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 X (Twitter), Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Image of the week | On 21 November, a Briefing on the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) highlighted how the international Geneva multilateral diplomacy system is engaged in contributing to climate action at COP28. As the world capital for multilateralism, Geneva is at the center of numerous debates and negotiations in the fields of science, health, human rights, development, trade and green finance, employment, peacebuilding and security, disaster risk reduction, humanitarian response, nature conservation, chemicals and pollution, as well as new technologies and innovation. This interdisciplinarity allows International Geneva to have unique cross-disciplinary expertise on climate, as this theme is also on the agenda of numerous deliberations.

Environment @ UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

The environment is high on the agenda of the 12th United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, taking place from 27 to 29 November 2023 at Palais des Nations. Bringing together stakeholders from around the world to discuss topics that relate to issues on business and human rights, this year’s Forum, under the theme “Towards Effective Change in Implementing Obligations, Responsibilities and Remedies”, will reflect on the changes that have occurred in the implementation of existing standards in the protection of human rights, and will include various sessions and events on the realization of the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment:

Transforming Societies through Protecting Human Rights and Environment

“Protecting the planet requires a transformation in our societies—a reimagination of our economies and our relationship with nature.”
Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

As the celebration of 75 years of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights continues, the spotlight month on the environment ends this week with a reminder of the obligation to realize the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, particularly through finance, resource mobilization, and a “transformation” of economies. Ahead of UN Climate Change Conference COP28, the fifth edition of the Environmental Rights Bulletin by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Environment Programme features articles by the High Commissioner, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the head of UNEP Finance Initiative, the Secretariat of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, and more.

Recent publications and articles also point out how we can transform our society by protecting human rights and the environment:

Two Weeks to the Next Science-Policy Panel on the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste and to Prevent Pollution Negotiation Session

In two weeks, the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on the Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution (OEWG 2) will convene for its session in Nairobi, from 11 to 15 December 2023, preceded by informal consultations on 9 and 10 December.

In the run-up to this session, the OEWG Secretariat and the Geneva Environment Network are co-organizing a Briefing on OWEG 2 to provide updates on the preparations. This briefing will also conclude the Road to OEWG 2 | Science-Policy Panel to Contribute Further to the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste and to Prevent Pollution webinar and event series aimed at building bridges between and among stakeholders and promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing in preparation for OEWG 2. → Register on Webex to attend the event on 28 November 2023 from 13:00 CET.

Running since April 2023, previous sessions were organized in the context of important meetings and negotiations on the global environmental agenda. Seeking inputs from other science-policy interfaces and multilateral environmental agreements, sessions of the series delved into topics such as the Development of Operating Principles (26 April 2023); Building the Linkages from Science to Action (2 May 2023); Linking Science and Action Using a Life-Cycle Approach  (6 September 2023); Right to Science (22 September 2023); Options of Engagement and Participation Modalities for Major Groups and Stakeholders to the OEWG (26 September 2023); Building the Linkages from Science to Action (9 October 2023); and Procedures for Addressing Conflicts of Interest: Lessons Learned from Existing Science-Policy Interfaces (18 October 2023). 

COP28 Kicks Off This Week With Strong Inputs from International Geneva

The UN Climate Change Conference will kick off on 30 November, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As highlighted during last week’s briefing on COP28, international Geneva is undoubtedly mobilized in the fight against the triple interconnected planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. By hosting the secretariats of key scientific institutions providing data on climate change, mitigating and adaptation such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and numerous international organizations, permanent missions, non-governmental organizations and institutions that place climate issues at the heart of their work, international Geneva is a global hub and a key catalyzer of climate action. → Learn how Geneva contributes to COP28 in our dedicated update.

Concluding the first Global Stocktake since the signing of the Paris Agreement, expectations for COP28 to redirect climate action towards an ambitious direction are high. Recent reports and news on climate change and COP28 include:

This week, various events in preparation for COP28 and raising awareness on the importance of these negotiations will be taking place in Geneva, including:

  • The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) will host a webinar ‘Dangerous Distractions: Exposing Carbon Markets Ahead of COP28 ‘ to set the stage for COP28 by offering insights into carbon markets, their relevance to both internal and external COP developments, and shedding light on the inherent challenges associated with carbon markets and offsets. → Participate on Zoom on 27 November from 15:00 CET
  • As part of the “Semaine du Climat” concluding on 3 December 2023, the conference “La Géopolitique du Climat avec François Gemenne” will discuss how climate change has become an essential part of international relations and a major diplomatic issue 27 November 2023 from 18:30 to 20:00 CET.
  • The Geneva Press Club and Geneva Solutions are hosting a lunch discussion on expectations for COP28 28 November 2023 from 12:00 CET.
  • UNEP FI will launch its latest publication ‘Principles for Responsible Banking Guidance on Climate Adaptation and Target Setting‘ – an overarching framework and practical solutions for banks to set targets on adaptation to align with their climate and sustainability strategies – during a webinar 28 November 2023 from 13:00 to 14:00 CET.
  • The 7th edition of the International Glaciers Film Festival will take place from 1 to 3 December 2023 at the Maison des Arts du Grütli. Focused on the climate emergency, the manifestation will offer the public an opportunity to rethink its relationship with the world and to reflect on the profound and collective transformations needed to avoid climate catastrophe. → Discover the programme

What (Else) to Read Next?

  • Plastics Pollution Dialogue makes further headway on draft MC13 statement | WTO | 24 November 2023
    At the 23 November meeting of the Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade, WTO members and stakeholders discussed the latest revised draft of a potential statement on plastics pollution to be issued at the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in February 2024. Members also considered a compilation document of trade-related practices already being adopted to tackle plastics pollution.
  • What is fuelling the world’s antimicrobial resistance crisis? | UNEP | 24 November 2023
    AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites evolve over time and develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to combat them. Main drivers of AMR are the misuse of antibiotics; a lack of access to clean water and sanitation; pollution from pharmaceutical companies and farming; mass movement of people and climate change and biodiversity loss. 
  • Antimicrobial resistance: how much time do we have? | Geneva Solutions | 24 November 2023
    AMR, if unchecked, has the potential to become an even greater global threat. It also represents a unique problem that no single player or sector can tackle alone. That’s why it is critical to consider and to use the resources, expertise, and outreach of all actors in the health system in reinforcing the AMR efforts, and thus working towards achieving SDG 3 – ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all.
  • Additional Contributions to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism Inject New Support to the Negotiated Instrument | WTO | 23 & 24 November 2023
    Contributions from the European Union at EUR 1 million (about CHF 957,000) in a multi-year donation and Liechtenstein at CHF 40,000 were given to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism to assist developing members and least-developed members in implementing the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. Ambassador João Aguiar Machado and Ambassador Kurt Jäger, respectively, presented the contribution to WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on 23 and 24 November.
  • Scientists explore hidden dynamics in peat under mosses and shrubs | EPFL | 23 November 2023
    Global warming is causing extensive changes to peatland vegetation in Europe and Western Siberia, with consequences for soil composition and the peatlands’ ability to sequester carbon. An EPFL-led study has examined the mechanisms behind these complex processes.
  • Compliance with wildlife trade rules dominates first CITES Standing Committee meeting following CoP19 | CITES Press Release | 21 November 2023
    Trade in precious timber and sharks and conservation of elephants, big cats, parrots, eels, marine turtles, and totoaba were among the many critical matters reviewed during the 77th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in Geneva from 6-10 November 2023.
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Qu’attendre de la COP28?

28 Nov 2023 12:00

Club Suisse de la Presse & Online | Zoom

Geneva Press Club, Geneva Solutions

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