Guangzhou, China – The third Green Industry Conference, with a focus on promoting the rapid uptake of green industry in harmony with the Earth’s ecosystems, opened in the Chinese city of Guangzhou on 7 November.
The three-day event, organized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), brought together some 700 participants, including high-level government officials, representatives of the private sector, civil society, academics and experts in the field.
“Industry today accounts for around one third of global GDP. It helps create jobs and bring prosperity worldwide, particularly in developing countries. But at the same time, industry is still wasting vast amounts of water, energy and raw materials while producing harmful emissions, unrecoverable waste and toxic byproducts,” said LI Yong, the Director General of UNIDO.
“Industrial development is widely seen as a global engine for growth. However, we must ensure that it is inclusive and sustainable. To be sustainable, economic growth must urgently be decoupled from its current reliance on increased raw material use and negative environmental impacts. Industrial production must become significantly cleaner and vastly more efficient to guarantee the health, prosperity and security of present, as well as future, generations.”
Participants noted that environmental degradation was largely due to increasing manufacturing and consumption around the world, and the unprecedented strain in current economic development. They called for a ‘closing the loop’ model of circular economy, which underpins sustainability and decouples economic growth from raw material use.
The conference will focus on creating a circular economy through resource efficiency and effective environmental management and policy. Participants will also discuss how governments and the private sector are working to advance green industry, and how new developments in technology and trends can support the case for a rapid and progressive transition to greener industries. Other topics will include resource efficient and cleaner production, green chemistry and hazardous waste, women in green industry, green industry policies, and creating eco-cities and eco-industrial parks.
The event in Guangzhou follows on from the 2011 Tokyo Green Industry Conference and the 2009 International Conference on Green Industry in Asia held in Manila, Philippines. It was organized in conjunction with the China International Green Innovative Products and Technologies Show.
During his visit to China, Director General Li also signed a memorandum of understanding with MIAO Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of the People’s Republic of China. Under the agreement, UNIDO and MIIT will initiate cooperation to promote green industry and cleaner production in China, including industrial water and energy efficiency, as well as programmes to reduce the use of lead. They will work together in support of eco-design, the utilization of industrial solid wastes and renewable resources, sustainable development of SMEs, and green industrial parks.
For more information, please go to http://www.unido.org/greenindustryconference.html