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Green Finance Symposium Explores Financial Mechanisms to Promote Low-Carbon Global Economic Growth

Washington, DC, 16 April 2016 — The Paulson Institute and the Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking convened a half-day symposium of global finance leaders and experts to discuss recommendations for the development of robust global green finance mechanisms and markets.

UNEP and Reef-World Foundation Launch New Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey Video and Release Toolbox for Sustainable Dive Tourism

Washington, D.C./Singapore/Bangkok, 15 April 2016 – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and internationally acclaimed cartoonist Jim Toomey have collaborated with Reef-World Foundation to produce a new video on sustainable dive tourism as part of the popular Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey video series. 

New UN Web Tool Demonstrates Climate Benefits of Protecting Apes

Monrovia, 14 April 2016 - A new web-based tool, launched in Liberia's capital Wednesday, shows how protecting great apes in Africa and Asia can help countries fight climate change. The online app superimposes maps of great ape ranges and of forest carbon stocks, allowing policymakers to better identify conservation priority areas.

Countries Make Further Progress towards Curbing Potent Greenhouse Gases under the Montreal Protocol

11 April 2016 - Only two weeks ahead of the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the 197 parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer have taken steps towards amending the Protocol to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which will help curb global warming.

Media Alert: UNFCCC Secretariat and Earth Day Network Launch Campaign to Mark Signing of Paris Agreement and to Celebrate Earth Day on 22 April

Bonn/Washington DC, 5 April 2016 -There is a very special day coming up and one well worth celebrating everywhere.

In New York, on April 22, governments will sign the new Paris Climate Change Agreement en route to it coming into force as millions of people around the globe mark annual Earth Day, or International Mother Earth Day.

UNEP Mourns Passing of Former Executive Director, Mostafa Tolba

Nairobi, 28 March 2016 - Former Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Mostafa Tolba, has passed away at the age of 93. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP, issued the following statement:

"On behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme I wish to express my condolences to the family of Dr. Mostafa Tolba and his worldwide network of friends.

"Dr. Tolba passed away this morning at a clinic in Geneva.

Renewable Energy Investments: Major Milestones Reached, New World Record Set
  • Coal and gas-fired generation attracted less than half as much capacity investment as renewables last year;
  • Renewables added more to global energy generation capacity than all other technologies combined;
  • For first time, developing world investments in renewables (up 19% in 2015) topped developed nations’ (down 8%);
  • World record total of $286 billion invested in renewables last year; makes $2.3 trillion over 12 years

Half the World to Face Severe Water Stress by 2030 unless Water Use is "Decoupled" from Economic Growth, Says International Resource Panel

Paris/Nairobi, 21 March 2016 - Without altering current levels of water consumption and pollution, almost half of the world's population will suffer severe water stress by 2030, damaging the well-being of millions of people, according to a new report from the International Resource Panel (IRP).

The Secretary-General Message For The International Day Of Happiness

This year's International Day of Happiness is focused on Climate Action for a Happy Planet.

Everyone can be part of our campaign: governments, civic groups, the media and individuals. This year, even cartoon characters have joined in as the United Nations teams up with a group famous for lacking good cheer: the Angry Birds.

UN Airlifts Chimpanzee to Safety in DR Congo

An orphaned male chimpanzee discovered in a military camp in northern Democratic Republic of Congo was confiscated by Congolese wildlife officials this week and transported by United Nations peacekeepers to a rehabilitation centre in South Kivu.



Nairobi, 19 May 2015 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today released its Annual Report 2014, showcasing global environmental successes such as the recovery of the ozone layer, significant advances in renewables investments and the first-ever United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).

New York, 18 May 2015 – Creating favourable conditions for modern solar lighting markets can provide a low-cost solution to reducing carbon emissions, indoor air pollution and health risks, while bringing electricity to an estimated 600 million people in Africa who lack access to the power grid, says new report by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Nairobi/Bangkok, 13 May 2015 Redirecting financial flows towards efficient, clean and inclusive economic activities in Asia Pacific and away from polluting, resources intensive activities is crucial to the region’s  future sustainable growth and prosperity, finds a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Geneva, 12 May 2015 – Up to 90 per cent of the world’s electronic waste, worth nearly US $19 billion, is illegally traded or dumped each year, according to a report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Bonn/Nairobi, 8 May 2015 – World Migratory Bird Day 2015 will be celebrated on 9-10 May in over 80 countries with the theme "Energy - make it bird-friendly!" It will highlight the importance of deploying energy technologies in a way that minimizes impacts on migratory birds and their habitats.

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Don Cheadle, Urges Governments and Global Citizens to Commit to Tackle Climate Change, Protect the Environment and Eliminate Lead in Paint

Nairobi, 15 April 2015 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) calls on writers and bloggers worldwide to create a blog post on the 2015 World Environment Day (WED) theme for a chance to win a trip to Milan, Italy, this year's WED global host. The 2015 WED Blogging Competition, launched today, will award the winner an opportunity to participate in WED celebrations on 5 June at the Expo Milano in Italy, and to write blog posts and social media posts about the experience.

New York, 9 April 2015 - The Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO) reached New York City on Thursday, concluding its Atlantic crossing in a journey that will take its crew over 40,000 nautical miles as they attempt to draw up the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the oceans. 

Nairobi/Rome, 7 April 2015 - Italy has today been named host of this year’s World Environment Day (WED) global celebrations on 5 June, in a joint announcement made by the Government of Italy and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Washington, DC/Geneva, April 3, 2015 ‒ In the wake of armed conflict, rebuilding livelihoods is critical to peacebuilding and economic redevelopment, according to a new study launched today by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the University of Tokyo, McGill University, and Tufts University.


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.