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United Nations Secretary-General Appoints Erik Solheim of Norway as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme

New York, 13 May 2016 - Following the nomination by the Secretary-General, the General Assembly today elected Erik Solheim of Norway as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for a four-year term.

Cost of Adapting to Climate Change Could Hit $500 Billion per year by 2050

Rotterdam, 10 May 2016 - The cost of adapting to climate change in developing countries could rise to between $280 and $500 billion per year by 2050, a figure that is four to five times greater than previous estimates, according to a new United Nations Environment (UNEP) report.

New Task Force Set to Stop Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds

        Bonn/Nairobi, 9 May 2016 - The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) announced today the creation of the Intergovernmental Task Force on Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds in the Mediterranean composed of Governments and the European Commission.

Sustainability Leaders Build On Climate Momentum

        6 May 2016, Washington, D.C. - The Climate Action 2016 Summit convened more than 600 global leaders from the government, business, philanthropy, multilateral institutions and civil society from 5-6 May in Washington, DC.

Secretary-General Announces Intention to Appoint Erik Solheim of Norway as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme

New York, 3 May 2016 - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, following consultations with the Chairpersons of the regional groups of Member States, has informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Erik Solheim of Norway as the new Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

New Study: Good Governance of Natural Resources Essential for Post-Conflict Peacebuilding And Economic Recovery

3 MAY 2016— Washington, DC and Geneva — After armed conflict, those who survive need food, water, shelter, the means to earn a living, and the promise of a return to safety and civil order. A new study released today finds meeting these needs while sustaining peace requires more than a forum for governing natural resources; it also requires good governance.

"We have the power": UNEP Awards Winners of the International Children's Painting Competition

Nairobi, 25 April 2016 - The three global winners of the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP's) 24th International Children Painting Competition received their awards, Monday, at the organization's headquarters in Nairobi.

The winning works of Gloria Yang from the United States, Salya Richita Susanto from Indonesia and Sataporn Thitiprasert from Thailand were selected from among nearly 63,000 submissions from 66 countries around the world.

UN Environment Programme Executive Director Statement on Paris Agreement Signing

New York, 22 April, 2016 - UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner released the following statement on the occasion of the opening day for the signing of the Paris Agreement:

"In Paris, the world's nations agreed that climate change is a threat to planetary well-being. Having over 160 countries sign the Paris Agreement in New York on its opening day is proof positive that the world is committed to a global response to this threat.

Paris Signing Marks Critical Next Step to Sustainable Future

 Nairobi/Bonn/New York, 20 April 2016 - The record number of countries set to sign the Paris Agreement in New York on 22 April signals the next step towards the Agreement coming into force and a critical juncture in a global effort to ensure lasting hopes for secure and peaceful, human development.

Angola Announces Major Push against Ivory Trade as it Gears up for World Environment Day

    Cairo, 18 April 2016 - Angola today announced a major push against the ivory trade, pledging to close one of the largest domestic ivory markets in the world and implement tougher border and screening controls.



New York/Paris, 6 July 2015 – As the world prepares to adopt a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNEP’s International Resource Panel (IRP) cautions that unless prudent natural resources management becomes an integral part of policy packages, the SDGs will not fulfill their fundamental purpose — of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and addressing all aspects of sustainable development.

New York, 30 June 2015 - United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner and International Union for Conservation of Nature Director General Inger Andersen today had the opportunity to meet with leaders of a number of environment and sustainable development NGOs to discuss and exchange views on major issues affecting the global environment and sustainability agenda.

June 18, 2015 - UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme Achim Steiner issued the following statement today following the release of His Holiness Pope Francis' second encyclical:

"The UN Environment Programme welcomes Pope Francis' unambiguous call to action in the face of global environmental degradation and climate change.

Nairobi, 8 June 2015 - A report released today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on the occasion of World Oceans' Day recommends a precautionary approach toward microplastic management, with an eventual phase-out and ban of their use in personal care products and cosmetics (PCCP).

Washington, D.C., 8 June 2015 – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and nationally-syndicated cartoonist Jim Toomey have collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to showcase the Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey video series on NOAA’s Ocean Today Kiosks across North America.

Eleuthera, The Bahamas, 5 June 2015 – Jack Johnson, the multi-platinum recording artist, widely acclaimed for his environmental work, was appointed United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador today, during a ceremony on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera.

Milan, 5 June 2015 – UN Under-Secretary-General and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, Achim Steiner  and  UNEP’s Goodwill Ambassador and football star Yaya Touré made their way to World Environment Day (WED) celebrations hosted by Milano Expo in a standard passenger car retrofitted with an electric engine.

Milan, 4 June 2015 - As the financial and environmental costs of resource depletion begin to affect economic growth worldwide, countries need to find ways to manage finite resources while meeting the needs of a growing and increasingly urban world population.

Nairobi/Milan, 29 May 2015 – World Environment Day (WED), the UN’s principal vehicle to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment, will be celebrated around the world on 5 June with a call to governments, communities and individuals to improve their consumption patterns.

Nairobi - Paris, 22 May 2015 - Harnessing the global financial system to deliver climate security, reduce the risks of high carbon assets, and scale up capital for the low carbon transition is possible, but will only happen with a comprehensive, system-wide approach to financing - including the $37 trillion of energy infrastructure - in the next two decades.


2014 News

Fast-Tracking Elimination of Production of Remaining Ozone-Depleting Substances Could Speed Up Ozone Layer Recovery by 11 Years

Nairobi, 19 December 2014 - The recovery of the ozone layer - the shield that protects life on Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet rays - would come sooner if we were to fast-track the elimination of the production of the ozone-depleting substance (ODS) hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and manage other ODSs that remain in equipment, building walls and chemical stockpiles, according to the full release of a report by nearly 300 scientists from 36 countries.

New Report Makes Strong Business Case for Using Safer Chemicals in Products and Supply Chains

Geneva, 15 December 2014 - Chemicals are all around us, present in the products we use every day.The demand for increased transparency on chemicals up and down the supply chain is growing - we need to understand how and with what chemicals we are interacting. Consumers, retailers and brands all want to know more, driving companies to disclose information about the hazardous chemicals in their products and to make safer choices.

World on Track to New Universal Climate Agreement with Lima Call for Climate Action

Lima, 14 December 2014 - A new 2015 agreement on climate change, that will harness action by all nations, took a further important step forward in Lima following two weeks of negotiations by over 190 countries.

Nations concluded by elaborating the elements of the new agreement, scheduled to be agreed in Paris in late 2015, while also agreeing the ground rules on how all countries can submit contributions to the new agreement during the first quarter of next year.

UNEP Launches Wastewater Video in the Series Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey

Washington, D.C., 9 December 2014 - The United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA), UNEP Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) and nationally-syndicated cartoonist Jim Toomey announced today the release of the video "Wastewater: A widespread threat and missed resource," which portrays the impacts of wastewater on coastal communities and ecosystems, and the benefits of improving its management. This new video is part of a series of innovative ocean awareness videos titled Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey.

Full Economic Potential of Carbon-Rich Mangroves Remains Untapped

Lima, December 9, 2014 - The economic and social benefits of mangroves - which are estimated to run into the hundreds of billions worldwide - remain largely untapped due to a lack of carbon finance mechanisms, appropriate policy interventions, and rapid mangrove deforestation, according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report launched today at the 20th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change.

Montreal Protocol Celebrates Landmark Achievement with Universal Ratification of All Amendments 

Nairobi, 08 December 2014 - Global efforts to protect the ozone layer have reached a major milestone after all of the Amendments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer received universal ratification by 197 Parties. 

UN Says Global Carbon Neutrality Should be Reached by Second Half of Century, Demonstrates Pathways to Stay Under 2°C Limit

Washington D.C., 19 November 2014 - In order to limit global temperature rise to 2°C and head off the worst impacts of climate change, global carbon neutrality should be attained by mid-to-late century. This would also keep in check the maximum amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that can be emitted into the atmosphere while staying within safe temperature limits beyond 2020, says a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP and the Organization of American States Renew Joint-Efforts to Enhance Environmental Rule of law 

Washington D.C., 19 November 2014 - The UN South-South Cooperation Expo on enhancing cooperation for sustainable development served as the stage for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNEP and the Organization of American States (OAS) designed to foster increased cooperation between the two organizations on the development and implementation of environmental rule of law for the promotion of sustainable development. 

UN Top Environment Award Announces 2014 Laureates

Nairobi/Washington D.C., 19 November 2014 - The Innovators and policymakers whose service to the environment is saving lives, improving livelihoods and bettering environmental governance and conservation were announced as recipients of the United Nation's highest environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth Award.