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“There is a not a single major global challenge that does not involve water. This includes migration, conflict, disease, hunger, gender equity, population growth, urbanization, and climate change”. These were the words of UN-Water Chair, Mr. Gilbert Houngbo, as governments and key stakeholders from…
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…
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…
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…
Today marks the holding of the first meeting of the Working Group on Tailings Safety and the Prevention of Accidental Water Pollution (IIWG) in Kazakhstan – the first comprehensive dialogue on these issues between all relevant stakeholders and national authorities in the country.  After being…
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…
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…
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,…
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 to 1.5 degrees.” The compromise deal reflects the…
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 …
Transboundary waters are a global common good crucial for human life, which require concerted management and protection. The ninth session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 9) to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) has…
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…
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 every day as consumers and producers of food are having a…
World Ocean Day is a reminder of the growing depletion of maritime resources. Currently, FAO reports that 34.2% of all maritime stock is fished unsustainably, posing a threat to global marine ecosystems. The FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) is the first binding international agreement on…
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…
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…