The Geneva Environment Network’s weekly newsletter includes the latest information on the global environmental agenda, main events, job vacancies, learning opportunities, as well as other useful resources and updates. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, 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‘.
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.
What (Else) to Read Next?
- Investing in Nature-based Solutions: State-of-play and way forward for public and private financial measures in Europe | European Investment Bank (EIB) | 8 June 2023
Nature-based solutions: EIB report finds scope for regulatory and subsidy reforms as well as a more flexible spectrum of financial instruments.
- The Role of Courts in Plastic Pollution Governance | Samvel Varvastian | Cambridge University Press | 7 June 2023
From holding private polluters accountable to considering the constitutionality of restrictions on certain plastic products and to ordering regulatory bodies to adopt or implement such measures, courts are playing an increasingly important role in plastic pollution governance.
- Ending fossil-based growth: Confronting the political economy of petrochemical plastics | Joachim Peter Tilsted, Fredric Bauer, Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Jakob Skovgaard and Johan Rootzén | One Earth | 5 June 2023
The expanding petrochemical industry depends on fossil fuels both as feedstock and a source of energy and is at the heart of the intertwined global crises relating to plastics, climate, and toxic emissions. Addressing these crises requires uprooting the deep-seated lock-ins that sustain petrochemical plastics.
- Removing antimicrobial resistance from the WHO’s ‘pandemic treaty’ will leave humanity extremely vulnerable to future pandemics | The Conversation | 4 June 2023
In late May, the latest version of the draft Pandemic Instrument, also referred to as the “pandemic treaty,” was shared with Member States at the World Health Assembly. It quickly became apparent that all mentions of addressing antimicrobial resistance in the Pandemic Instrument were at risk of removal.
- Ukraine: Dam destruction ‘monumental humanitarian, economic and ecological catastrophe’: Guterres | UN News | 6 June 2023
Tens of thousands of civilians in Ukraine are in danger on the frontline, after the apparent destruction of a huge dam on Tuesday, which the UN chief described as a “monumental humanitarian, economic and environmental catastrophe” resulting directly from Russia’s invasion of the country.
- Wildfire Smoke. Millions in North America Face Hazardous Air Quality, Driven by Fires in Canada | The New York Times | 7 June 2023
Millions of people across North America on Wednesday faced another day of hazy skies and serious air pollution caused by smoke that had drifted down from Canadian wildfires a day earlier. Hundreds of wildfires have been burning in eastern Canada for weeks.
- Seaweed Farming: Assessment on the Potential of Sustainable Upscaling for Climate, Communities and the Planet | UNEP | 7 June 2023
UNEP conducted an in-depth literature review and situational analysis scientifically assessing the potential for the sustainable expansion of seaweed farming to deliver climate benefits with minimal environmental and social risks.
05 – 16 Jun 2023
ILO & Palais des Nations
12 – 16 Jun 2023
WTO & Online | YouTube
12 – 13 Jun 2023
12 – 13 Jun 2023
Club Suisse de la Presse & Online | Zoom
The Infrastructure Sustainability Learning Model: Building Capacity for the Next Generation of Sustainable Infrastructure
12 Jun 2023 13:00 – 14:30
International Environment House II (Chemin de Balexert 7-9, Châtelaine) & Online
UNEP Resources and Markets Branch, GEN, GIZ, Nicholas Institute
12 Jun 2023 14:30 – 16:30
Maison de la Paix (Auditorium A2)
SDG Lab, IHEID
13 – 16 Jun 2023
Palais des Nations | Room IX
13 – 15 Jun 2023
Palais des Nations | Room VIII
13 – 14 Jun 2023
13 Jun 2023 10:30 – 12:00
Colloque MPR – Changements climatiques et environnementaux : comment prendre soins de nos patient.e.s en protégeant la planète
14 Jun 2023 08:15 – 11:15
HUG | Auditoire Julliard
15 – 16 Jun 2023
WMO Headquarter & Online
15 – 16 Jun 2023
15 Jun 2023 12:00 – 13:00
Maison de la Paix (Geneva Centre for Security Policy) & Online | Zoom
International Gender Champions
Les Jeudis de l’environnement | Stratégie d’arborisation de l’aire urbaine, comment augmenter le taux de canopée dans les projets
15 Jun 2023 12:00
Republic and State of Geneva
15 Jun 2023 13:00 – 14:30
International Environment House II & Online
UNEP Chemicals and Health Branch, GEN
15 Jun 2023 14:30 – 16:30
Auditorium de l’UOG
15 Jun 2023 18:30
Financing Nature and Climate Goals | Understanding Biodiversity Credit Markets & the Nature-Finance Alignment Tool
16 Jun 2023 09:00 – 18:15
Online | Teams
16 Jun 2023 09:30 – 13:30
Budé Farm (Chem. Moïse-Duboule 2)
2050Today, Maison de l'alimentation du territoire - MA-Terre
16 Jun – 21 Sep 2023
17 Jul 2023
13 Jun 2023
13 Jun 2023
City of Geneva
14 Jun 2023
14 Jun 2023
UNEP Resources and Markets Branch
15 Jun 2023
15 Jun 2023
15 Jun 2023
15 Jun 2023
31 Jan 2024
20 Feb 2024