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Thursday, January 29, 2009

UN Secretary General Calls for Business Action on Climate Change

Today the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon called for businesses to "re-orient your organizations for the economy of the future" while speaking at the UN Global Compact's World Economic Forum in Davos/Switzerland. Ban Ki-moon described a green economy as low-carbon, energy efficient, investing in sustainable technologies, and creating jobs.

Ban Ki-moon acknowledged the momentum for a "global green new deal." He urged business leaders to "develop good policies and practices in the areas of human rights, the treatment of workers, the environment and anti-corruption." He also urged business leaders to use the Global Compact's "accountability framework and disclose your progress annually." He reassured them that by "doing so" they would help "restore trust, confidence and credibility into the markets."

The Global Compact is a "
leadership platform...offering a unique strategic platform for participants to advance their commitments to sustainability and corporate citizenship," according to its website. It has over 4,700 participants from 130 countries.

Ban Ki-moon called it the " world's largest corporate sustainability initiative," and urged business leaders to join in the Global Compact's "new phase."

Studies confirm green economy will create millions of jobs

A study released by the United State Conference of Mayors last fall details the advantages of a green economy. The advantages include "investments in new technologies, greater productivity, improvements in the US balance of trade, increased real disposable income across the nation…lower costs of doing business, and reduced household energy expenditures.”

The study called for investments in renewable energy, alternative fuels, and clean technology, which it describes as "critical to our competitiveness in the global economy, to our living standards, indeed, to our future."

A joint
study by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, The Workforce Alliance, and The Apollo Alliance states that a "greener American economy can and will create jobs," but the amount of jobs created "depends on the scale and terms of future investment."

For further reading:

Investing in Our Future: Support for a Clean Energy Economy

One Way to Kick-Start the Economy

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