The European Commission and UNEP Strengthen Cooperation in Renewed Memorandum of Understanding Thu, Jun 26, 2014

Nairobi, [25] June 2014 - UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Achim Steiner and EU Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik signed today a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reinforce the collaboration between the European Commission and UNEP in the field of environment and climate change.

The agreement - signed today on the margins of the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi - lays the basis for strengthened cooperation between UNEP and the European Commission at global and regional levels. It builds upon a previous MoU signed in 2004.

"This is a very important moment for UNEP and for our relations with the European Commission," Mr. Steiner said at the signing. "Our collaboration under the terms of this new Memorandum of Understanding will help consolidate and further develop our longstanding and fruitful cooperation on environment in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. It will strengthen our ability to fulfil our mutual objective of improving the global environment."

"The European Commission has always been a strong supporter of UNEP as the global voice for the environment," said Mr. Potočnik. "I welcome this new agreement, which will enable more targeted cooperation on current and future global priorities for the two partners in areas such as climate change, green economy, biodiversity and the new mercury convention. Over the next seven years, the European Commission plans to contribute to UNEP's work with around EUR 9 million per year for International Environmental Governance, and more for projects in regions and on the ground."

The new MoU reflects the two institutions' shared priorities and responds to the outcome of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, which strengthened the role of UNEP as the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda. It will contribute to a coherent and comprehensive approach to sustainable development and poverty eradication within the Post-2015 Agenda, and strengthen both Parties' capacity to ensure that environmental concerns are better reflected in broader policy-making.    

The specific areas for strategic dialogue and cooperation will be detailed in an Annex to the MoU to be elaborated in the coming months, building on UNEP's Medium Term Strategy for the period 2014-2017, and the EU's General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 (7th EAP).  

Cooperation between the European Commission and UNEP to date covers a wide range of activities, programmes and projects in areas of common concern such as biodiversity, sustainable consumption and production, climate change, water resources, sound chemicals and waste management, environmental monitoring and assessment, strengthening environment governance at the global, regional and national levels. Support has been given to both UNEP directly and to the voluntary budgets of Multilateral Environmental Agreements for which UNEP provides the secretariat.

For more information:



Isabelle Valentiny, Head of Communications, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, tel. +41 22 917 84 04

Alexa Froger, Communication and Outreach, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, Liaison office to the EU Institutions,, tel. +32 2 213 30 59

European Commission

Joe Hennon  European Commission Spokesperson for Environment (+32 2 295 35 93)

Andreja Skerl European Commission Press Officer for Environment (+32 2 295 14 45)

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