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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…
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…
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…
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. Version française This…
The need to digitalize information flows in international supply chains became clearer than ever during the pandemic, thanks to the reduced person-to-person contact this allows, on top of important efficiency gains. However, efforts to date have been fragmented. UNECE and its subsidiary body UN/…
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 every day as consumers and producers of food are having a…
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…
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…
Countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe have been hit hard by the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to derail sustainable development progress in the region. However, there is also a stronger momentum towards regional cooperation, and countries can…
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…
The economic and sanitary crisis caused by the pandemic calls for new ways of doing business. We need to digitalize data and document exchange in cross-border transport and supply chains to avoid person-to-person contacts, while increasing the efficiency of trade and transport operations. However,…
Mobility is a primary enabler of our economic and social life. However, despite its many benefits, the costs of mobility to societies around the world remain unacceptably high. These include greenhouse gas emissions (transport accounts for some 24% of global CO2 emissions, three quarters of which…
In 2021, the volume of world merchandise trade is expected to increase by 8 per cent  after falling 5.3 per cent in 2020. How UN/CEFACT recommendations and e-business standards can help boost trade and e-commerce was one of the key topics of the 36th UN/CEFACT Forum, convened online, by UNECE over…
The extraction of raw materials worldwide has more than doubled since 1990 and could double again by 2060 in the absence of corrective policies. According to the UN International Resources Panel, resource extraction and processing account for 90% of global biodiversity loss and water stress impacts…
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…
Olga Algayerova Women’s Day Blog On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, I would like to pay tribute to all women leaders, and all women and men, girls and boys, who are empowering women and girls to build a better future for all! The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is…
Achieving equality between women and men is a core goal of governments and the international community. The frameworks that guide us towards this goal—the Sustainable Development Agenda and The Beijing Platform for Action, among others—emphasize that for equality to be achieved, women and men must …
The days of voluntary measures to improve sustainability in the garment and footwear sector appear to be numbered, according to speakers at a recent event. With regulation and smart policy implementation, the sector has the potential to build back better post-COVID-19, prioritising the environment …
Waste has turned into one of humanity’s predominant challenges. The generation of hazardous waste increased from an estimated 259 metric tonnes in 2007 to 394 metric tonnes in 2015; the most significant increases were from lower middle-income and higher middle-income countries and despite policy…
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed dysfunctions in many systems, including those that affect the lives of older people and their communities. COVID-19 has disproportionately affected older persons – nearly 9 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the UNECE region have been among those aged 65 and older.…