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How to step up environmental protection, reduce resource use, cut pollution and foster the shift to a circular economy that is needed to make sustainable development a reality? These will be some of the topics at the core of debates when Ministers from the 56 countries of the UNECE region gather in…
The extreme heat and drought that the region experienced this summer is a bleak reminder that current commitments under the Paris Agreement and those made last year at COP26 are nowhere near what is needed to limit global warming to below 1.5°C. Inaction is a policy choice that will lead to greater…
With the review of the amended Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-Level Ozone (Gothenburg Protocol) about to enter its final round, expert groups under the UNECE Air Convention are now discussing latest findings to assess the effectiveness of measures.  The amended Protocol…
Building resilient energy systems to address the ongoing global energy crisis will be top of the agenda of the upcoming Sustainable Energy Week (19-23 September). Representatives from UNECE's 56 member States will discuss how to ensure energy for optimal social, economic, and environmental…
All too often we take the air we breathe and share for granted. Only when we breathe very polluted air, when we can smell and see the pollution, do we realize that the air around us is a precious good that needs to be protected, much like the water we drink. On the International Day of Clean Air…
At what point do we cease to be alarmed by a shocking reality? Many of you may already be familiar with the following figures, from the last WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety (2018). Every year 1.3 million people are killed and around 50 million injured on the world’s roads, often with…
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…
Have you ever wondered what causes air pollution? Are you interested in learning about the effects of air pollution on your health and the environment? Do you want to learn how we can jointly work on cleaner air? If you replied yes to any of these questions, then you are encouraged to take the e-…
Evidence, in the form of data and statistics, is essential for formulating and monitoring policies. The term ‘evidence-based decision-making’, so commonly used that sometimes we don’t even think about it, makes this abundantly clear.  But we don’t just need any old evidence. If we are to be sure…
With the review of the amended Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-Level Ozone (Gothenburg Protocol) under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution well underway, experts further discussed the sufficiency and effectiveness of current measures at the 60th…
As guests of the planet, we human beings can thrive only if our host environment is thriving. We are strongly connected to it, more than we probably understand and more than we probably dare to admit. Conversely, the ways humans treat the environment has clear negative effects on our health and…
Millions of people are experiencing the severe impacts of climate change, through unprecedented extreme weather episodes and more frequent disasters. According to the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Hoesung Lee, its latest report, released last week, “is a dire warning about…
Minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and copper are essential for digitalization, for renewable energy technologies, and for the further deployment of electric vehicles. Demand for these and other minerals – known as “critical raw materials” (CRMs) – is growing fast as governments and businesses act…
The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns it triggered have affected mobility patterns in most countries and brought to the fore many issues that had not received enough policy attention until now.  For instance, the fear of the virus and the search for social distancing led to a historic decline in…
COP26 was a positive step forward in the fight against climate change, but as the UN Secretary General pointed out in his comments: “it is not enough. We must accelerate climate action to keep alive the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.” The compromise deal reflects the…
Over the last two weeks at COP 26, governments, the private sector and a wide range of actors have unveiled plans for climate action in crucial areas ranging from methane, to forests, finance, fashion, transport and far beyond. As US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry put it in our…
Transitioning towards a knowledge-based economy away from a resource-intensive model of economic growth is central for sustainable development among the seven countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,…
A map of air pollutant emission sources of a given country can help experts and decision-makers understand which policies are most viable. Spatial allocations of emissions are also important to understand where emissions are coming from on a regional level. Spatially allocating – or gridding –…
A decade after independence, Armenia embarked on a radical reform path to create a vibrant, market economy – triggering substantial economic growth, often reaching double digits.   As recent trends and volatility indicate, sustaining such growth requires addressing a range of structural challenges…
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have brought the benefits of paperless trading to the forefront of attention. Many countries are considering issuing, accepting and exchanging electronic documents for paperless trading. Issues related to paperless trading are also at the core of World Trade…