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From the Sandoz chemical spill of 1986 in Schweizerhalle, Switzerland, to the rupture of a dam storing mine tailings containing cyanide in Baia Mare, Romania, 2000; and last year in Beirut, the explosion of ammonium nitrate stored in warehouse near residential areas, what these chemical and…
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…
This year, the UNECE region has seen devastating impacts of climate change and multiple natural disasters, such as the floods in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Disasters caused by natural hazards, on the rise due to climate change, can also trigger technological accidents. On today’s…
The progress of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development hinges on the availability of natural resources and a transition to sustainable means of their production and use. Minerals and petroleum provide the raw materials needed for the economy. While a low-carbon economy requires a wide variety …
Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals will require massive inputs of low-carbon energy, critical raw materials, and other natural resources, including land and water. These demands are aggravated by rapid urbanization of the world’s population, which stresses grid-based power,…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Hydrogen is not a mere dangerous good. It is perhaps our best chance to attain carbon neutrality by 2050, was the conclusion of a brainstorming on carbon neutrality held at UNECE this week. More than 200 experts attended the online discussion that explored production, transport, storage and use of…
Hydrogen is an innovative solution to help achieve carbon neutrality and other climate targets. In 2019 and 2020 the key players from across the UNECE region came up with decarbonization strategies in which hydrogen is to play a pivotal role. Ukraine is deeply interested in developing…
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, …
Directive (EU) 2020/2184 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on the quality of water intended for human consumption (recast) was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on 16 December 2020 and entered into force on 12 January 2021. The…
While transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers, accounting for 60 per cent of global freshwater flows, are of crucial importance for the sustainable development and political stability of riparian States, the financial means for their management, development and protection are insufficient in most…
A vision for transboundary cooperation around the Senegal-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin (SMAB) has been developed by representatives of the States that share this aquifer system, namely The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal.  This work was carried out in the second meeting of the Regional…
The current patterns of raw material consumption are unstainable and are becoming an existential threat to the planet.  The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) offers a solution to support a total…
Risk is a part of our everyday lives. When we wear a helmet to ride a bike, for example, we accept a small inconvenience to reduce the risk of a fall or an accident. When a homeowner decides to retrofit their house, they incur a cost to shield against an earthquake or a flood. Faced with the COVID-…