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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…
The transition to a decarbonized energy sector is a critical step for keeping global warming below 2°C. To succeed, countries will need to phase out, or at least substantially limit the use of coal.  While the benefits of the green transition are numerous, it will require a deep structural shift…
In light of the global focus on decarbonization, which is critical to achieve the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, the energy sector must undergo profound modernization, with a focus on phasing down unabated coal extraction and use. However, to meet…
Improving energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective options for climate action and to meet growing energy demand in most countries. It contributes to energy security, a better environment, improved quality of life, and economic well-being. Out of all sectors of economic activity, the…
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…
An exhibition of urban sketches by Architect Norman Foster is opening today at the Palais des Nations on the occasion of the UNECE Ministerial Meeting on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management (6-8 October).  The sketches present visions of city planning that incorporate concepts of…
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…
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…
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…
One year after the first COVID-19 lockdown in many parts of the UNECE region, scientists and experts are studying the effects of lockdown measures on air quality. A study from Germany showed that while levels of nitrogen oxides (NO2) measured at urban stations decreased during the lockdown in…
UNECE continues to help its member States to respond to COVID-19 crisis. As part of this work, Guidelines and Best Practices for Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises in Delivering Energy-Efficient Products and in Providing Renewable Energy Equipment developed earlier are being customized for North…
Buildings consume over 70 per cent of the electrical power generated and 40 per cent of primary energy and are responsible for 40 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions from related fuel combustion. At the same time, in 2018, out of 4.5 trillion USD spent on building construction and renovation, the…
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on cities and the wellbeing of communities.  Cities and urban areas are at the frontline in the fight against the COVID-19 public health crisis and its socio-economic consequences. They also hold significant potential for recovering better by adopting…
Water scarcity and pollution is increasing worldwide, as a result of the rising economic demands for water, population growth and rapid urbanisation, exacerbated by ecosystem losses and climate change. Water-related risks can negatively affect sustainable development, human health and well-being, …