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UN announces greenhouse gas footprint in first step to cutting emissions

A new report will be launched on 15 December in Copenhagen, at a side-event taking place from 20h00-21h30 in the Dan Turell Room, Hall H, Bella Centre.

Those scheduled to attend are Achim Steiner, UN Environment Programme Executive Director and Chair of the Environment Management Group, Edouard Dayan, Director General, Universal Post Union, Olav Kjorven, Assistant Administrator of UNDP, Michael Adlerstein, Executive Director, UN Capital Master Plan, Svend Olling, Head of Denmark's COP15 Logistics and Stephan Herbst of Toyota.

Copenhagen, 15 December 2009 – After one of the most wide-ranging and painstaking exercises ever undertaken across the United Nations system, the organization today announced its greenhouse gas footprint as part of a first step to manage these emissions down.

The work, coordinated by the UN's Environmental Management Group (EMG), has covered emissions arising from the various UN agencies and its headquarters as well as field operations and peacekeeping missions in Africa and beyond.

The report, compiled in response to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's determination to make the UN system a climate-friendly body, indicates that the biggest international body is emitting the equivalent of 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, of which approximately 1 million tonnes comes from peacekeeping operations.

The total figure represents an emissions profile equal to 3.3 per cent of that produced by New York City—the UN's host metropolis.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme and Chair of the EMG, said: "It is incumbent on every country and every organization including the UN to first measure, and then to measure down, its environmental impact".

"The UN, under the leadership of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is determined to be part of the solution. This first ever inventory is just a stepping stone towards supporting the kind of goals that scientists deem necessary to combat climate change while realizing a low carbon UN as part of a transition to a 21st century resource efficient international body," he added.

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Further Resources

E-book: Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN

Full report in pdf

Environmental Management Group

UNEP climate change website


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