Companies, Experts Set up Low-Carbon Task Force

Responding to an invitation made at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos by Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 52 companies have joined forces with 34 experts and organizations to create an unprecedented low-carbon prosperity Task Force.

The Task Force, presented on March 31 at a press conference in London, will work with government and UN officials to develop a set of practical projects and policy proposals around the world, which will significantly stimulate the low-carbon economy from 2010 onward.

An open letter was sent on March 31 to British Prime Minister Brown, setting out the Task Force's suggested agenda for the coming months.

"We believe 2009 is a crucial year for two reasons," said Richard Samans, managing director of the World Economic Forum. "The international community faces the twin challenges of dealing with the most serious global economic crisis since the 1930s and negotiating an ambitious agreement on climate change."

"We suggest that the two agendas can and should be designed to be mutually reinforcing," he added. "Global economic growth and the prospects for achievement of a UN climate agreement in Copenhagen later this year can both be strengthened by placing low-carbon growth strategies at the heart of economic stimulus measures now being implemented in many countries."

The main focus for the Task Force is to identify exactly how to create millions of green jobs in the short run and deflect economic growth onto a more sustainable, low-carbon path for the longer term.

By working with organizations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Foundation and others, a key element of the Task Force's work is to develop practical ideas on how to get significant flows of green technology and investment into developing countries fast.

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