UNEP Executive Director Calls for US Leadership on Climate

 Speech by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference

4 February 2009: The “Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference: Making a Down Payment on the Green Economy” convened in Washington, DC, US, from 4-6 February 2009. Speaking at the conference, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), highlighted the economic and employment implications of climate change, drew attention to the related initiatives launched by UNEP in 2008 (the Global Green New Deal and Green Economy initiatives), and called on the US to “champion the international cause of the Green Economy and of a transition to a low-carbon society.”

Steiner added that unchecked climate change “promises to be the greatest market failure of all time” and addressed: the potential in the geothermal sector; the need to encourage innovation; the need for a “transformational new deal” in Copenhagen; and the current crisis as an opportunity to create markets that balance “financial, human and environmental capital.” [UNEP Press Release] [Conference website]