UN Environment Assembly calls for action to address global triple threat — Global Issues
Children at a well in an arid region of Turkana, Kenya. Climate change, the subject of discussion at UNEA-6, is blamed for the drought in the region. Credit: Maina Waruru/IPS
  • by Ruru Maina (nairobi)
  • interpress service

assembly He also reaffirmed his call for “environmental multilateralism” in seeking solutions to the threat, saying time is rapidly running out before threats encircle the planet and make life an even bigger nightmare, especially for the disadvantaged. He pointed out that

This concept is part of the main message and clarion call emphasized by Inger Andersson, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

Also at the top of their demands is a plea for states to continue to implement this principle. paris agreementMany point out that the agreement provides an ambitious roadmap to boldly “curtail the climate crisis” by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Participants at a five-day gathering at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, which concluded on Friday, March 1, 2024, observed with satisfaction that efforts to curb plastic pollution could soon become a reality. However, some participants ministerial declaration A statement issued at the end of the event was not clear about the urgency of action needed to end the plastic crisis, nor was there any mention of a legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution. .

of agreement Negotiations are currently underway and an agreement could be reached when parties meet in Montreal, Canada, in April.

“We will use the best available science and traditional practices of indigenous and local communities to strengthen resilience to current, emerging and future challenges and promote global solidarity. We emphasize the importance of promoting knowledge-based, integrated, science-based approaches.”

“We recall General Assembly resolution 76/300 of 28 July 2022 on the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment,” the five-page ministerial statement reads.

A 21-point document issued at the event’s closing also highlighted the need for effective, comprehensive and sustainable multilateral action to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and said: Reaffirmed all the principles of the Rio Declaration on development, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. ”

The environment ministers of the 182 member countries have agreed that global environmental challenges and crises such as climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, as well as desertification, land and soil degradation, drought and deforestation, pose a challenge to sustainable development. recognized the threat.

The rally broke records 15 resolutions and 2 decisionshave been proposed by various delegations, some of which are praised as being of great importance, while others are considered important and timely.

Most interesting is a resolution by Ukraine calling for “environmental assistance and rehabilitation in areas affected by armed conflict,” which was approved even though it was introduced on Thursday. The country is embroiled in an armed conflict with Russia, and the fighting has exposed it to risks such as nuclear accidents.

Saudi Arabia supports the international We sponsored a project calling for “to strengthen our efforts to

Others include considering the environmental aspects of minerals and metals, calling for circularity in a resilient, low-carbon sugarcane agriculture industry, promoting sustainable lifestyles, and calling for action on the sound management of chemicals and waste. It included resolutions on things like action against highly dangerous pesticides. Led by Ethiopia, Iran called for action on combating sandstorms and sandstorms.

Leila Benali, President of UNEA-6 and Minister of Energy, said: “I am proud of the successful conclusion of this General Assembly. We have advanced our core commitment to human rights.” Morocco’s transition and sustainable development. “As a government, we must foster further partnerships with stakeholders to deliver on these obligations. We will continue to work with civil society to mentor and empower creative young people. We need to continue, and we need to partner with the private sector and philanthropy,” the minister added.

UNEP Director-General Anderson asserted that decisions submitted to the General Assembly are “almost always” accompanied by action, and that UNEP and Member States will initiate action based on the resolutions.

At the same time, Congress was informed that more than a third of the world’s population is drowning in garbage, and that more than 2.7 billion people, mainly in the world’s developing regions, have no access to garbage collection.

Two billion of these people live in rural areas, and 700,000 of them live in urban areas, a new UN report released at the General Assembly finds.

report, Turning waste into resources: Global waste management outlook 2024 (GWMO 2024) estimates that an estimated 540 million tonnes of municipal solid waste, representing 27% of the world’s total waste, is uncollected, and only 36% and 37% of the waste is generated in sub-Saharan Africa. %. We collect data from Central Asia and South Asia.

This was in sharp contrast to the situation in developed and upper middle-income countries, where almost all waste was collected, at impressive rates of 83% in the Caribbean and 99% in North America. The report further reveals that this is against the global average waste collection rate of 75%.

The report predicts that the amount of waste generated will increase from 2.3 billion tons in 2023 to 3.8 billion tons by 2050, worsening the burden of managing it.

“In 2020, the direct costs of global waste management were estimated at USD 252 billion. Taking into account hidden costs such as pollution, poor health and climate change due to poor waste disposal practices. The cost would increase to $361 billion,” the report states.

“Without urgent action on waste management, annual global costs could almost double to a staggering $640.3 billion by 2050,” the report adds. .

So far, no country in the world, including developed countries, has succeeded in “decoupling” development and waste generation, and the first author says that development and waste generation continue to go hand in hand. Zoe Lenkiewicz points out.

“We recommend that the world needs to integrate principles of just transition and circularity to better manage waste. Many countries need domestic expertise in waste management. Please note with concern that there is a need to build,” she said.

At the same time, the world’s production and consumption of material resources has more than tripled over the past 50 years, growing at an average rate of more than 2.3 percent per year, even though the increase is the main cause of the triple planetary crisis.

Resource consumption and utilization is primarily driven by demand in high-income countries, with extraction and processing of material resources such as fossil fuels, minerals, non-metallic minerals, and biomass accounting for more than 55 percent of GHC emissions and 40% of GHC emissions. It accounts for more than %. Rate of health poisoning due to particulate matter in the environment.

Their extraction and processing, including agricultural crops and forest products, accounts for 90 per cent of land-related biodiversity loss and water stress and one-third of GHC, while the extraction and processing of fossil fuels, metals and non-metals Minerals such as sand, gravel and clay account for 35% of global emissions.

Nevertheless, resource exploitation could increase by almost 60% from 2020 levels by 2060, and the amount could reach 100 billion to 160 billion tons, which is The UNEP report states that this is far more than is needed to meet global needs. World Resources Outlook 2024 – Changing trends: A path to a more livable planet as resource use soars It was exhibited at the event.

Meanwhile, UNEA-6 elected a new president to lead UNEA-7, with Abdullah bin Ali Amri, head of the Oman Environment Agency, to succeed Benali.

More than 5,600 people from 190 countries participated in the proceedings, which were held from February 26 to March 1.

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