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Firms must aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050: UN

HANNOVER (Germany), September 5, 2020

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has led calls to place advanced technologies at the heart of the global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted economies and devastated communities around the world, in his speech at the opening ceremony of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, #GMIS2020.
 
He also called upon industries across the globe to take rapid actions to achieve global carbon neutrality over the next three decades.
 
A joint initiative by the UAE and the UNIDO, third edition of the #GMIS2020 is being held under the theme – Glocalisation: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Global Value Chains.
 
The summit gathered a cross-section of close to 100 global leaders from the world’s public and private sector to participate across more than 20 virtual sessions to discuss pathways to accelerate the role of fourth industrial revolution, 4IR, technologies to build more resilient global value chains and restore prosperity in a post-pandemic world.
 
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Co-chair of GMIS, Li Yong, Director-General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO, and Co-chair of GMIS, Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, and Badr Al Olama, Head of the Organising Committee of GMIS, also delivered keynote addresses at the opening ceremony.
 
Guterres highlighted the many challenges that the pandemic has exposed, and the role that digitisation and clean energy could play in shaping a new paradigm for a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous future.
 
"The world’s reliance on manufactured products can be seen clearly through the shortage of critical supplies and disruptions in global value chains," remarked the top UN official. 
 
"Yet we have also witnessed a leap in digitisation for learning, working and connecting with others. Technology has the potential to restore business, improve industrial efficiency and safety, and fortify critical infrastructure. Digital technologies must not increase the risk of unemployment for women or worsen economic and other inequalities," he noted.
 
On the rise of renewable energy and the need to shift towards a decarbonised world, Guterres added: "Efficient, green technologies can help to mitigate more than 70 percent of today’s emissions. Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels."
 
"We need industries to take rapid and ambitious steps that will get the world to carbon neutrality by 2050," he added.
 
Yong said the pandemic had created a wider understanding of the level of global interdependency and the link between supply chains and society. 
 
"Seldom has the general public been more aware of how closely interwoven international supply chains are, how much we depend on them for everyday goods and services, or how the "global" affects the manufacturing sector almost as much as the local," he noted.
 
"In these extraordinary times, a sense of clarity is more important than ever. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will not only impact on the factory floor, but also across society. No matter how influential, no one actor can control this phenomenon alone. We can only hope to shape an inclusive and sustainable 4IR through building strong multi-stakeholder partnerships with representatives of national governments, multilateral organisations, the private sector, the research community, and civil society," he added.
 
Manturov, calling for a revision of global trade systems, said: "Today, we should completely revise the approaches defining our industrial and commercial ties. Initiatives that were considered long-term priorities should be launched urgently."
 
"In order to minimise the negative impact of the pandemic, and get back on track for sustainable development it is necessary to increase transparency of the trade regimes, and to lower tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade," he stated.
 
Al Olama, delivered a keynote speech calling for collaboration, and for nations to pause and consider the opportunity the pandemic has provided to reassess priorities. 
 
"The crisis has turned our attention from distant horizons to closer surroundings, serving as a timely reminder of the importance of cultivating local and regional markets, and magnifying the need for more agile, more responsive and more resilient value chains," he noted. 
 
"It has also led to heavy changes and drastic shifts in industrial operations, which may very well be the beginning of a new, hybrid, reality that will further blur the lines between physical and virtual activities," he said.
 
"As challenging as this new reality may seem for most of us in the manufacturing sector, coupled by the geopolitical shifts and protectionist sentiments that have overwhelmed us in recent years, we must strike a sensible balance between having efficient and competitive supply chains whilst also securing necessary and flexible local capacity," he added.
 
Discussions will focus on the major issues facing the manufacturing sector and will explore how the adoption of 4IR technologies, localising production capabilities and capacity building, and spreading inclusive and sustainable development will all be critical to the future of global value chains. 
 
The summit will also hold five working group sessions gathering a cross-section of experts from world-leading organisations to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to promoting the role of women in manufacturing; enhancing industrial safety and security; advancing the decarbonisation of industry; developing future leaders of industry; and setting up an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Performance, ISID, Index that helps measure the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance, ESG, performance of public and private sector entities.-TradeArabia News Service



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