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High-Level Officials Call for a Green Global Economy at UNEP Governing Council’s Opening

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17 February 2009: At the opening of the 25th Session of the Governing Council of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which will run from 16-20 February 2009, at UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya called on world leaders to support a “Green New Deal” to address climate change and revitalize the global economy.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner also called for a Green Global Economy, as a sustainable solution to the global economic recession and to tackle the challenges of climate change, food insecurity and natural resource scarcity, particularly water.

In a message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that short-sighted economic vision, compounded by dependence on fossil fuels that are causing climate change, had led to the current financial turmoil. UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka also sent a message to the Council emphasizing the role that cities and urban centers can play as the driving force for a green economy. [UN-HABITAT Press Release] [UN Secretary-General's Statement]