UN Climate Change News, 12 December 2018 – Today, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Poland, 15 international organizations jointly announced a commitment to make their operations climate neutral. The organizations will measure their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce them as much as possible and compensate the currently unavoidable ones with credible carbon credits.
Representing over 2 million tons of CO2 per year in emissions, and more than 50,000 staff, the aggregate action by these organizations sets an an important example that can inspire all levels of society.
While some participating organizations are only just starting their journey, others have already achieved full climate neutrality. The rest have already developed advanced sustainability strategies to step up their climate action by committing to reach climate neutrality. Through this commitment, organizations with more evolved plans will support those at earlier stages and share best practices.
By joining this initiative, organizations not only demonstrate a clear commitment to climate action and to implementing the global climate neutrality goal contained the Paris Agreement, but they also serve as models for others to follow suit.
The international organizations that announced their commitment to climate neutrality are:
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretariat
- Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa Secretariat (COMESA)
- Eastern Africa Development Bank (EADB)
- Western Africa Development Bank (BOAD)
- Asian Development Bank (ADB)
- Pacific Community
- ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability
- European Investment Bank (EIB)
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
- Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat
- Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
- International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
- Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE)
- World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
By doing so, they have joined the United Nations agencies, which adopted a strategy and a roadmap in 2007 to reach climate neutrality by 2020. Over half of all UN system entities are now climate neutral, representing 39% of the total UN emissions as per the 2018 Greening the Blue report. The UN Headquarters have reached climate neutrality for the first time in 2018.
Some of the climate actions that these organizations are implementing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions include the installation of solar photovoltaic systems, policies for reduction of air travel, upgrading of insulation and lighting systems in buildings, reduction of paper used at conferences, installation of efficient cooling systems, promotion of car-pooling schemes among employees, establishment of sustainable procurement policies, and enhanced collection and recycling of waste, among many others.
The initiative’s ambition is to motivate other international organizations to take this commitment soon and amplify the message of the urgency of climate action of society and avoid the worst effects of climate change.
For more information, please contact:
UN Climate Change
Mr. Miguel Naranjo
Programme Officer, UN Climate Change
Communications Officer, UN Environment
About the UNFCCC
With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.
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Greening the Blue
Greening the Blue is a UN-wide campaign designed to support the move towards environmental sustainability. Working with all UN organisations, Greening the Blue seeks to engage staff across the UN and share best practice internally and externally. It also publishes the annual Greening the Blue report, which details the UN System’s environmental footprint and efforts being taken to reduce it.
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