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The transition from linear to circular economies requires fundamental rethinking of trade policies and regulations. “Harmonized System” codes (HS codes) are a key pillar of the tariff infrastructure for international trade. These HS codes were designed at a time when circular economy considerations…
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents. This unique international legal instrument, signed on 17 March 1992 and in force since 2000, helps to protect people and the environment from the devastating effects of industrial…
Accidental water pollution, which can be sudden and heavy as a result of industrial accidents, endangers people and the environment where chemical activities take place near a river, lake or water body. Accidental water pollution events can be triggered by natural hazards, such as floods, lightning…
Energy efficiency is the so-called first fuel – the one you do not have to use, yet it gives you the services you need. It is inexpensive and abundant. And it is key to achieving systems resilience and to enhancing industrial performance. At its 31st session held on 21 September 2022 in Geneva,…
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…
June 2022 has been the month of trade discussions in Geneva, first with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) and then UNEC’s Steering Committee on Trade Capacity and Standards (SCTCS). Both looked in detail at responses to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, both…
Adapting to climate change and managing the risks of natural and technological hazards in transboundary basins has become critical, as the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events - such as floods, droughts, landslides or storms - are on the rise in the wake of the changing climate. Timely…
UNECE was engaged at the main global forum to assess and discuss progress in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) – the seventh session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022) held in Bali and online, 25-27 May 2022, fully embracing its theme: “…
The residential sector is one of the major consumers of energy in many countries. In Armenia, for example, it accounts for 33% of total energy use. Rising fuel prices will bring substantial affordability challenges for low-income customers to heat their homes. According to UNECE research, at least…
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…
“Countries need to take concrete actions to prevent, prepare for and respond to industrial accidents and reduce the risks of related technological disasters. The UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents and the tools developed for its implementation provide a means to…
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…
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…
The Group of 7 nations (G7), six of which are UNECE member States (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US), took bold step towards reducing barriers to trade by agreeing on the principles to govern cross-border data use and digital trade. At their meeting in London on 22 October,…
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 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…
Building regional capacity for devising and putting into practice trade facilitation policies is critical to strengthen trade as a driver of sustainable and resilient recovery. UNECE teamed up with the Kyrgyz Economic University (KEU) to produce a professional development course on trade…
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…
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,…
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…
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Trade facilitation has acquired even greater importance for the land-locked countries of Central Asia, as it helps remove burdensome formalities for their trade and transport operations. Simplifying and digitalizing procedures helps diminish physical contacts along…
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused wide-ranging effects on human health, security and economic activity, which have significantly impacted industrial safety. The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to UNECE’s Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (Industrial…
The countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - gathered for a virtual session of the SPECA Working Group on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Development (WG on…