Global Environment Facility CEO and Chairperson Monique Barbut joined other high-level dignitaries today to mark the official launch of the Green Industry Platform, an initiative to mobilize action for the "Green Industry Agenda," which aims to promote green manufacturing and create green industries.
In an address at the event, she expressed concern that the work accomplished by international institutions, organizations and countries does not suffice in an era where stronger ties between private and public sectors must be established for the successful development of sustainable environment initiatives.
"We must identify areas where private-sector partners make industry green while making a return on investment at the same time," Barbut said.
Spearheaded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the "Green Industry Platform" is a global high-level multi-stakeholder partnership intended to act as a forum for catalyzing, mobilizing and mainstreaming action on green industry around the world. It serves as a channel which brings together governmental, business and civil society leaders.
Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of UNIDO, said at the launch, that the Platform was already supported by some 70 organizations, including national governments, businesses and international organizations. An Advisory Board is being established under his chairmanship that will comprise of 10-12 senior representatives from governmental, private and civil society sectors. "The Platform is set to secure concrete commitments and mobilize action in support of the Green Industry Agenda, encouraging the more efficient use of energy and raw materials in manufacturing process services," said Yumkella.
"The Platform is exemplary for the public private partnerships that are needed to scale up and mainstream the greening of industrial development and the creation of green industry. It will give impetus to the many inspiring initiatives at national and sector level, that will be united to direct a global transition to low carbon and cleaner industry," added Yumkella. The overarching goal of the platform is build cleaner and more competitive industrial development; reduce pollution and the reliance on the unsustainable use of natural resources. The GEF experience over the years in delivering successful project outcomes in these areas will come into play as concrete initiatives emerge as a result of the new Green Industry Platform. Barbut said the increasing scarcity of critical natural resources demands concerted public-private action in this area.
"It will be better if businesses anticipate rather than react to this crisis and address these choices with a strategic plan worked out in conjunction with international institutions" said Barbut. "Unless we find ways to decouple the linkage between profit and throughput, or profit and quantity, we will remain trapped in an unsustainable economic model. We must find means to make sustainability drive growth as opposed to seeing sustainability as an extra cost item."
On this occasion, Monique Barbut shared with the dignitaries the GEF's strategies and accomplishments and in harnessing public-private sector engagement by focusing on key barriers to governments and international institutions engaging with the private sector.Barbut pointed to the GEF's role as the world's largest public funder of environmental projects and its experience across all its environmental focal areas of work – international waters, biodiversity, chemicals, land degradation, climate change, persistent organic pollutant and ozone layer depletion -- over the last two decades.
"Our experience shows that public-private partnerships work well when they create a division of labor, directing funds quickly to the organizations most able to deliver on the group. These organizations have a self interest in delivering results, have demonstrated key experience in the target area, and have established critical relationships with local organizations and civil society," said Barbut.