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Industry 4.Future – Creating Jobs, Accelerating Clean Energy and Enabling Policies

November 12, 2017, Bonn

During the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) organized the side event, Industry 4.Future – Creating Jobs, Accelerating Clean Energy and Enabling Policies, which took place during the Industry day.

The side event explored ways of accelerating the benefits of Industry 4.0 using the low-carbon electrification of the global economy as a leading example and brought together the business sector, governments and international agencies to discuss the implications of Industry 4.0 on jobs, policies and inclusiveness in the field of clean energy.

Robotization, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and augmented reality are disruptive technologies that are part of the new wave of industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0. It poses many opportunities for industries, job creation and economic growth across the globe. Particularly the energy sector will see a fast and profound transformation: low-carbon electricity generation combined with electrification of transport and heat will use connected technological solutions to optimize value for users, companies and investors. Current developments are promising; nevertheless, the opportunities are not without challenges.

Theodor Niehaus from Festo Didactic SE, and WorldSkills Foundation representative, summarized the complexity of the implications for employment: “I believe we can do a big step forward to solve a lot of energy challenges; reducing waste, reducing energy consumption with technology. The topic of skills development is key for the future, not only for designing new technologies but also enabling people to use the technology more efficiently. We have 20,000 employees at Festo, and we want to make our world a little bit better through technology and education.”

Maria Mendiluce from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development reaffirmed the critical role of the business sector, stating that for policy-makers to be prepared to meet these challenges “it is essential that this is done in conjunction with industry, through dialogue with industries so that we can better understand how the sectors are evolving, what new business opportunities are emerging and how those opportunities can contribute to sustainability.”

For more information on Industry 4.0 as well as other future trends in the global industrial landscape, follow UNIDO’s Industry 4 Future LinkedIn page. To watch the live stream filming of the event, click here.