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. 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.

Due to the developments in the sanitary situation, most institutions in Geneva are operating virtually. 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.

Davos Agenda & the Great Reset

In the context of the pandemic and the post-pandemic recovery, the Davos Agenda 2021 will be dedicated to helping leaders choose innovative and bold solutions to stem the pandemic and drive a robust recovery over the next year. More than 1,200 leaders from business, government and civil society from 60 countries will convene virtually from 25 to 29 January to discuss the overarching theme of “A Crucial Year to Rebuild Trust”. The World Economic Forum has brought environmental concerns into the Davos Agenda, with one of its seven key themes focusing on “How to save the planet“. As humanity is faced with intertwined crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, some of these critical issues will be addressed at dedicated sessions. Watch the sessions online

The Global Risks Report 2021, published last week, gives an overview of the most pressing challenges humanity is facing in the upcoming years. The analysis reveals important short-term risks from societal fractures, linked with risks to human health, rising unemployment, widening digital divides, youth disillusionment, and geopolitical fragmentation. Meanwhile, environmental issues – climate action failure, biodiversity loss, human environmental damages and extreme weather events – remain the top long-term risks.

If environmental considerations—the top long-term risks once again—are not confronted in the short term, environmental degradation will intersect with societal fragmentation to bring about dramatic consequences.

Climate Adaptation Summit

Climate change is speeding up, underscoring the global need for climate adaptation. The online international Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 on 25 and 26 January, hosted by the Netherlands, will convene global leaders and local stakeholders to take ambitious steps for adaptation. It will see the launch of a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda that sets out clear commitments to deliver concrete new endeavors and partnerships to make our world more resilient to the effects of climate change. The programme will address a wide range of adaptation challenges, including disaster risk management, nature-based solutions, finance and investment, water, infrastructure, agriculture and food security. Actors from the International Geneva will be present, including various UN agencies, World Meteorological Organization, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Beat Plastic Pollution

Plastics and Standards

The Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues launched in November 2020 will continue this week with a session dedicated to Plastics and Standards. The dialogues, organized by the Geneva Environment Network secretariat, in collaboration with the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat, the Center for International Environmental Law, the Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute, Norway, and Switzerland, address the plastic crisis and support coordinated approaches that can lead to more efficient decision making.

Standards regarding product design, chemical composition, labels and intellectual property already shape the plastics economy. Looking ahead, efforts to reduce plastic pollution frequently refer to the need for thougher standards. At the same time, there are important concerns about the transparency of processes through which standards are developed and the challenges that many businesses, especially  in developing countries, face in implementing a proliferating array of standards. Experts at this session will address the role of standards as a policy instrument for supporting efforts to reduce plastic pollution, questions of governance associated to standards, as well as challenges and lessons learned for the future.

The Plastic Problem

Plastic pollution will also be the topic of our next episode of Wednesdays for the Planet. This event offers a screening of the documentary The Plastic Problem from the award-winning broadcast magazine PBS NewsHour, followed by a discussion with experts from the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). David Azoulay from CIEL also spoke about the plastic crisis and the potential of an international agreement on last week’s episode of GO Solutions Durables on the Leman Bleu channel.

Plastics and the Environment

For more resources on the plastics crisis, the update on Plastics and the Environment provides relevant information and the most recent research, data and articles from the various organizations in international Geneva and other institutions around the world. The outcomes of the previous sessions on Plastics and WastePlastics, Climate and Air Pollution, Plastics and Human Rights, Plastics and Health summarize current efforts and recommended action steps for further addressing these issues.

The Green Renaissance Podcast

On Wednesday 27 January, PAGE will be releasing the second episode of their new podcast series: The Green Renaissance. The podcast series is part of PAGE’s effort to promote learning for a green recovery. This week’s episode explores the implementation of a green recovery in practice. The audio teaser is already available online.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

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Event | Body Meeting

ACCELERATE Launch

28 Jan 2021 15:00 – 16:30

Zoom

Geneva 2030 Ecosystem

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Updates

Update

Wednesdays for the Planet

12 Oct 2021