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The commitment to keep global warming to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels requires decarbonization in all economic sectors and reduction of emissions of all potent greenhouse gases. In practice, this means modernization of the energy sector with a focus on phasing out unabated coal…
Sustainable development depends on optimal and responsible production and use of natural resources. Today's resource patterns are unsustainable in terms of their environmental and societal impact and ensuring resource availability now and in the future. Developments in sustainable resource…
In a joint statement, the Executive Secretaries of the United Nations Regional Commissions have called for enhanced regional cooperation to develop nature-based and technological solutions for capturing CO2 emissions from the atmosphere and ensuring its long-term storage. This week’s High-level…
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the world’s fragilities, including the weaknesses of our food systems which exacerbate hunger, obesity, poverty, political instabilities and economic crises. To overcome common and regional challenges, the five UN…
Approximately 40% of the world’s population live in transboundary river and lake basins, accounting for an estimated 60% of global freshwater flow. These shared water resources support the livelihoods of more than 3 billion people. In a world increasingly impacted by the effects of climate change,…
With the UN Food Systems Summit taking place next week under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (23 September 2021), we must recognize that the food systems we have built over recent decades are unsustainable. The food choices we make…
UNECE’s Expert Forum for Producers and Users of Climate Change-related Statistics took place in Geneva and online from 31 August to 3 September, in the run-up to COP26 later this…
August is wildfire season in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Many areas in the UNECE region, including North America, Siberia, and Mediterranean countries have experienced unusually hot and dry weather this year, and with that some of the biggest wildfires on record. Areas burned in Turkey…
The month of August is wildfire season in many regions. News headlines are dominated by stories of helicopters and fire brigades fighting the fire, and indeed, heroically saving lives and property.  While wildfires are a natural part of many environments and essential to clear out dead underbrush…
A coordinated response is necessary for promoting and implementing the circular economy agenda globally. Concrete commitments from governments, businesses, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders will be key to building the sustainable, resilient and low-carbon economy…
By Ms. Olga Algayerova, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNECE, and Ms. Elisabete Quintas da Silva, Head of Department, Sustainable and Efficient Use of Resources Operational Programme, Government of Portugal, and Chair of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy.  This…
Four decades of experience under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention) have demonstrated that ratification and implementation of the Convention and its protocols reduces health and environmental…
Improving energy efficiency is a cost-effective means to support economic development while contributing to climate action. On a national scale, energy efficiency helps strengthen energy security, reduce energy expenditure, slow down energy demand growth, reduce investment needs for new generation…
Each UN country team develops with the host Government a strategic plan to support national development priorities and strategies. The result is the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF). The preparation of the UNSDCF begins with a Common Country Analysis (CCA), which provides…
The heads of national statistical offices of 59 countries and 24 international organizations are gathering this week in Geneva and around the globe for the 69th plenary session of the Conference of European Statisticians, the decision-making body for statistical matters in the UNECE region and…
Transport continues to be a significant source of air pollution, especially in cities in the UNECE region. Air pollutants, such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), harm human health and the environment. Although air pollution from transport has decreased in the last decade…
Policy solutions for pressing problems like air pollution require sound data. Emission inventories can help in determining the major sources of air pollution in a given country. As a result of integrated air pollution management strategies developed under the UNECE …
Over the past 100 years, humans have massively altered flows of nitrogen on our planet. While this has increased food production, it has led to and multiple threats to our health and risks irreversible and abrupt environmental change if decisive action is not taken. Driven by intensive animal…
The importance of statistical information to help us cope with disasters has never been clearer than over the past year. As the Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world, numbers have become our bread and butter. Yet the pandemic has also highlighted the challenges and imperfections in many systems; …
Integrated management of water, energy and land resources, while protecting ecosystems, remains a substantial challenge in the Western Balkans. The Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus approach offers solutions that can reconcile potentially conflicting interests as they compete for the same…
Contrary to what most people think, transport is not the major source of particle pollution in the air. In fact, in Serbia and many other countries, domestic heating is the most important source of harmful particle pollution (PM2.5 and PM 10). In Serbia, pollution is a result of heating, which is…
Black carbon (BC) is an air pollutant with significant impacts on our health and climate. Resulting from incomplete combustion processes, it is part of fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) and estimated to have a warming impact on climate that is 460–1,500 times greater than that of carbon dioxide (…
Decarbonizing transport and mobility remains a critical policy challenge, for which we must seize the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as a unique opportunity to accelerate progress. Decarbonization is one example of an issue where transport, health, and environment all meet – an intersection…
Water, health, climate change and disaster risk reduction are interlinked and interdependent. For example, with climate change, floods and droughts increase in both intensity and frequency.  Floods can damage water and sanitation infrastructure, disrupt essential public service provision, undermine…
When scientists in the 1960s investigated the causes of the die-back of forests, the so-called ‘Waldsterben’, and acidification of lakes with associated fish loss, they found that air pollution, often emitted thousands of kilometres away, was the culprit. This research formed the basis for the…