14 May 2010
Re-issued as received
Director-General Yumkella at Nevsky Ecological Congress
Urges for Investing into R&D to Support New Technologies
VIENNA, 14 May (UN Information Service) - UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, urged today Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States to invest more into research and development to support new breakthrough technologies for sustainable development.
"Russia has always had a great tradition of scholarship, and great scientific minds. It can and should invest more into research and development (R&D) in order to strengthen the innovation pipeline, allow for rapid take-up of existing technologies, and to support new breakthrough technologies," said Yumkella.
He was speaking at the Third Nevsky International Ecological Congress taking place from 14 to 16 May in the Tavricheskiy Palace in St. Petersburg.
He noted figures from a 2008 study that suggested that Israel devoted 4.7 per cent of its GDP to R&D, and was leading all countries, followed by Sweden with 3.9 per cent, Finland with 3.5 per cent, Japan with 3.2 per cent and the Republic of Korea with 3 per cent.
"We also need greater public-private partnership to move new technologies from the pre-commercial stage to large-scale commercial application. A clever use of government grants, development assistance and multilateral environmental resources can be useful in scaling up new technologies, and in building the local capacity and appropriate policies for deployment," said Yumkella.
He said it was time to "scale-up and mainstream green industry initiatives". Green Industry means assisting industries in reducing their energy, water and materials consumption, as well as their emissions. It also implies establishing innovative environmental goods and services sectors, including waste management, recycling techniques and services, environmental technologies, energy efficiency and renewable energy techniques.
"By 'greening industries' we ensure that industries produce more while using less resources and generating fewer emissions," said Yumkella.
Yumkella also urged for investing in clean, renewable energy "the source of tomorrow's jobs and the main foundation for the industries of the future which would be green". He added that countries that will lead in clean energy and energy efficiency will lead the global economy.
Director-General Yumkella had talks with Sergey Mironov, the Speaker of the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) and one of the organizers of the Congress. Mironov praised the cooperation between UNIDO and Russia.
According to an agreement signed in 2009, Russia will fund UNIDO projects on environmental and technology promotion projects in the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and in Sierra Leone.
The Nevsky Congress promotes the creation of an international system of ecological security by strengthening trans-border cooperation and harmonizing environmental legislation of the Commonwealth of Independent States Member States and other countries of the world community. It aims to define the strategy of ecologization of nature management as a basis for modernization of national economies.
From 15 to 16 May, Director-General Yumkella will visit the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan, for meetings with the republic's leaders, and on 17 May he will be in Moscow for meetings with Russian Government officials and to sign agreements on UNIDO projects to be funded by the Russian Federation.
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