The Geneva Environment Network’s weekly newsletter includes the latest information on the global environmental agenda, main eventsjob vacancies, learning opportunities, as well as other useful resources and updates. Stay tuned and follow us also on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Image of the week | Guests joined the Geneva World Environment Day Celebration addressing Multilateral Solutions to Beat Plastic Pollution and following reception, at the International Environment House, on Monday 5 June 2023.

Collaborative Trade Policies to Tackle the Triple Planetary Crisis

The fourth edition of the World Trade Organization Trade and Environment Week is taking place this week in Geneva and online, providing a platform to discuss with leading experts, facilitate synergies, and share good practices. The week-long event this year will focus on collaborative trade policies to tackle pressing environmental issues such as climate change, related natural disasters, pollution (including plastic pollution), and biodiversity loss. The week will begin with a meeting of the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Environment followed by 18 thematic sessions bringing together government officials, business representatives, international organizations, academics and civil society. All sessions are open to the public. → Find the full programme and register to attend in person on the WTO website.

Other important news to not be missed include:

  • Fisheries Subsidies | On World Oceans Day, DG Okonjo-Iweala welcomed EU acceptance of fishing subsidies agreement. The European Union last week deposited its instrument of acceptance of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, marking a major development towards the Agreement’s entry into force. With this ratification of the EU and its 27 member states, we are nearly one-third of the way toward the entry into force of the agreement.
  • WTO Public Forum 2023: It is Time for Action | The 2023 Public Forum, taking place in September 2023, will explore how trade and the WTO can help create a greener and more sustainable future. Specifically, it will delve into how the services sector, digitalization, and inclusive trade policies can support this objective. Deadline for submission of proposals for Public Forum sessions is 15 June 2023.

Building Capacity for the Next Generation of Sustainable Infrastructure

Investing in sustainable and resilient infrastructure is crucial to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Two resolutions on sustainable and resilient infrastructure, adopted at the UN Environment Assembly, encourage Member States to integrate environmental considerations in all their infrastructure plans, to develop and strengthen national and regional systems-level strategic approaches to infrastructure planning, to promote nature-based solutions, and to encourage the UN Environment Programme to support countries in building the technical and institutional capacity to develop sustainable infrastructure. → Lean more on Sustainable Infrastructure and the Role of Geneva

An event organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network will present the Infrastructure Sustainability LEarning (ISLE) model as a means of supporting countries in implementing UN Environment Assembly Resolutions 4/5 (UNEP/EA.4/L.5)  and 5/9 (UNEP/EA.5/Res.9) on sustainable and resilient infrastructure. → Register and join us in person or online on Monday 12 June 2023 from 13:00 to 14:30 CEST.

Chemicals and Waste Issues of Concern: Tackling Future Priorities

Following the adoption of the UN Environment Assembly Resolution 5/7, the UN Environment Programme is conducting a consultation process on priorities for further work and potential further international action on Issues of concern posing risks to human health and the environment. To support this consultation, this week, leading experts will join an event aiming to discuss priorities of further work, building on existing measures and initiatives, and further potential international action. The event is organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network. → Register to join us in person or online on Thursday 15 June 2023 from 13:00 to 14:30 CEST.

Just Transition at Ongoing International Labour Conference

The 111th session of the International Labour Conference will conclude this week in Geneva, with close to 5,500 worker, employer and government delegates from the ILO’s 187 Member States registered to tackle a wide range of issues. In this context, the Committee on Just Transitions started last week with a General Discussion based on a report about a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies.

Updates on Niloufar Bayani, Environmental Conservationist Detained in Iran

In January 2018, Niloufar Bayani, formerly employed by the UN Environment Programme in Geneva from 2012 to 2017, and eight other environmental conservationists working for the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation were imprisoned and subsequently sentenced to lengthy prison terms. At the time of her arrest, Niloufar had been working in Iran for only 6 months, to monitor the critically endangered Persian or Asiatic cheetah. Earlier this month, Scholars at Risk Network published an article and the manuscript ‘Climate Literacy in the Land of Oil: Interviews with female political prisoners in Evin‘ written by Niloufar between April 2022 and March 2023, wherein she surveys fellow prisoners on climate issues and explores potential reforms. Following Niloufar’s survey and research findings on climate literacy in Evin Prison, she and her fellow inmates developed a climate seminar series which was designed to increase awareness and knowledge about climate change, its impacts, as well as mitigation and adaptation actions. One important output of this 9-week climate course was an Open Letter signed by women political prisoners in Evin calling for climate action in Iran. → More information and updates on Niloufar and her fellow environmental conservationists visit our regularly updated page Release of Niloufar Bayani and Other Environmental Conservationists Detained in Iran.

Moving Towards the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference

Bonn Climate Change Conference | The UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies meetings that are concluding this week in Bonn represent the last big milestone in climate negotiations before the culmination of the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement at COP 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Loss and Damage Discussions are on the agenda. → Follow the negotiations through the Earth Negotiations Bulletin Coverage

COP28 UAE Blue Zone: Pavilions Expression of Interest | The Blue Zone is a UNFCCC managed site, open to accredited party and observer delegates. It hosts the formal negotiations across the two weeks of the conference, as well as the World Climate Action Summit, the country pavilions, presidency events and hundreds of side events including panel discussions, roundtables, and cultural events. COP28 UAE Blue Zone will be hosted at Expo City Dubai, with an approach to delegation offices & pavilions different from previous COPs. The host country aims to create an exciting, streamlined, and supportive environment to enhance collaboration between stakeholders, and engagement in general. All parties to the Convention as well as more than 3,000 accredited observer organizations are invited to submit an Expression of Interest for a pavilion or office through the official website by 15 June 2023. → For detailed information on the options, an Expression of Interest brochure is available for download.

Reuters Report on Climate Change Finance | Wealthy countries have pledged $100 billion a year to help reduce the effects of global warming. However, Reuters found large sums going to projects including a coal plant, a hotel and chocolate shops, as seen in its special report ‘Rich nations say they’re spending billions to fight climate change. Some money is going to strange places‘.

2nd Session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly | The Assembly, which took place in Kenya last week, welcomed the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan that recognizes the role of cities in addressing and responding to climate change, and highlights the urgent need for cooperative action in this regard, within the mandate of UN-Habitat. → Read the outcomes in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin

Arctic Ocean to Become Sea Ice-free for the First Time | By scaling models’ sea ice response to greenhouse gases to best match the observed trend in an approach validated in an imperfect model test, a new study project an ice-free Arctic in September under all the IPCC scenarios considered. The study ‘Observationally-constrained projections of an ice-free Arctic even under a low emission scenario‘ by Yeon-Hee Kim, Seung-Ki Min, Nathan P. Gillett, Dirk Notz & Elizaveta Malinina was published in Nature last week.

Swiss Vote on Climate | Swiss citizens will cast their votes in a referendum against the new climate law — Federal Act on Climate Protection Targets, Innovation and Strengthening Energy Security — which was adopted by the Parliament in autumn last year as a counter-proposal to the Glacier Initiative,  on Sunday 18 June 2023.

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