UN Environment Programme (UNEP) during the high-level week of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly
Nairobi, 20 September 2019 - As world leaders gather in New York City for the high level week at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, issues on the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) agenda will be front and centre, from announcements of major new commitments by private sector partners to highlighting how governments, civil society and individuals can take action on climate, sharing updates on the Sustainable Development Goals and celebrating outstanding figures whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment and much more.
Senior UNEP officials and experts will be participating in a number of activities through the week. Below is an overview of selected events:
In the run up to, and at the UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September, UNEP will unveil several initiatives as part of the organization’s contribution to the outcome of the negotiations. Among them are:
In addition, UNEP is supporting Nature-Based Solutions, one of the nine summit action tracks designated by the Secretary-General under the leadership of the Governments of China and New Zealand. Nature is a cost-effective and immediate solution that exists now to address the climate crisis. This track focuses on nature’s role in tackling the climate crisis, harnessing its power to both mitigate and adapt to climate change, and on increasing the potential for investment in these options.
Sustainable Development Goals Summit, 24-25 September
Action to reduce pollution, improve resource efficiency and better protect the environment must urgently increase in scale and speed to ensure the sustainability of our planet and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Of the 93 environment-related targets, 22 per cent are likely to be met thanks to steady progress over the past five years, 62 per cent cannot be measured due to lack of data and 16 per cent will not be met at the current pace.
UNEP will call for ensuring the full integration of the environmental dimension in national policies and investments, providing and sharing data and statistics on environmental indicators and supporting countries in monitoring the environment.
Selected UNEP organized or co-hosted events and releases include:
Greening the Blue Report launch, 20 September
The annual report provides a snapshot of the UN System’s environmental impacts throughout 2018 and the activities underway to reduce them. The report is being published just months after the leaders of the UN System approved the first comprehensive UN System-wide sustainability strategy, which sets out ambitious plans for the UN system to improve its performance across all operations over the next 10 years. This year’s report includes 2018 data on greenhouse gas emissions, waste, water and environmental management from over 60 entities across the UN System, representing approximately 290,000 personnel.
Breathe with Me exhibit opening, 21 September
Executive Director Inger Anderson and Goodwill Ambassador Aidan Gallagher will help open the ‘Breathe with Me’ exhibit – a public art action for the world, conceived and executed by Jeppe Hein with ART 2030 – invites everyone to paint their individual breath onto large canvases in the shape of vertical blue lines – one for every exhale – raising awareness that the air we breathe is part of our connected world and climate.
Climate & Clean Air Coalition’s 11th High Level Assembly, 22 September
Ministers and heads of partner organisations are expected to adopt a “2030 Vision Statement” for enhanced ambition, extend the Coalition’s mandate, and celebrate achievements to date.
The Assembly will also take stock and discuss scaling-up its action program to meet the Paris Agreement temperature targets.
Launch of “GO for SDGs” initiative, 24 September
The economic transformation needed for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals is unprecedented: it will amount to a total turn-around of our lifestyles, production patterns and approaches towards policymaking. Making this transformation “fast, fair and green” and using it for creating good jobs, decent working conditions, adequate livelihoods and inclusive outcomes is key to leaving no one behind.
As part of Germany’s and UNEP’s promise to step up their efforts, the German Ministry for Environment and UNEP have created ‘Global Opportunities for SDGs’ (or in short: GO for SDGs). This new initiative aims to accelerate and raise ambition for building inclusive and sustainable economies and societies, by facilitating regional dialogue and exchange among practitioners on best practices for replicating and scaling-up effects, and by fostering local institutional learning and experience sharing.
Champions and Young Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony, 26 September
The annual Champions of the Earth prize is awarded to outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have had a positive impact on the environment while the Young Champions of the Earth Prize is a forward-looking prize designed to breathe life into the ambitions of brilliant young environmentalists
Announcements of the 2019 winners began on 16 September 2019 and the staggered announcements will culminate in a gala award ceremony at Cipriani 42nd Street.
Media access requests: firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Landscapes Forum, 28 September
A global consultation in the runup to the official launch of The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration in 2021. The objective of this critical first meeting is to raise awareness, define the land and seascapes the world needs to restore to a sustainable state, and launch a global movement that will restore up to 2 billion hectares of degraded ecosystems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
NOTE TO MEDIA:
All events are open to the media unless otherwise stated. Events held on UN premises are open only to UN-accredited media. More information at: https://www.un.org/en/media/accreditation/unga.shtml
For the most up-to-date information and for a full list of press releases and position materials, see: https://www.unenvironment.org/unga
KEY TWITTER ACCOUNTS:
MEDIA QUERIES AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS
In the US, Keishamaza Rukikaire
Head of News and Media
Phone: +254 722-677-747 or +1 934-444-9101
In Nairobi, UN Environment Programme media team
Source: UN Environment
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