The Geneva Environment Network weekly newsletter includes updates on global environmental agenda, main events, job vacancies expiring soon, learning opportunities, as well as other useful news and updates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some live events organized by organizations around the world, contributing to the global environmental agenda, have also been included. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Environment @ HRC45

The 45th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC45) is taking place from 14 September to 2 October 2020 in Geneva. This week, the High Commissioner will present an oral update on the human rights impact of COVID-19, and the Council will discuss a range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and issues through dedicated debates with Special Procedure mandate holders, including:

Consult our Update “Environment at HRC45” to find out more on reports, resolutions, new appointments, and other news on environmental-related topics, as well as who to follow at this session. #HRC45

The Right to a Healthy Environment

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the devastating effects that environmental degradation can have and the urgent need for the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. As claimed around the world, the post-COVID recovery must be a green recovery, with the human right to a healthy natural environment, already widely acknowledged at the national and regional levels (in 156 out of 193 of the UN Member States), at its core. An appeal to the Human Rights Council to recognize without delay the right of all to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment was shared with all member states ahead of HRC45. This appeal, entitled “The Time Is Now“, was signed by more than 850 organizations from civil society, social, environmental, youth, gender equality and human rights movements, trade unions, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, from more than 100 countries. You can access the Global Call and sign up here.

Launch of Minamata Online

Starting this week and up to December, the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury will hold a new series of free online sessions – Minamata Online – to provide an opportunity for government officials, scientists, NGOs, and other stakeholders to better understand the Minamata Convention’s provisions, as well as policy and scientific aspects. The two first sessions are taking place this week. #MinamataOline

Ending Harmful Fisheries Subsidies

This week, the WTO negotiations to tackle harmful Fisheries Subsidies will resume. Last June, the Chair of WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, released a draft consolidated text to guide the final phase of negotiations. #FisheriesSubsidies #SDG14

Ozone for Life

This year on World Ozone Day, held on 16 September, we celebrate the achievements of 35 years of global ozone layer protection, since the adoption of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. The phaseout of controlled uses of ozone depleting substances and the related reductions have helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations, and have also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change; furthermore, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the Earth. Enroll in the InforMEA Introductory Course to the International Legal Framework on Ozone Depletion.

In this year of the coronavirus pandemic that has brought such social and economic hardship, the ozone treaties’ message of working together in harmony and for the collective good is more important than ever. The slogan of the day, ‘Ozone for life’, reminds us that not only is ozone crucial for life on Earth, but that we must continue to protect the ozone layer for future generations. #OzoneDay #OzoneforLife

COVID-19 and the Environment

Our Update on COVID-19 and the environment lists relevant information, research, data and press releases on the environmental origins and impacts of the pandemic.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • United in Science 2020 | WMO, GCP, UNESCO-IOC, IPCC, UNEP, Met Office | 11 September 2020
    The United in Science 2020 report, the second in an annual series, presents the very latest scientific data and findings related to climate change to inform global policy and action. Climate change has not stopped for COVID19. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are at record levels and continue to increase. Emissions are heading in the direction of pre-pandemic levels following a temporary decline caused by the lockdown and economic slowdown.
  • WWF Living Planet Report 2020 | WWF | 10 September 2020
    The Report reveals two-thirds decline in wildlife populations on average since 1970. Causes include same environmental destruction – such as deforestation, unsustainable agriculture and the illegal wildlife trade – which contributes to virus outbreaks like COVID-19. WWF is calling for urgent action to set nature on a path to recovery 2030 by ending the destruction of natural habitats and reforming our food system.
  • 16th Meeting of the Chemical Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade | Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) | Volume 15 Number 273 | 14 September 2020
    The Committee finalized its work on two industrial chemicals: decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds. The CRC agreed to recommend that the Conference of the Parties (COP) list both industrial chemicals in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention. If the COP agrees to this recommendation, the substances will be subjected to the PIC Procedure, which would notify importers prior to trade in these substances.
  • CERN 1st Environment Report | CERN | 9 September 2o2o
    The report covers the years 2017 and 2018 and details the current status of CERN’s environmental footprint, along with objectives for the coming years. CERN aspires to be a model for environmentally responsible research.
  • Oil industry betting future on shaky plastics as world battles waste | Carbon Tracker | 4 September 2020
    The Future’s Not in Plastics finds that mounting pressure to curtail the use of plastics – now a worldwide public concern – could slash virgin plastic demand growth from 4% a year to under 1%, with demand peaking in 2027. The implication for big oil is that the industry will lose its primary growth driver, making it more likely oil demand peaked as early as 2019.
  • Briefing on Key Environmental Emergencies | Geneva Environment Network with UNEP & UNEP/OCHA JEU | 8 September 2020
    This event offered the latest environmental analysis and assessment of three emergencies currently faced by the international community and UNEP’s response: Environmental challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Environmental risks of the Beirut explosion, Oil spill in Mauritius from MV WAKASHIO.
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20 Feb 2024

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