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UNIDO partners with GEF and Government of S Africa to “green” the COP 17 Negotiations

UNIDO partners with GEF and Government of S Africa to “green” the COP 17 Negotiations

DURBAN, December 6, 2011 – Keeping its commitment to Green Industry and in its desire to achieving green growth and green economy in the region and around the world thereby underscoring the critical importance of transfer and deployment of technology, in partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the South African government, UNIDO is organizing a series of events on the sidelines of the COP 17 UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa in an effort to “green” the climate change negotiations. 

Through these events, UNIDO will demonstrate not only South Africa’s strong commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting clean energy sources but also supporting targeted climate change awareness activities by decision-makers and the general public. 

Aiming to promote low carbon public transport, through a grant funded by GEF, a total of 300 hundred bicycles will be provided to COP 17 delegates and personnel to help them move around the COP venue and area as well as the inner city. Bike paths which were prepared for the FIFA World Cup in Durban have been expanded and upgraded.  The municipality of eThekwini which co-sponsors the event has had its bike paths upgraded as well. At the end of the event, some of the bicycles will be donated to local schools and communities in line with the selection criteria applied by the Durban municipality. The rest are expected to stay in Durban to continue its effort in supporting the city’s initiative of greening inner city transport by promoting private-public partnership to commercially promote the bicycle rental business to tourists and the local inhabitants.

In another event underscoring support for the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative , together with GEF and the Government of South Africa, UNIDO will showcase the village Illembe that has benefited from the UNIDO/GEF Greening COP 17 project. Located some 70 km from Durban, it now features solar water heating systems for schools and hospitals, an example of the role renewable energy can play in improving health services delivery and simultaneously reduce the ecological footprint of COP17. Participants will include South African President Jacob Zuma, UNDP Administrator Helen Clarke, Elizabeth Dipuo Peters – South African Minister of Energy and UNIDO Director General – Kandeh K. Yumkella. 

Together with GEF and the South Africa Ministries of Energy, Environmental Affairs, and Industry, UNIDO will host a Cleantech Competition Award and a reception at the Southern Sun Elengeli Hotel, in Durban. The competition http://www.ncpc.co.za/National_Cleantech_Competition_overview.html will honour selected solutions for some of the most critical environmental and economic issues and contribute to initiatives to stimulate the economic growth of South Africa.

Mikhail Evstafyev & Anthony Abdul Karim Kamara, Jnr .

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