UN-HABITAT Governing Council Addresses Impact of Climate Change on the Promotion of Affordable Housing

30 March 2009: The 22nd Session of the UN Human Settlements Programme Governing Council (UN-HABITAT GC 22) opened on 30 March 2009, at UN-HABITAT headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The week-long session's main theme is promoting affordable housing finance systems in an urbanizing world in the face of the global financial crisis and climate change.

At the opening session, Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), noted the timeliness of the meeting's theme and said the Council is in a position to send a clear message to world leaders gathering at the G20 meeting in London on 2 April, from poverty reduction up to climate change. He underscored the need for a green new deal for cities to address the challenges of rapid urbanization and growing number of slum dwellers, highlighting the release of UNEP's Policy Brief for a Global Green New Deal. He highlighted the five sectors of UNEP's and UN-HABITAT's joint agenda, which incorporate: energy efficiency of old and new buildings; renewable energies including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass; sustainable transport, including hybrid vehicles, high speed rail and bus rapid transit systems; ecological infrastructure, such as freshwaters, forests, soils and coral reefs; and sustainable agriculture, including organic production.

The Council, which is comprised of 58 member States with representation at the ministerial level, is expected to approve the work programme of UN-HABITAT and its budget for the biennium 2010 to 2011. [UN-HABITAT Press Release] [UNEP Press Release ]