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  • Through its work on statistics related to the environment, climate change and hazardous events and disasters, UNECE helps countries to compile reliable, comparable statistics for climate-related policymaking, international reporting and informing the public. UNECE produced the first ever Recommendations on Climate Change-Related Statistics and the first internationally-agreed Set of Core Climate Change-related Indicators and Statistics, and is currently working on guidance on the role of statistical producers in meeting national climate objectives. UNECE also continues to facilitate a dialogue between users and producers of climate-related statistics and the exchange of best practices through its annual Expert Fora and an annual document “Climate Change-Related Statistics in Practice”.       

  • Environmental Performance Reviews (EPRs) and the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment help countries to integrate climate change measures into policies and planning. The fourth cycle of EPRs strengthens the in-depth assessment of climate change impacts on priority sectors, mainstreaming climate adaptation, and GHG mitigation. EPRs have been conducted for some 25 countries to date.   

  • Through the Trees in Cities Challenge, UNECE promotes collaborative action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Establishing, expanding and sustainably managing urban trees and forests can unlock many important benefits for climate action, such as reducing urban temperatures by up to 8 degrees Celsius, and reducing flood and landslide risk. Since its launch in 2019, more than 80 cities have pledged to plant over 12 million trees.  

  • The Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) supports the public’s role in climate change negotiations and in shaping climate action policies. A rapid response mechanism in the form of a Special Rapporteur has been established under the Convention to protect environmental defenders, who are increasingly under threat in many countries.   

  • The Kyiv Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) facilitates access to integrated data and information on releases of GHG and hazardous chemicals and wastes. By supporting adequate measurement, reporting and dissemination of information, implementing PRTR systems helps governments and stakeholders to manage risks in production processes and throughout product lifecycles, and support the sound management of chemicals as part of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. Results from a recent survey among Parties and stakeholders on the experiences in implementing the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers showed that using PRTR together with, and for, other existing reporting obligations may also improve data quality and reduce costs for its reporting, management and use. This could also facilitate analysis related to cross-cutting issues, helping to improve, for example, cooperation and coordination under the UNFCCC and Stockholm, Rotterdam and Minamata Conventions.   

  • The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Programme helps countries develop their capacities in relation to climate change indicators within the UNECE set of environmental indicators, and oversees preparation of a pan-European environmental assessment that addresses climate change, among other issues.   

  • UNECE recommendations to help scale up hydrogen use, together with policy support and cooperation, can aid the region’s sustainable energy shift. Combined with electricity from renewable sources, hydrogen – which can be used in transport, homes, industry and power generation – has the potential to replace hydrocarbons in the region by 2050. To provide a comprehensive and comparable grid to assess its sustainability credentials, the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) will be extended to hydrogen through the development of dedicated specifications.   

  • Large scale deployment of Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS) technology in the UNECE region would allow countries to decarbonise the energy sector and hard-to abate industrial sectors in the medium term to bridge the gap until next generation low-, zero-, or negative- carbon energy technologies become available. Captured CO2 can be used in a range of mineralization, chemical and biological processes, with applications in the industrial, steel, cement and chemicals sectors. In a future hydrogen economy, this captured carbon could be used to make many of the chemicals and plastics currently made using fossil fuels. UNECE-led regional cooperation can help countries scale up CCUS implementation.   

  • According to the UN International Resources Panel, resource extraction and processing account for half of total GHG emissions, excluding those related to land use. Adopting circular economy principles offers a unique opportunity to improve resource efficiency and decarbonize our economies. From its leading normative work to policy support and platforms for cooperation, UNECE provides a variety of tools to facilitate the widespread adoption of circular economy approaches.    

  • Cities are faced with tackling complex climate change impacts, but are also taking ambitious climate action on the ground. In a highly urbanized region – where some 75% of the population already lives in cities – UNECE’s pioneering Forum of Mayors, a subsidiary body of the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management, brings together urban leaders to share concrete challenges, experiences and solutions. These encompass endeavours like sustainable mobility initiatives, incorporating nature-based solutions into climate action plans, ensuring climate-neutral and energy-efficient homes, and beyond. The Forum contributes to a new, networked and inclusive multilateralism that connects local, national and regional policy dialogue to jointly address key challenges.       

  • Through the San Marino Declaration, governments in the region have agreed on a first-of-its-kind set of Principles for Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Design and Architecture, to be applied to the design of all buildings and urban developments. Climate neutrality, resource efficiency and circularity, and disaster resilience are key dimensions, where the principles offer a tool to support the crucial role of urban practitioners to achieve change on the ground. Leading architects and practitioners have signalled their readiness to translate them into action.   

  • The Water Convention mainstreams water and the benefits of transboundary cooperation into climate processes, such as under UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement, through building capacity of countries and basins into their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) as well as by contributing to the Global Stocktake, Global Goal on Adaptation and the Adaptation Committee processes. In addition, UNECE as a co-coordinator of the UN-Water Expert Group and Water and Climate Change promotes the role of water for both adaptation and mitigation. The Water Convention also strengthens synergies between climate, water and environmental processes through cooperation with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and the Convention on Biological Diversity.