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, Instagram and Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Image of the week | Témoins de glace – Our alpine glaciers, sentinels of the climate” Photography Exhibition, at Parc des Bastions, from 9 October to 9 November 2023. This exhibition presents a cross-section of artists’ views on glaciers, witnesses to a planet that is warming at high speed. It is organized as part of the International Glacier Film Festival, which will take place at the Maison des Arts du Grütli, from 1 to 2 December 2023.

Preparations for CITES Standing Committee

In preparation for the Seventy-seventh meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES SC77), which will take place in Geneva, from 6 to 10 November 2023, the Geneva Environment Network will co-host a briefing this week. SC77 will bring together Members of the Committee and other Parties to the Convention as well as observer organizations to review strategic, policy and species-specific matters affecting the implementation of the Convention. This will be the first meeting of the Standing Committee after the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP19), held in Panama in November 2022, and the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in December 2022. → Register and join us in person on Tuesday 17 October from 10 CEST at the International Environment House II.

Procedures for Addressing Conflicts of Interest: Lessons Learned from Existing Science-Policy Interfaces

In the framework of the preparatory events for the second session of the Ad hoc Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG 2) of the Science-Policy Panel to Contribute Further to the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste and to Prevent Pollution, the co-conveners to the Road to OEWG 2 series will host a webinar on Procedures for Addressing Conflicts of Interest: Lessons Learned from Existing Science-Policy Interfaces. This webinar aims to take a deep dive into procedures employed under existing science-policy interfaces to address potential conflicts of interest. By inviting reflections on lessons learned from those with first-hand experience with existing procedures, this event will inform and prepare Member States and other stakeholders for the discussion on this substantive matter at the second session of the ad hoc open-ended working group in December 2023. → Register on Webex and join us online on Wednesday 18 October 2023, from 14:00 to 15:30 CEST.

Tackling Growing Water Cycle Crisis

The World Meteorological Organization launched last week the State of Global Water Resources 2022 report. The report provides an overview of water resources worldwide — highlighting the influence of climate, environmental, and societal changes — and stresses that far too little is known about the true state of the world’s freshwater resources. Considering that most disasters are water-related, a policy shift based on improved monitoring, data-sharing, cross-border collaboration, and assessments of water resources is vital for society to cope with increasing water extremes.

Among the effects of the disrupted water cycle at the heart of many weather extreme events, glaciers and ice cover retreats are increasing at alarming rates. As exemplified by the observations of the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Initiative (Glamos), one-third of this year’s mass loss occurred after 5 September. To sensibilize the public and showcase the beauty of these vanishing natural treasures, the exhibition “Temoins de Glaces | Nos Glaciers Alpins, Sentinelles du Climat” will be on display until 9 November 2023 in Parc des Bastions. → Find out more in our update on Unprecedented Rates of Mountain Glacier Melting and the Role of Geneva.

Tackling the growing global water crisis, this year’s World Food Day — celebrated each year on 16 October — is observed under the theme “Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind“. This year’s celebration highlights how 2.4 billion people live in water-stressed countries, with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling for international solidarity to end the global food crisis. To mark World Food Day 2023, various events will take place in Geneva.

Environmental Outcomes of the Human Right Council

The 54th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC54) concluded its five-week session on 13 October 2023, with various environment-related resolutions adopted by the Council. These include:

→ Overview of key environmental issues at HRC54, side events, summaries, highlights, and further resources are available on our HRC54 and the environment-dedicated webpage.

Cutting Methane from Fossil Fuels to Achieve Global Climate Targets

The “Imperative of Cutting Methane from Fossil Fuels- An assessment of the benefits for the climate and health” report, released last week at the MENA Climate Week 2023 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in partnership with the UNEP and the UNEP-convened Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), provides evidence of the impact of methane emissions cuts to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. While a drop in fossil fuel demand would cut methane emissions, these reductions by themselves would not occur fast enough to meet the world’s climate goals. Additional targeted actions to tackle methane emissions from fossil fuel production and use – such as by eliminating routine venting and flaring and repairing leaks – are essential to limit warming to 1.5 °C and reduce the risk of crossing irreversible climate tipping points. Rapid cuts in methane emissions from fossil fuels could avoid up to 0.1 °C in global temperature rise by 2050 and according to the 2021 Global Methane Assessment, these could prevent nearly 1 million premature deaths due to ozone exposure, 90 million tonnes of crop losses due to ozone and climate changes, and about 85 billion hours of lost labour due to extreme heat by 2050. This would generate roughly USD 260 billion in direct economic benefits through 2050. According to the report, existing technologies could already abate more than three-quarters of methane emissions from oil and gas operations and half of emissions from coal at low cost.

Happening Abroad

What (Else) to Read Next?

→ Summaries and outcomes of the events briefings and other events organized by the Geneva Environment Network are available online

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20 Feb 2024

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