Record Number of UN Entities Achieve Climate Neutrality
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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According to the report, in 2016, the UN offset 37% of its total reported emissions through the purchase of carbon credits.

The report explains that the Climate Neutral Strategy has the most relevance for SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).

The report also details the UN’s waste generation and management, with 52 UN entities providing waste data for 2016.

2 November 2017: Thirty-nine UN entities achieved climate neutrality in 2016, according to a report on the environmental impacts of the UN system’s facilities and operations, which details greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by the UN as a whole as well as by each UN entity individually. The 2017 edition of the UN’s ‘Greening the Blue’ report includes data from 67 entities reporting their emissions for 2016, covering 264,221 personnel.

According to the report, the UN emitted 1.90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) in 2016 or an average of 7.18 tCO2eq per capita. Facilities, including headquarter offices, field offices and warehouses, accounted for 46% of the UN’s emissions, air travel for 42% and other travel made up the remaining 12%. The organization offset 37% of its total reported emissions through the purchase of carbon credits.

Climate-neutral UN entities include UN Environment, UNDP, WMO, UNECA, UNICEF, UN Women, UNCCD, UPU, and FAO.

The UN Chief Executives Board approved the UN’s Climate Neutral Strategy in 2007, and the UN is on track to be 100% climate-neutral by 2020. The report explains that the Climate Neutral Strategy has the most relevance for achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).

Climate-neutral UN entities include UN Environment (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the UN Postal Union (UPU), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

The report also details the UN’s waste generation and management, with 52 UN entities providing waste data for 2016. The UN-wide per capita waste generated in 2016 is estimated to be 554 kilograms, and 30% of the UN’s waste was recycled, reused, recovered or composted.

UN entities have also committed to improve the environmental sustainability of their facilities and operations by implementing environmental management systems. The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), World Food Programme (WFP) offices in Kenya, UN Headquarters in New York and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok were selected to pilot environmental management systems through the end of 2017. An online application for a UN environmental management system toolkit will be launched in 2018. [Greening the Blue Report] [Greening the Blue Infographic Poster] [Greening the Blue Powerpoint Presentation] [Greening the Blue Report 2017 News Story] [Greening the Blue Climate Neutrality Website] [UN Environment News Story] [UN Postal Union Press Release]

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