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UN calls for world leaders to embrace 'Green New Deal'

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 13, 2008
World leaders must start building a "Green New Deal" when they meet this weekend to map a route out of the global financial crisis, the United Nations Environment Programme chief said here Thursday.

UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said creating a low carbon economy to fight climate change needed to be a top priority at the Group of 20 economic powers summit that was called to discuss reform of the world's financial system.

"In the face of the financial crisis, we need to think quickly," Steiner told reporters at an environmental briefing in Beijing.

"We are calling for a global 'Green New Deal' to be an integral part of the G20 meeting."

The UNEP last month launched its "Green New Deal" agenda, which would transform the world's economy into one based on clean energy and low pollution, creating many jobs around the globe in the process.

The name of the programme intentionally draws parallels with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal which helped the United States recover from the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Steiner said he was confident world leaders were moving in the right direction, citing policies from US president-elect Barack Obama, as well as a diverse range of governments including China, Australia and South Korea.

However he cautioned there was a danger the world would look to quick economic fixes, and not at the big picture of climate change, citing the extraordinary amount of money already spent on resolving the financial crisis.

"We have mobilised three to four thousand billion dollars to address a financial crisis in the last few weeks. I think few would question the necessity of having acted in the face of such a crisis," Steiner said.

"But what is striking is the world... has not found itself able to mobilise more than a few billion dollars a year to engage in helping each other to address climate challenge."

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China to boost export tax incentives as it battles crisis
Beijing (AFP) Nov 12, 2008
China said Wednesday it would boost tax incentives for more than a quarter of export products, in the government's latest move to help shield its economy from the global financial crisis.

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