The Geneva Environment Network’s weekly newsletter includes the latest information on the global environmental agenda, main events, job vacancies, as well as other useful resources and updates. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Image of the week | Geneva Environment Network stand at the Geneva Health Forum 2022 (3-5 May 2022), organized in collaboration with the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the Minamata Convention secretariats. © UNEP/GEN Pablo Arturo López Guijosa

Paving the Way to End Plastic Pollution

As part of the process which will ultimately lead to the adoption of a legally-binding agreement to end plastic pollution, the Ad hoc open-ended working group (OEWG) to prepare for the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to end plastic pollution will meet at the end of this month in Dakar. Registration for the meeting is open until 13 May 2022. Participants may also take note of the draft rules of procedure presented by UNEP on 28 April, elaborated based on the experience of the establishment of the Minamata Convention. The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) provides an insightful comparison table on the two processes.

As part of the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, the Geneva Environment Network and partners will host next week a hybrid briefing in preparation of the the Ad Hoc OEWG meeting, on 19 May at 13.00 CEST. Register to join us in person or online.

Further recent news about plastic pollution:

UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy

Ahead of the next Environment for Europe (EfE) Ministerial Conference, that will take place on 57 October 2022 in Nicosia, Cyprus, this week the special session of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy will discuss preparations for this major environmental milestone for the Pan-European region.

The “Environment for Europe” process was launched in 1991 at Dobris Castle in the then Czechoslovakia. To mark the 30th anniversary of this important process and its achievements, the Czech Republic will organize as special event in Geneva, in September 2022, as part of their Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the support of the Geneva Environment Network. Stay tuned!

Switzerland Overshoot Day

Each year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth can renew during the entire year. In 2021, it landed on 29 July, almost a month before the 2020 date (22 August) due to gradual post-pandemic reprisals. What will be the date this year and how can we push back the date? Join the Global Footprint Network Guess-the-date contest by 22 May.

On Friday 13 May, Switzerland is reaching its overshoot day, meaning that if the world’s population had the same lifestyle as Swiss citizens, the resources of three planets would be necessary to ensure its existence. This calculation reflects the ecological footprint of the country by comparing the population’s demand and the nation’s biocapacity. The day is a reminder of the need to reduce the pressure on the environment and its resources in order to #MoveTheDate. Learn more about sustainable production and consumption how to reduce your own ecological footprint in our resource page.

Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks

The 2022 edition of the Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks (HNPW) continues this week in a hybrid format, with face-to-face sessions at the International Conference Centre, providing a collaborative space for practitioners and experts from a large variety of humanitarian stakeholders. The programme features a number of sessions addressing environmental challenges and opportunities in humanitarian response, including climate mitigation, waste management, Nature-based Solutions, sustainable procurement, and more. On the agenda this week, more than 20 interesting sessions. Visit our dedicated page.

Energy Transition & Phasing Out of Fossil Fuels

To complement the programme of the European Energy Transition Conference to be held in the Geneva region from 31 May to 2 June 2022, the “OFF” programme of this main event starts this week, with numerous workshops, exhibitions, outings, projections, games, shows, concerts, etc. The conference and its associated events come at a crucial moment. Three months after the Climate Conference of Glasgow, the invasion of Ukraine, and the associated crisis and stability that this has led to in global energy markets, has put pressure on many countries to diversify their energy supply and manage the impact of very high energy prices on energy consumers.

Ahead of pivotal Stockholm+50, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings this June, it is important that member states and other stakeholders collectively work to avoid the pressure to subsidize fossil fuels and maintaining momentum on the Fossil Fuels Subsidies Reform and the clean energy transition. This is what will be discussed next week at the Subsidizing Fossil Fuels in Times of High Energy Prices session, co-convened by the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFFSR), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and the Geneva Environment Network. Register to join us in person or online on 16 May at 13.30 CEST.

It is also to be highlighted than less than two weeks ago, the city of Geneva passed a motion in support of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, an international global initiative launched in 2019 that advocates for a complementary mechanism to the Paris Agreement that implements a global phase out of fossil fuels. Geneva is the first Swiss city to publicly show its support for the Treaty, joining other 46 cities and local governments (47 other as of 5 May). Geneva and Switzerland do not produce fossil fuels, but host numerous oil traders, and play an important role with their financial institutions funding the expansion of oil extraction and coal mining in their publicly traded corporate stocks and bond portfolios.

World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day – celebrated on the second Saturday in May and the second Saturday in October – is an annual global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them. This year, the day focuses on light pollution, which is a significant threat to migratory birds. Check the various birdwatching and activities to celebrate the day.

In Geneva, it is estimated that outdoor artificial light has doubled within the past 30 years. Local authorities have recognized the negative impacts of light pollution on biodiversity, leading to the development of more research and new policies over the past years. Find out more about what the Canton of Geneva, as well as the City of Geneva and other municipalities, are doing to address light pollution in our update.

Happening Abroad

Major environmental negotiations happening abroad this week include:

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12 May 2022 18:30

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