Skip to main content

News

Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 44

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…
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…
Today, according to United Nations estimates, the population of the world will for the first time reach the 8 billion mark.  Just 48 years ago, in 1974, our planet was home to four billion people. In less than half a century this has doubled, having passed through the milestones of five billion in…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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: “…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…