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With climate and biodiversity loss heading the news these days, another problem related to the planet we all share is often forgotten: air pollution. Air pollution has an enormous burden on public health, ecosystems, climate, and ultimately, the economy.  Globally, the World Health Organization (…
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres noted that two seismic shifts will shape the 21st century: the climate crisis and digital transformation. Just as international cooperation is crucial to preserving the health of the planet, it is also needed to reap the benefits of digital…
Standards are in everything that surround us. Just the mobile phone in your pocket uses hundreds of standards, from the cellular network and the cable connectivity to physical elements such as the processing chips and the LED screen, not to mention security testing and the process design. We rely…
Meeting the goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and overcoming the challenges of sluggish economic growth, social exclusion and environmental degradation requires the contribution of both men and women. More-over, many sustainable development challenges affect women more…
The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is now published in Hungarian. This version, alongside recently published editions in Greek and Portuguese, will support policymakers to implement enhanced sustainable resource management in the UNECE region.  UNFC is universally…
Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) - such as lithium, nickel, copper, cobalt, manganese, graphite and rare earth elements - are essential to deliver on the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the build-up to COP27, UNECE and partners are mobilizing to address the challenges of…
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…
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…
The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is now published in Greek and Portuguese. These translations will support policymakers to implement enhanced sustainable resource management in the UNECE region. A universally acceptable and internationally applicable scheme for the…
As the sun sets in northern México, less than 100 kilometres from its border with the United States, news from the latest coal mining disaster near Sabinas, in the state of Coahuila, is heartbreaking for the families awaiting at the surface. Military divers who have bravely attempted to make their…
In 2022, international cooperation in energy and critical raw materials is high on the agenda. Optimal use of critical raw materials, for which demand is set to continue rising, will be crucial in delivering the green transition in energy, mobility and the digital world.  This will be in the…
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…
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…
Products today are integrating more and more advanced technologies and sustainability criteria into their design. Soft toys with computer chips, medical devices that can assist in operations and learn from past uses, repurposed plastic bottles assembled to form a new, different product… each pose…
Standards are an integral part of society and are present in nearly everything that surrounds us on a daily basis; they shape how products are designed, produced and used. They are in all products that cross borders and can play a key role to reduce technical barriers to trade as well as integrate…
As an established convenor of standards developing organisations, UNECE encourages the integration of a gender perspective, providing practical steps for organisations to advance women’s full and effective participation in standards and standards development. With the objective of strengthening…
There is overwhelming evidence that we need robust management and traceability for the sustainable and circular supply and use of climate-critical raw materials. Calls are increasing for the production of raw materials to embrace circularity. Demand for batteries and other low carbon technologies…
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…
A variety of European and African representatives from business, science, and government presented initiatives to raise awareness of universal sustainable resource management systems at the EU-Africa Business Forum. Experts called for further integration of European and African value chains through…
UNECE led a coalition of international experts to train raw material experts in sustainable resource management. COP26 added much needed impetus towards climate action. Raw materials will be a pivotal part of the conversation in driving innovation in a regional circular economy including recycling…
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…
If the world is to deliver on climate change and attain the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development objectives, we must optimize our endowments of natural resources.  A resilient and sustainable supply of natural resources, including critical raw minerals, is essential for sustainable energy,…