Gaia and ZOI Net launched a partnership dedicated to assist the UN agencies towards climate neutrality and environmental sustainability today in Geneva, Switzerland.
In addition to the on-going efforts to report on the carbon footprint of the UN, the partnership encourages the organisation to improve its management through information services and technical advise on greenhouse gas reduction actions.
The Gaia and ZOI partnership will, on an assignment from UN Environment Programme, encourage the UN agencies to advance sustainability initiatives through development of a series of case studies. The on-going work of Zoi and Gaia will particularly look into areas such as sustainable travel, e-communication, building and office management, conferencing and awareness raising activities. The project will also look into how the UN agencies are or are not offsetting. In addition, a particular focus of the new partnership is to look into how budgeting practices and processes may cause bottlenecks for investments for sustainability.
In June 2007, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for efforts to make the United Nations climate neutral. During the past two years, few UN agencies, including the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as well as the World Bank, have carried out detailed carbon footprint assessments, and started to offset emissions. The concerted efforts towards climate neutrality are coordinated by the UN Environmental Management Group.
The first ever combined report on the GHG emissions from the United Nations will be launched in Copenhagen in December 2009. The forthcoming report signals the strong commitment from the UN to walk the talk, and to reduce its climate footprint and apply environmentally friendlier practices without compromising the mission of the organisation.
Greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions at the UN is international travel, but office practices, inefficient buildings, conferences and commuting contribute to the footprint as well. Many of the UN agencies have started their work on climate neutrality, and some UN agencies have made good headway with their sustainability initiatives. For example, UNCTAD has a climate mitigation strategy aiming at 20% emission reduction. UNEP has offset its 2008 emissions and is actually climate neutral.
- ZOI / Director Otto Simonett, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel . +41 22 917 8342
- Gaia / Chairman Pasi Rinne, email@example.com, tel. +41 79 4726909