform agenda in the run up to Rio+20″.