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Global Green Growth Conference Ends in Copenhagen

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The Global Green Growth 2010 conference, during which business leaders and politicians talked about the need to balance growth with greater environmental awareness, ended Monday.

"Green growth has the potential to shape the 21st century," Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said in the keynote speech.

"This conference could not be timelier, just 21 days before the start of COP16 (the 2010 UN Climate Change Conference) in Cancun," Gurria said. The Cancun conference will be held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10.

"We cannot ignore the growing economic pressures on our planet, which left unchecked will undermine our ability to deliver the prosperity that we hope for," the OECD leader said.

Gurria outlined the necessity of establishing a clear legal framework, such as a different composition of the tax-system in favor of more green taxes, which would stimulate innovation in green technology.

Several Nordic business leaders have already attempted to transform their companies to prepare them for a greener future. Among them is Anders Eldrup, CEO of DONG Energy, the largest energy provider in Denmark.

"We plan to have 50 percent of our energy production coming from green energy sources by 2020," Eldrup told Xinhua.

Eldrup also underlined the successful experiments that DONG Energy had been doing with electric cars in Denmark. DONG Energy had a revenue of 6.6 billion euros (US$9.2 billion) in 2009, according to the company's annual report.

Other speakers at the conference included Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, as well as Danish Crown Prince Frederik, who is the patron of Climate Consortium Denmark, host of the conference.

Most of the political decision-makers at the conference, including Young Soo-gil, chairman of the South Korean Presidential Committee on Green Growth, acknowledged the big role that governments have in defining a clear environmental strategy.

"The key to sustainable growth is through green innovation," Young said in his speech at the conference, adding that the government can play a key role in enabling private firms to overcome inherent handicaps to green innovation.

The conference was sponsored by the Danish government as well as large Danish companies.

(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2010)

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