Set up in 1975, three years after the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) began, the Economy Division provides solutions to decision-makers and helps change the business environment by offering platforms for dialogue and cooperation, innovative policy options, pilot projects and creative market mechanisms.
Like UN Environment as a whole, the Economy Division addresses environmental issues at global and regional levels, provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
The Economy Division has four main branches: Economics and Trade; Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry; Energy, Climate and Technology; and Chemicals and Waste. The International Environmental Technology Centre in Osaka, Japan, is also part of the Division.
The Economy Division plays a leading role in three of UN Environment's seven strategic priorities: climate change, chemicals and waste, and resource efficiency. The Division is a leading contributor to the Green Economy Initiative, launched by UN Environment in 2008, as well as to the Finance Initiative, the Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity. UN Environment, through the Economy Division, also hosts the Climate Technology Centre and Network in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and with the support of a consortium of partners.
The Division also hosts the secretariats of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, the International Resource Panel, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Life Cycle Initiative, and the Green Growth Knowledge Platform.
The Economy Division is also home to OzonAction, which since 1991 has been working to implement the Montreal Protocol to protect the earth’s ozone layer.