17 January 2012
In early 2012, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) released a groundbreaking publication that stresses that sustainable energy production and industrial energy efficiency are key to sustainable industrial development. The report, titled Industrial Energy Efficiency for Sustainable Wealth Creation: Capturing Environmental, Economic and Social Dividends, urges investment in energy-efficient technologies in order to provide the economic, environmental and social dividends that will help achieve sustainable growth.
The needs of developing countries are a special focus of the Industrial Development Report. Presenting the report, UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, said, “A world that has just reached a population of seven billion must take into account industrial energy efficiency if it wants to address such challenges as green growth, employment generation, security, climate change, food production and poverty reduction. Industrial energy efficiency is essential for strengthening economies, protecting ecosystems and achieving social benefits.”
“Improving industrial energy efficiency is key to sustainable industrial development worldwide but especially in the rapidly developing countries of the Global South. It will help realize the global green economy and green industries. Investing in energy-efficient technologies, systems, processes, training and upgrading of skills must underpin low-carbon green growth,” added Yumkella.
Using a set of unique statistics on Manufacturing Value Added (MVA), manufacturing export trends, and UNIDO’s Competitive Industrial Performance Index, the UNIDO report states that energy consumption could grow even faster as developing countries reduce the income gap and grapple with growing populations demanding more manufactured products. This makes it imperative to remove barriers that currently impede energy efficiency investments.
As a complement to the 2011 Industrial Development Report, UNIDO hosts a comprehensive database of policy measures, including the Industrial Energy Efficiency Policy (IEEP) database, that are planned or have been implemented to improve energy efficiency around the world.