Showing posts from June, 2020

Aviation Industry throws out climate agreement

ICAO Council Bows to Aviation Industry Request to Rewrite First Three Years of Climate Program RulesEDF statement from Annie Petsonk, International Counsel(June 30, 2020) The 36-member Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) today unilaterally changed the rules for the first three years of the agency’s flagship climate program, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). The Council decided that if, in 2020, aviation emissions fall by more than 30% below 2019 levels, the program’s rules will automatically change, in effect suspending airlines’ obligations to offset a portion of their carbon pollution.     "The coronavirus pandemic has caused pain and loss around the world – for families, for communities and for working people. Airlines have been hit hard. One effect of the decrease in air travel is that carbon emissions from aviation have declined sharply. And now the industry is at an inflection point.“As airlines scram…

Volkan Bozkir from Turkey elected the new President of the UN General Assembly and India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway join the Security Council

Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir was elected President of the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly in a vote held on Wednesday 17th of June.
Mr. Bozkir, a veteran diplomat and parliamentarian, will preside over the landmark 75th session of the UN General Assembly, which opens in September. He was the sole candidate for the post.

Draft High Level Political Forum Ministerial Declaration prepares the ground for updating the SDG targets that fall in 2020

"We invite the 75th session of the UN General Assembly to set out as soon as possible a process to ensure that the targets of the SDGs with a 2020 timeline are reviewed and updated, and we note that several of them are closely related to sets of targets to be updated through existing processes that could serve as a blueprint for the update of the corresponding SDG targets. The 2021 HLPF will review progress in this regard. " (Draft 2020 HLPF Ministerial Declaration)
The Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development first raised this issue in December 2017 with this paper
As many of the 2020 or 2025 targets are in relation to other intergovernmental processes it was important to coordinate with them such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).
The 17 SDGs included in the 2030 Agenda include 169 targets, most with a completion date of 2030. However, for 20 SDG targets, the date of completion is 2020 a…

World’s insurers and UN Environment Programme launch first global insurance industry guide to tackle sustainability risks

June 2020—After a multi-year global consultation process, leading insurers from around the world and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched last 3 June the first global insurance industry guide to tackle a wide range of sustainability risks—from climate change, ecosystem degradation, pollution and animal welfare and testing; to child labour, controversial weapons, and bribery and corruption.The guide, Managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in non-life insurance business, outlines 8 areas comprising possible actions for insurers to manage ESG risks—also known as sustainability risks—in non-life insurance transactions, focussing on risk assessment and insurance underwriting. These areas include developing a company’s ESG approach and risk appetite, integrating ESG issues into the organisation, establishing roles and responsibilities for ESG issues, escalating ESG risks to decision-makers, detecting and analysing ESG risks, and decision-making and reporting on ES…

The Rise and Fall and Rise of the Debt Clock

Danielle Antosz is a Chicago-based marketing consultant who enjoys using content to create connections and kickstart conversations. Danielle has worked with sector-leading brands like Marriott, Hard Rock Cafe, and ClearVoice. As the coronavirus continues to spread, the US government has made moves to protect the economy by sending out $1,200 checks to Americans. And they are discussing canceling up to $10,000 in student loan debt. But where does that money come from? In many cases, it gets added to the US debt, which currently stands at almost $25 trillion.The amount of money the government spends is a hot topic — which led to the rise of debt clocks. But what exactly are debt clocks, where did they come from, and why do they matter? Should the amount of debt a country accrues matter?Here is what you need to know about debt clocks. What Type of Debt Does a Debt Clock Track? A debt clock tracks the overall debt of a nation's government — including the interest it accrues on that de…

Consultation open on UNECE People-first PPP Impact Assessment Tool until August 12th

The Project Team on the People-first PPP Impact Assessment Tool has great pleasure to present the draft version 1.0 of the People-first PPP Impact Assessment Tool that we would like to enter the Public Review phase as of today.We hope that this Public Review phase can last until 12 August 2020 in order to allow all parties to have enough time to comment.We request that all comments during Public Review use the "Template for Comments and Observations" which can be downloaded from here.  The Team has not planned to consider any comments which do not use this template and which do not propose changes to allow to comply with the comments / observations made.As we have made conscious efforts to reach out to many organizations and have attempted to make a fully transparent development and drafting process, we hope to have addressed most serious comments during this phase we have just finalised.Please let us know if you need any further information or other …

UN response and Recovery Fund for COVID-19

Taken from UN Secretary General's UN Response and Recovery paper found in full here.The United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund is a UN inter-agency fund mechanism established by the UN Secretary-General to help support low- and middle-income program countries overcome the health and development crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and support those most vulnerable to economic hardship and social disruption.

The Fund contributes to financing the three objectives of the UN Secretary General’s Call for Solidarity: (1) Tackle the health emergency;  (2) Focus on the social impact and the economic response and recovery; and  (3) Help countries recover better. 
The financial requirements of the Fund are projected at $1 billion in the first nine months and will be reviewed with the evolution of needs as a result of the pandemic.
Modelled after the successful UN Ebola Response MPTF (2014-18), the Fund complements the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Strategic Preparedness and Resp…

Joint letter to UN Member States: Ensure meaningful virtual participation in 2020 review of the SDGs

Find full background letter and list of signatories  Dear Excellencies, We, the undersigned 460 civil society organisations (CSOs) from 115 countries, write to seek your support in ensuring the effective participation of civil society during the upcoming UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) scheduled for 7-16 July 2020. As the preeminent multistakeholder body responsible for the review and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), HLPF processes derive strength from the engagement of diverse actors including a broad range of civil society organisations (CSOs) working at various levels. As the HLPF transitions to virtual communication and convening for its July 2020 session due to the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that all relevant actors, including States and UN agencies, support and devise clear modalities to enable robust virtual civil society participation.In response to disruptions caused by COVID-19, a number of Inter-governmental bodies…

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema of Tanzania appointed as the new Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema of Tanzania as the Executive Secretary,  of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, based in Montreal, Canada.”It is my great honour to assume the leadership of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity at this critical time for biodiversity, .My immediate priority is to ensure successful negotiations in developing a robust and ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework.” -- Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Since December 2019, Ms. Mrema has been the Acting Executive Secretary of the CBD Secretariat.  Prior to that, Ms. Mrema served as Director of the Law Division at the United Nations Environment  Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya.  She has over two decades of experience at the United Nations, Ms. Mrema brings to the position extensive experience in global environmental law and policymaking, implementation of environmental and sustainable development programmes, and a deep knowledge of multilateral pr…

Guest blog: The Coronavirus vs. Multilateralism: Who Will Win?

Guest blog by Harris Gleckman and Georgios Kostakofirst published in Passblue.
 A view of the General Assembly Hall through an interpreters’ booth, before the opening of the general debate of the 74th session, Sept. 24, 2019. It is unclear how world leaders will meet this year, but more important, diplomacy-as-usual practices are over, the authors say. 
Covid-19 has pretty much shut down important negotiations at the United Nations, ranging from climate change to biodiversity. The General Assembly has not been able to meet as a group physically, but Security Council meetings have migrated online, with the Secretariat supporting the Council remotely and Secretary-General António Guterres and his people holding the (literal) fort.
The physical shutdown of the UN since the pandemic struck New York City presents a huge existential challenge to the world body. When will it be able to fully reopen, under what operating procedures and how useful will it be in the post-crisis phase? As a practic…

World Environment Day: SUNX Malta Launches BEND OUR TREND Campaign for Climate Friendly Travel

June 5th, World Environment Day. SUNx Malta, in collaboration with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today launched a Climate Resilience campaign called “BEND OUR TREND”. Led by a 90-second animated video, the campaign is designed to encourage Travel & Tourism companies and communities to:1.Adopt Climate Friendly Travel – Low carbon, linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and consistent with the Paris 1.5 trajectory.2.Create Climate Neutral Ambition Plans and file these on the SUNx Malta UNFCCC-linked Registry. With the support of Malta’s Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Hon. Julia Farrugia Portelli, who has declared her country to be a global centre of Climate Friendly Travel, we are deploying tools to help the entire Travel & Tourism sector in its essential transformation to a 2050 Paris 1.5 trajectory.Minister Farrugia Portelli said:“Our commitment to Climate Friendly Travel is even more important in a world where we need to plan our post-COVI…

World Environment Day: How well cared for working donkeys, horses and mules help create a safe, sustainable world

June 5th, World Environment Day.The Donkey Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare have issued a joint video on World Environment Day to highlight the important role that well cared for donkeys, horses and mules play in creating a safe and sustainable world. A short video address by Mike Baker, CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary and Roly Owers, CEO of World Horse Welfare explain that:In many of the poorest communities in the world it is accepted that working donkeys, horses and mules are crucial to livelihoods, food production, access to safe water, gender empowerment and to providing the means to allow children to access education.On World Environment Day, it is important to understand the role that donkeys, horses and mules play in the battle against climate change and in coping with the consequences of it.Mike Baker, the CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary said:“In many parts of the world, donkeys, mules and horses are crucial to building safe and sustainable communities and are also key in recovery ef…