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    For information only - not an official document

    UNIS/OUS/119
    5 December 2011

    Re-issued as received

    UNIDO partners with GEF, Government of South Africa to organize "green" events at COP17

    DURBAN/VIENNA, 5 December (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - In an effort to "green" the COP17 UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will organize several side events this week.

    In partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNIDO will demonstrate South Africa's strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting clean energy sources and by supporting targeted climate change awareness activities by decision-makers and the general public.

    On December 6, at 13:00, to promote low carbon public transport, a bicycle event will take place at the North Beach. From there participants will bicycle to the security controlled area to the Hilton Hotel, and then to the CCR Expo area. The event is organized together with eThekwini Municipality. A total of 300 bicycles will be provided to COP17 delegates and personnel through a grant by the GEF will be used on the upgraded bike paths eThekwini, and for delegates to move around the COP venue area, as well as between the COP area and the inner city. Recommended bike paths that Durban prepared for the FIFA World Cup 2010 have since been expanded and upgraded for COP17.

    After COP17, some of the bicycles will be distributed to local schools and communities in line with selection criteria applied by the Durban municipality. Others will remain in Durban to continue supporting the Durban city initiative of greening inner city transport in the future by promoting public-private partnership to commercially promote the bicycle rental business to tourists and local inhabitants.

    On 8 December, at 13:00, as part of the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All initiative, UNIDO together with the Government of South Africa will host a high-level meeting at the CCR Expo. Participants will include President Jacob Zuma; UNDP Administrator Helen Clarke; the Mozambique Minister of Energy Salvador Namburete; Norway's Environment Minister Erik Solheim; South African Energy Minister Dipuo Peters; and UNIDO Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella.

    On 8 December, at 19:00, 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 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.

    More information on the competition can be found at:

    http://www.ncpc.co.za/National_Cleantech_Competition_overview.html

    Journalists are invited to attend all three side events.

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    For more information on UNIDO, please contact:

    Mikhail Evstafyev
    UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
    Email: M.Evstafyev[at]unido.org