ICC green economy leader emphasizes business engagement to UN environment ministers

  • 1 March 2011
ICC Davos

Martina Bianchini, Director of EU Government Affairs and Public Policy for the Dow Chemical Company and Chair of the ICC Task Force on Green Economy, led ICC’s delegation to the 2011 UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Ministerial and Governing Council meetings.

The meetings, held in Nairobi from February 17–24, brought together environment ministers from over 80 countries to consider critical next steps in preparing the environmental input to the Rio+20 Conference in 2012. Issues under discussion included new measures on chemicals, e-waste and heavy metals, and options to strengthen international environmental government institutions.

Speaking at a forum attended by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and US Environmental Protection Authority Administrator Lisa Jackson, Ms Bianchini said: “Business supports international cooperation towards greening economies and jobs: in our view, to reach its full potential, the green economy concept must become global, seeking to green all elements of the economy. The objective is to foster innovation, rather than mandate it.”

The ICC Green Economy Task Force will be reviewing and providing comments on the UNEP Green Economy Report, released on 23 February in Nairobi. Attending the UNEP meetings, Norine Kennedy, Vice President, Energy and Environmental Affairs of ICC’s US affiliate, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) highlighted the report’s importance for considering how businesses across all sectors will contribute to progress towards environmental innovation, job creation and economic growth. “The right enabling frameworks will amplify the opportunities for greener technologies and investments needed to take sustainable development to the next level,” Ms Kennedy said.

Green economy and growth policy and market options are being discussed in G20, OECD and a variety of other intergovernmental forums. The ‘greening’ of economies and jobs is seen as a response to a variety of economic, food, energy and environmental crises, and is an organizing theme of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio in 2012.

The ICC Green Economy Task Force was launched in October 2010 to provide international and multi-disciplinary business input via BASD2012 to Rio+20 preparations, and to engage with UNEP and other intergovernmental forums. ICC will also co-host the UNEP global business dialogue in April to provide more in depth comments on the Green Economy Report, and showcase business’ major contributions in delivering jobs, investments and solutions required for the transition to a green economy.