Industry Minister Vrej Sabounjian declared at an ESCWA conference in Beirut Wednesday that sustainable development and green industry was integral to combating pollution, poverty and industrial waste.
Sabounjian spoke of the importance of the industry’s role in economic and social development especially in its ability to foster job creation. He also discussed the increasing importance of sustainable industrial development globally, and international support available to countries ready to adopt environmentally friendly policies. “Lebanon is not very far from such norms as its industrial sector does not include polluting heavy industries,” Sabounjian claimed.
The minister also talked about the Lebanese recycling sector, suggesting a law prohibiting the export of recyclableindustrial waste which can encourage industries to reuse waste as raw materials. He also suggested that Lebanon might be heading toward using hard waste as a fuel source for cement factory furnaces, which he said can cut the pollution generated by the industry close to 25 percent.
The minister has also announced three goals for green industry: conserving energy, managing industrial waste and pollution, and promoting the use of renewable energy sources.
For her part, Roula Majdalani, director of the sustainable development division at ESCWA, spoke about the importance of the 2012 “Rio+20” U.N. conference which aims to renew international commitment to sustainable development. “Green industry, is a normal environment-friendly successor to traditional industry which currently remains at the heart of modern economies,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Ben Youssef, director general of the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization, spoke of the importance of adopting green industry as a method to support Arab nations in their efforts for sustainable industrial development. Moreover, he argued that green industry presents optimal solutions for waste reduction and conserving energy. He also argued that green industry brings significant gains for the regional economies.