Fifteen international organizations, responsible for over two million tons of CO2 emissions per year, have announced their intention to become climate neutral.
Actions being undertaken by these organizations to reduce their emissions include the installation of solar photovoltaic systems, policies for reducing air travel, and upgrading insulation and lighting systems in buildings.
12 December 2018: Fifteen international organizations have announced their intent to make their operations climate neutral, by measuring their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reducing them as much as possible and compensating unavoidable emissions with carbon credits.
The announcement was made on 12 December 2018 on the sidelines of the Katowice Climate Change Conference. Combined, the organizations, which employ more than 50,000 people, are responsible for over two million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year. Those organizations that have already made advances towards climate neutrality and, thus, have more experience, will support and share best practices with those just starting out.
Over half of UN system entities are now climate neutral, representing 39 percent of total UN emissions.
Participating international organizations include the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretariat, the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretariat, the Pacific Community, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and several other regional development banks, among others.
Some of the actions being undertaken by these organizations to reduce their emissions include:
- the installation of solar photovoltaic systems;
- policies for reducing air travel;
- upgrading insulation and lighting systems in buildings;
- reducing the amount of paper used at conferences;
- installing efficient cooling systems;
- promoting carpooling among employees;
- establishing sustainable procurement policies; and
- enhancing collection and recycling of waste.
The hope is that other international organizations will also commit to climate neutrality. The 15 organizations join multiple UN agencies that, in 2007, adopted a strategy and roadmap to achieve climate neutrality by 2020. Over half of UN system entities are now climate neutral, representing 39 percent of total UN emissions, as described in UN Environment’s ‘Greening the Blue’ report. UN Headquarters became climate neutral in 2018. [UNEP Press Release]