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UNDP, Others to Reduce Impact of Summit

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other agencies are getting on board to ensure that the global conference on sustainable development to be held in Johannesburg at the end of August does not contribute to harm the global environment.

New York, New York – August 20, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The UNDP, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank delegations attending the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) have become the first inter-governmental organizations to sign-up to the Johannesburg Climate Legacy (JCL) initiative. All are committing to offset emissions created by their travel to and attendance at the event by giving money to a sustainable development trust fund. The organizations will pay to ‘neutralize’ the amount of carbon dioxide based on the emissions released by travel to and from the summit. All funds generated by this initiative, which is part of the wider “Greening of the WSSD” programme, will be channelled to a Trust Fund set up through the Development Bank of South Africa. The money will be used to create a lasting legacy for South Africa as they are distributed by the JCL association to long-term carbon-reducing Renewable Energy and energy efficiency projects in schools, hospitals and communities. “The Johannesburg Climate Legacy Initiative provides an excellent opportunity for UNDP to set an example in taking practical steps towards addressing climate change issues while providing tangible benefits to local communities,” said UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown. “The Johannesburg Climate Legacy is one of the most high profile and inclusive carbon offset projects ever undertaken worldwide. I welcome the World Bank, GEF and UNDP contribution,” said Minister for the Environment of South Africa Valli Moosa. Saliem Fakir, who chairs the multi-stakeholder group overseeing the Johannesburg Climate Legacy noted the importance of raising awareness on the issue of climate change in South Africa and commend the organizations for taking a stand. “They are setting an example for the rest of the world by putting their money where their mouths are. ” It is estimated that carbon emissions generated as a result of the WSSD will total 289,619 tons of carbon dioxide. The aim of the Climate Legacy is to raise US$5 million by September 2002 in order to mitigate the effects of the carbon emissions of the Summit. Businesses are invited to purchase Climate Legacy Certificates representing values from US$1,000 to US$100,000 while individuals can take part by buying US$10 certificates online.