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PAGE China News for the Green Jobs Working Group September 2021

The latest news from PAGE China, covering; events, learning and sharing opportunities, what we're reading, and UN news.


Xi calls for openness, cooperation in science & technology
2021-09-25 Source: People’s Daily

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on all countries to strengthen openness and cooperation in science and technology. Xi made the remarks while delivering a speech via video at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Zhongguancun Forum (ZGC Forum), which is scheduled from Sept. 24 to 28 in Beijing.

With a theme of "intelligence, health and carbon neutrality," the forum this year is jointly organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the China Association for Science and Technology, and the Beijing municipal government.

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Xi calls for bolstering confidence, jointly addressing global challenges at UNGA
2021-09-22 Source: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed a Global Development Initiative, calling for bolstering confidence and jointly addressing global threats and challenges to build a better world for all. Xi made the remarks at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) via video, as the world faces the combined impacts of changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Xi Focus: China accelerates green shift in energy industry
2021-09-15 Source: Xinhua

Large metal pipes and clusters of towering reaction tanks occupy an under-construction industrial plant in the city of Yulin, a major coal base in northwest China's Shaanxi Province. It is here that coal, a pollution-intensive raw material, is turned into polyglycolic acid (PGA), a degradable material that can be used to make a variety of products such as disposable tableware, toothbrush, or even surgical suture.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed efforts to develop the country's energy industry while visiting Yulin, noting that such development should follow a green and low-carbon path. Such efforts would be conducive to peaking carbon dioxide emissions and achieving carbon neutrality without straining resources, energy and environmental capacity, he said.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of energy. According to the country's outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and the long-range objectives through the year 2035, China will promote the clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient use of energy, accelerate the development of new energy and environmental protection industries, and promote the overall green shift of economic and social development.

According to a white paper on China's energy development published last year, the country has taken measures to promote green energy production and consumption, optimize the structure of energy production and consumption, accelerate the proportion of clean energy and non-fossil energy consumption, and significantly reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions and pollutant emission levels.

In 2019, coal consumption accounted for 57.7 percent of total energy consumption, down 10.8 percentage points from 2012, while clean energy like natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power, and wind power accounted for 23.4 percent of the total consumption, up 8.9 percentage points over 2012, the paper showed.

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Chinese premier urges global collaboration for green transition
2021-09-07 Source: Xinhua

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called on all countries to work together to overcome difficulties, and strive to achieve development and green transition at the same time.

Li made the remarks while addressing the opening ceremony of the Taiyuan Energy Low Carbon Development Forum 2021 via video link. Noting that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the high-quality development of its energy sector and tackling climate change, Li said the country has seen an improving environment over the past few years amid efforts to fight pollution, optimize energy and industrial structure and cut emissions.

In his keynote speech, Li made a three-point proposal. All countries should uphold a scientific spirit and take a pragmatic attitude in utilizing clean energy and pushing low-carbon transformation, Li said. Efforts should be made to continue to advance global climate governance in light of the respective historical responsibilities and national conditions of different countries. He also called on all countries to strengthen policy coordination and carry out structural reforms, while working together to achieve the balanced, green and sustainable recovery of the world economy.

China will uphold the new energy-security strategy and push reforms in energy consumption, supply, technology and mechanism, Li said, adding that the country will strengthen international cooperation on all fronts to advance the energy transition. While implementing cross-cyclical macro policy adjustment, the country will speed up industrial upgrading, curbing high energy-consuming and high-emission industries, while developing energy-conserving and environmentally friendly ones, Li said.

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China, EU hold environment, climate dialogue
2021-09-27 Source: Xinhua

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission for the European Green Deal, held the second High-level Environment and Climate Dialogue between China and the European Union via video link on Monday, with both sides agreeing to deepen green cooperation.

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China vows to promote all-round green transformation in development: vice premier
2021-09-10 Source: Xinhua

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng has stressed solid efforts to enhance the synergy of reducing pollution and cutting carbon emissions, and promote all-round green transformation in economic and social development. Han made the remarks in Beijing when addressing the 2021 annual meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, of which he is chairperson.

Noting that China has entered a crucial period for improving the ecology, Han said the country will implement the new development paradigm, promote green development and lifestyles, and continuously improve its ecology. Focusing on reducing pollution and cutting carbon emissions, China will take several measures to enhance green development, said Han. Efforts will be made to solve salient environmental problems affecting people, and significant areas and links of pollution prevention and control will garner close attention.

To improve the ecosystem's quality and stability, the country will accelerate the building of a nature reserve system with national parks as the main body. It will also launch large-scale land-greening campaigns and implement substantial biodiversity conservation projects, Han said. In terms of institutional innovation, China will fully adopt the pollution discharge permit system and strictly implement a compensation system for damage to the ecosystem while fine-tuning financial, fiscal and taxation policies related to low-carbon development.

Han also noted China's pledge to contributing to global sustainable development, urging efforts to facilitate the effective and continuous implementation of the Paris Agreement. He further emphasized the smooth organization of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

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China unveils 5-year plan for agricultural green development
2021-09-08 Source: Xinhua

The Chinese government unveiled a plan for the green development of the country's agricultural sector over the next five years. The plan, jointly issued by six departments including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, identified resource protection, pollution control, restoration of agricultural ecology and the development of a low-carbon agricultural industrial chain as the key tasks for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). The plan set quantitative objectives for the agriculture sector to be achieved by 2025, which include attaining an overall pass rate of over 98 percent in routine quality and safety tests of agricultural products.

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EU adopts 250 bln euro Green Bond framework
2021-09-07 Source: Xinhua

The European Commission on Tuesday announced the adoption of its new Green Bond framework, taking a step towards issuing 250 billion euros (about 298 billion U.S. dollars) in green bonds, equivalent to 30 percent of the bloc's package for recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The framework provides investors with assurance that the mobilized funds will go to green projects and that the European Commission will report on its environmental impact.

Now that the framework has been adopted, the European Commission will proceed with the first issue of green bonds in October at market conditions, the Commissioner for the EU budget Johannes Hahn explained at a press conference on Tuesday. Hahn said that it was the European Union (EU)'s intention to issue up to 250 billion euros in green bonds by the end of 2026, making the 27-nation bloc the world's largest issuer of green bonds and an expression of its commitment to sustainability by placing sustainable finance at the forefront of the EU recovery effort.

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China to launch pilot scheme for green power trading
2021-09-07 Source: Xinhua

China will roll out a pilot scheme for green power trading in order to guide the society to actively consume green power and accelerate its low-carbon transition, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said. Under the pilot scheme, users who have demands for green power will directly trade with wind power and photovoltaic power generation enterprises, said the NDRC. Other renewable energy generation enterprises will be included in the scheme step by step, it added.

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Financing a green future, China in action
2021-09-07 Source: Xinhua

With climate change posing risks to all, green finance is looming large on the agenda of policymakers and regulators worldwide as huge investments are required to fuel the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

In China, where the government aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, it is estimated that tens of trillions of dollars are needed to fulfill this climate objective, but government funds alone will only cover a fraction of the demand. Where do such massive investments come from? What roles can policymakers and regulators play in pushing the transition? A look into China's green finance efforts, which helped build the country into the world's largest green loan and second-largest green bond market, may shed some light.

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China grants certificate to its first batch of ‘carbon-neutral’ petroleum
2021-09-25 Source: People’s Daily

Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange (SEEE) issued China’s first petroleum carbon neutrality certificate to China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (COSCO SHIPPING Group), and China Eastern Airlines at a ceremony jointly held by the three conglomerates in Shanghai on Sept. 22. The day also marked the first anniversary of China’s announcement of carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals at the United Nations General Assembly.

This year, Sinopec Group plans to make carbon-neutral gasoline and diesel available to the public in certain gas stations and cooperate with China Eastern Airlines to launch carbon-neutral flights.

The cooperation among the three conglomerates in achieving carbon neutrality for petroleum products, the first of its kind among China’s petroleum, shipping, and aviation industries for offsetting carbon emissions, has a demonstration effect and represents an active action for promoting carbon neutrality in the world.

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Mega green projects give China lead in clean power generation
2021-09-23 Source: People’s Daily

China's power generation reported double-digit growth in the first seven months, making the nation the world's largest in clean power generation.

With a batch of mega new energy projects put into operation this year, the government vowed to accelerate the pace of coal reduction and strictly control coal power projects while accelerating the development of non-fossil fuel energy power generation such as wind and solar power.

The China Renewable Energy Development Report 2020 released by the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute said renewable power generation capacity in China is expected to continue climbing in the next decade, with installed renewable energy, including wind, solar and hydropower, to account for more than half of the country's total generation capacity by 2025.

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China issues guideline on deepening reform of eco-compensation mechanism
2021-09-13 Source: People’s Daily

China has released a guideline on deepening the reform of the country's ecological compensation mechanism to speed up the building of ecological civilization. The guideline, jointly released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, details measures for the country to realize long-term ecological compensation goals set for 2025 and 2035.

By 2025, an ecological compensation mechanism that is aligned with economic and social development should be basically built up. The classified compensation system targeting ecological elements such as rivers, natural forests and wetlands, and the comprehensive compensation system that features fiscal support will be improved. In the meantime, a market-oriented and diversified compensation pattern will be formed with the whole society more actively participating in ecological protection.

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China needs to improve carbon pricing mechanism: report
2021-09-10 Source: People’s Daily

China should step up efforts to improve its carbon pricing mechanism, a recent report said. Carbon pricing is a vital policy tool for achieving the country's carbon-neutrality goal, said the report by the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. It cited China's latest progress in building a national carbon market. The report, however, pinpointed problems in the current carbon pricing mechanism, including its weak connection with the overall climate targets, ill-defined property rights of carbon assets, and market entities' lack of vitality.

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Chinese, U.S. envoys hold talks on climate change
2021-09-04 Source: People’s Daily

China Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua held talks upon invitation with visiting U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry in Tianjin. The two sides conducted candid, in-depth and pragmatic dialogues and had a full exchange of views on key issues, including the seriousness and urgency of global climate change, plans for bilateral talks and cooperation on climate change, and the upcoming United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Britain.

The two sides shared the policies and actions on climate change adopted by their respective countries. Recognizing the significance of the China-U.S. climate talks on the multilateral efforts to address climate change, the two sides discussed the next moves to put the bilateral talks on a more institutional, concrete and pragmatic footing, and to nail down certain cooperation plans and projects in the green and low-carbon sector by establishing relevant mechanisms.

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Chinese youth launch projects tackling climate change with innovation
2021-09-01 Source: People’s Daily

A group of Chinese youth has actively participated in a competition on designing innovative solutions for climate change issues, with eight winning projects setting sail for incubation. Some 65 participants from 29 teams were selected to take part in the 4th annual national dialogue co-hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the China Soong Ching Ling Science and Culture Center for Young People and Citi China.

With the theme of climate action this year, the dialogue, held online from Aug. 23 to 27, released the list of winners, which includes GCMD, a project dedicated to the realization of automated and intelligent classification of domestic waste and Carbonbase, a solution provider for carbon measurement and carbon neutrality.

The winners were awarded a total of 300,000 yuan (about 46,400 U.S. dollars) innovation grants supported by OPPO and three months of online incubation of their projects. They will also have the opportunities to represent China and showcase their projects along with youth from 24 other countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Coal prices unlikely to continue going up
2021-09-29 Source: China Daily

Coal prices in China are unlikely to continue surging in the near future, as major Chinese coal producers are trying to resolve supply shortages and curb price increases, said a national-level coal trading platform. As the nation's energy mix continues being upgraded toward a green structure, and power generation using new energy such as wind and solar power increases, coal prices are unlikely to continue rising, it said.

Ongoing controls on the use of electricity in some regions of China, driven by greater-than-expected electricity demand due to economic recovery, are also set to ease, as government efforts to contain the rising cost of coal and improve coal supplies for power plants are expected to improve the supply-and-demand situation.

State Grid Corp of China said on Monday that it would try its utmost to safeguard the bottom line of people's livelihoods, development and safety. It vowed to optimize grid operation and effectively allocate resources, taking advantage of the company's grid network, while fully tapping power transmission across provinces. Many Chinese coal producers are also working on resolving supply shortages as the country's winter consumption peak approaches, to ensure that coal is delivered to regions that will need it most.

In the first eight months of this year, China produced 2.6 billion tons of raw coal, up 4.4 percent year-on-year. China's coal imports surged 35.8 percent year-on-year to 28.05 million tons in August, National Bureau of Statistics data shows.

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Measures aim to limit plastic waste pollution
2021-09-16 Source: China Daily

Biodegradable material, larger recycling factories seen as solution

China plans to effectively rein in the trend of polluting plastic products ending up in nature by 2025, according to an action plan made public on Wednesday. Aside from sharply cutting the use of disposable plastic products and enhancing recycling, the country will strive to stop plastic waste from ending up in landfills, said the document, which was issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

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Climate envoy links tech to carbon goals
2021-09-13 Source: China Daily

Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate change affairs, has called for intensified efforts to tap the potential of digital, intelligent technologies in helping fulfill the country's ambitious climate targets.

Data from the World Economic Forum shows that the combination of 5G, the internet of things and artificial intelligence could help reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by about 15 percent, Xie told the First China Digital Carbon Neutrality Summit via video link.

With low energy efficiency and weak science and technology capability, however, the country's industrial structure remains dominated by heavy industries and its energy mix still relies on coal. This makes digital technology indispensable for the country as it strives to go carbon neutral, he said.

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Smart coal mines dot China's energy industry
2021-09-07 Source: China Daily

With just one click on the computer, underground coal shearers, conveyors, and equipment alike are immediately plugged in, and their real-time images and data flicker across the screen, pumping the hidden "black gold" up to the planet's surface. It is a scene at smart coal mines in North China's coal-rich Shanxi province, which is now experiencing a green energy revolution.

The Tashan coal mine under the Jinneng Holding Group now has a 5G network to empower its intelligent patrol robots and real-time mobile video calls, both overground and underground. The number of such smart coal mines has grown to 16 in Shanxi. The province is seeking a greener future with a firm promise to upgrade its energy production and supply chains as well as the relevant consumption system.

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China sees transportation get greener, smarter
2021-09-03 Source: China Daily

China has seen greener and smarter transport grow in recent years, empowered by technology and supportive policies raising public awareness, exhibitors said at the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing.

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Big investment on the horizon for green construction
2021-09-03 Source: China Daily

China will invest 2.3 billion yuan ($356 million) to support construction of energy-efficient and low-carbon projects under the central budget investment plan, the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic regulator, said recently.

Projects that will receive government support include those related to low-carbon renovation of key industries, optimization of energy use in industrial parks, demonstration areas of carbon reduction technology, low-carbon transition for urban and rural areas, renewable energy and desalination, as well as others that help with China's goals to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

The move will prioritize projects in key areas including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, or Jingjinji, the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Yellow River Basin, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and national pilot zones for ecological conservation.

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Standard carbon emission accounting system is goal for working group
2021-08-31 Source: China Daily

China has set up a carbon emission statistical accounting working group, marking the latest step in the country's efforts to realize the national carbon goals. The group's purpose is to accelerate the establishment of a unified and standardized carbon emission statistical accounting system, and coordinate carbon emission statistical and accounting work across regions and industries, the country's top economic regulator said. According to the National Development and Reform Commission, the group will be jointly led by the NDRC and the National Bureau of Statistics. Other backers include the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Finance and other departments and associations.

China is set to make a greater contribution to the global response to climate change, and it is set to take solid steps to reduce carbon emissions. The NDRC told a recent news conference in Beijing that it will work with all parties concerned to speed up the formulation and revision of energy-saving and low-carbon standards covering areas like energy efficiency and energy consumption limits. And it is actively working out the action plan to reach the peak of carbon emissions in fields that include power, steel, nonferrous metals, petrochemicals, building materials, construction and transportation. More efforts will also be made to accelerate the push to build a"1+N" policy system for carbon peak and carbon neutrality, in which "1" is the guiding opinion and "N" the detailed scheme of various industries, the commission added.

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From the Asia-Pacific Region:


Thailand BOI Approves Measures to support Carbon Reduction
2021-09-06 Source: Bangkok Post

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) at a meeting today approved incentives to encourage companies to reduce greenhouse gas emission as well as an enhanced scheme for electric vehicles and measures to mitigate Covid-19 impacts and support local vaccine development, Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI, announced today.

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Applying A Bio-Circular-Green Economy in response to global challenges

2021-09-02 Source: Bangkok Post

The Thai government has announced the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy concept as part of the national agenda for the country’s development. It is hoped that the BCG model will steer the country’s economic recovery through the period of heightened uncertainty in the global economy by increasing investment in science and technology and activities that will create sustainable development and addressing global environmental concerns.

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Carbon pricing: Key driver of green economy
2021-09-16 Source: Bangkok Post

Thai corporations are pushing forward carbon pricing as a cost-effective mechanism to facilitate lower carbon emissions to raise their environment, social and governance (ESG) performance and fulfil the country’s commitment under the Paris Agreement of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by one-fifth from the business-as-usual level within a decade.

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Indonesia clings to coal despite green vision for economy
2021-09-20 Source: Reuters

Even as Indonesia wins cautious praise from some green groups for ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions, one of them by declaring the Net Zero Emission target from 2070 to 2060 or sooner, planning to stop commissioning new coal-fired power plants, and phase out coal for electricity by 2056 under a new, greener long-term economic vision, They are still exploring ways to keep consuming and extracting value from coal by using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, amidst environmentalists’ warn that CCS is unproven and expensive.

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South-East Asia's 'biggest' wind farm to break ground in Indonesia
2021-09-14 Source: The Stars

Wind farm developer UPC Renewables announced on Friday (Sept 10) that construction would soon begin on a 150-megawatt wind farm in Sukabumi, West Java. It added that the project, which could mark a milestone in the use of wind power in Indonesia, was targeted for completion in 2024. The development of the Sukabumi wind farm is intended to contribute wind-generated electricity to the Java-Bali grid and help the government reach its goal of 23 per cent renewables in the national energy mix by 2025, as per the National Energy Policy.

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Indonesia parliament commission, government agree on major tax changes
2021-09-30 Source: Nasdaq

Indonesian Finance Ministry said that Indonesian parliament's finance commission and the government have reached an agreement on major tax changes under a bill that plans to raise the rate of VAT and bring in a carbon tax. She argued that this agreement, reached late on September, is an important structural reform to support a recovery in Southeast Asia's largest economy from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will introduce changes in rules for value added tax, income tax and excise, as well as introduce a carbon tax, the ministry said in a statement. According to the bill draft received by Reuters, the commission and the government agreed on a different tax rate for the newly introduced levy on carbon emission. The government had initially proposed 75 rupiah per kg of CO2 equivalent on goods and activities that emit greenhouse gas. In the latest bill, the tax will be set according to carbon market pricing or higher, with a floor rate of 30 rupiah per kg. The government will start collecting the carbon tax in April 2022, with coal power plants the first to be included at the floor rate.

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ETP, the World Bank and GIZ to Collaborate on a Just Transition Global Platform
2021-09-30 Source: ETP

The Energy Transition Partnership (ETP) is developing, in partnership with the World Bank and GIZ, a Global Platform for Energy Transition to be implemented in Southeast Asia. This Global Platform will enable coordination among the stakeholders standing to be affected by the energy transition in the Region and the development partners. It will provide support to the learning among the stakeholders of the lessons from other coal regions and development of capacity to engage in the transition issues and participate in designing support for those affected by the transition.

The Global Platform will seek to bring various development partners to work collaboratively on the energy just transition, particularly with the World Bank and BMU IKI-Just Energy Transition proposal and others to ensure systematic and structured approaches for Just Transition.

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Guterres calls for accelerated action on jobs, poverty eradication
2021-09-28 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Almost two years into the COVID-19 crisis, a huge divergence in the recovery is undermining global trust and solidarity, according to a new policy brief on jobs and poverty eradication, outlined by UN chief, António Guterres on Tuesday.

The Secretary-General warned that the pandemic has not only confirmed but deepened existing inequalities. Investment in jobs, social protection and a just transition to a net-zero emissions future, particularly in low and middle-income countries, could prevent a further deepening of the inequalities. “Global solidarity so far has been completely inadequate,” Mr Guterres said. “A renewed social contract…should be central to the recovery”.

Mr. Guterres announced the creation of a new Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for a Just Transition, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO). The aim of the Accelerator is to create at least 400 million jobs by 2030, primarily in the green and care economies, and extend social protection floors by 2025 to 50 percent of people currently not covered, he said.

The UN Secretary-General presented his brief at the, that gathered, virtually, world leaders, heads of major international organizations, finance institutions, civil society, private sector and academia.High-Level Meeting on Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication

Speaking at the event, Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), warned that the differences between developed and developing countries are growing, “the contrary of building back better.” He said that “the world was not prepared for COVID-19”, but now “must be ready to deliver a recovery that benefits all.” For him, this means injecting the necessary finance to support all countries. “The Global Accelerator for Jobs & Social Protection is designed to channel national and international, public and private financial flows to provide social protection floors for the 4 billion people who fall outside any existing coverage and to the creation of decent jobs, above all in the green economy and in the care economy on the scale now urgently needed,” he said.

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LIVE: World leaders pledge to power humanity with clean energy
2021-09-24 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

How can the world come together to radically change the way it produces and uses energy, as part of efforts to hold back climate change and to ultimately give humanity a more secure future on planet earth? That’s the question that over one hundred countries, organizations and businesses are discussing at the United Nations at the High-level Dialogue on Energy, the first meeting of its kind in 40 years.

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UN chief: Window to avert devasting climate impacts ‘rapidly closing’
2021-09-23 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

No region is immune to climate disasters the UN chief told the Security Council on Thursday, warning that “our window of opportunity” to prevent the worst climate impacts is “rapidly closing”. Maintaining that “it is not too late to act”, the top UN official highlighted three “absolute priorities”, beginning with capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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World’s two largest economies commit to climate action – Guterres
2021-09-21 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed important commitments made towards climate action by the world’s two largest economies, as the 76th High Level Debate began in New York.

He hailed United States’ President Jose Biden’s announcement that the US would significantly increase its international climate finance to approximately $11.4 billion a year. “This increased contribution from the United States will bring developed countries closer to meeting their collective commitment to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance”,said the UN chief, in a statement.

Mr. Guterres also welcomes the announcement made by President Xi Jinping that China would end all financing of coal fired power plants abroad and redirect its support to green and low carbon energy. “Accelerating the global phase out of coal is the single most important step to keep the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement within reach”, he underscored.

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Call for ‘decisive action now’ to avoid climate catastrophe
2021-09-20 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Speaking alongside the UK Prime Minister in New York the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called on world leaders for “decisive action now to avert climate catastrophe.”

The Informal Climate Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action took place behind closed doors at UN Headquarters, as thehigh-level week of the General Assembly gets underway. With COP26 just weeks away, the UN chief called on Member States to deliver on three fronts. First, keep the 1.5-degree goal within reach. Second, deliver on the promised $100 billion dollars a year for climate action in developing countries and, third, scale up funding for adaptation to at least 50 per cent of total public climate finance expenditure.

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Paris climate deal could go up in smoke without action: Guterres
2021-09-17 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Unless wealthy nations commit to tackling emissions now, the world is on a “catastrophic pathway” to 2.7 degrees of heating by the end of the century, UN Secretary General António Guterres warned. This is far beyond the one to 1.5 degree Celsius threshold, agreed by the international community as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The UN chief's remarks came after the UN’s climate agency (UNFCCC) published an update on national climate action plans(officially known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) submitted by the 191 countries which signed the Agreement. The document includes updates to the NDCs of 113 countries that represent around 49% of global emissions, including the nations of the European Union and the United States. Those countries overall expect their greenhouse gas emissions to decrease by 12% in 2030 compared to 2010. However, with national plans staying the way they are right now for all 191 countries, average global emissions in 2030 compared to 2010, instead of decreasing, will increase by around 16%.

According to the latestIPCCfindings, that would mean that unless climate action is taken immediately, it may lead to a temperature rise of about 2.7C, by the end of this century. The Secretary General highlighted a particular challenge: energy still obtained from coal. “If all planned coal power plants become operational, we will not only be clearly above 1.5 degrees - we will be well above 2 degrees. The Paris targets would go up in smoke”. Mr. Guterres urged the creation of “coalitions of solidarity” between countries that still depend heavily on coal, and countries that have the financial and technical resources to support transitions to cleaner energy sources.

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Act now to slow climate change and protect the planet, urges UN chief
2021-09-16 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

The ozone layer – a fragile shield of gas that protects the Earth from the harmful rays of the sun – is “on the road to recovery”, the UN chief said in his message for theWorld Ozone Day. Crediting the Montreal Protocol, which “began life as a mechanism to protect and heal the ozone layer”, Secretary-General António Guterres said that over the course of three decades, “it has done its job well”.

The multilateral treaty to phase out ozone-depleting substances has, by healing the hole in the ozone layer, protected human health, economies and ecosystems. “The cooperation we have seen under the Montreal Protocol is exactly what is needed now to take on climate change, an equally existential threat to our societies”, he said.

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‘Tipping point’ for climate action: Time’s running out to avoid catastrophic heating
2021-09-16 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

The temporary reduction in carbon emissions caused by global COVID-19 lockdowns did not slow the relentless advance of climate change. Greenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels, and the planet is on path towards dangerous overheating, a multi-agency climate report warns.

According to the landmarkUnited in Science 2021, there “is no sign of growing back greener”, as carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly accelerating, after a temporary blip in 2020 due to COVID, and nowhere close to the targets set by the Paris Agreement.

“We have reached a tipping point on the need for climate action. The disruption to our climate and our planet is already worse than we thought, and it is moving faster than predicted”, UN Secretary General António Guterres underscored in a video message. “This report shows just how far off course we are”, he added.

According to scientists, the rising global temperatures are already fueling devastating extreme weather events around the world, with escalating impacts on economies and societies. For example, billions of working hours have been lost due to excessive heat. “We now have five times the number of recorded weather disasters than we had in 1970 and they are seven times more costly. Even the most developed countries have become vulnerable”, said the UN chief.

The report echoes some of the data and warnings from experts in the last year: the average global temperature for the past five years was among the highest on record, and there is an increasing likelihood that temperatures will temporarily breach the threshold of 1.5° Celsius above the pre-industrial era, in the next five years.

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Eating wild meat significantly increases zoonotic disease risk: UN report
2021-09-15 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

The domestic consumption of meat from wild animals has significant impacts on most species protected under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals(CMS), says a new report released on Wednesday, including increasing the risk of diseases spreading from animals to humans.

According to the study, 70% of mammal species protected under the CMS are used for wild meat consumption. This has led to drastic declines, and also the extinction of several migratory mammal populations.

The first of its kindreport, found that wild meat is often a major driver for legal and illegal hunting, particularly of ungulates – primarily large mammals with hooves - and primates, and especially during times of conflict or famine and in the course of changing land use.

According to the report, there is strong evidence that zoonotic disease outbreaks are linked to human activities, as is strongly believed by many scientists in the case of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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Most agricultural funding distorts prices, harms environment: UN report
2021-09-14 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Around 87% of the $540 billion in total annual government support given worldwide to agricultural producers includes measures that are price distorting and that can be harmful to nature and health. That is the main finding of a new UN report calling for repurposing these incentives to achieve more of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and realize theUN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.

The report, A multi-billion-dollar opportunity: Repurposing agricultural support to transform food systems, was launched on Tuesday by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The report is being launched ahead of the 2021 Food Systems Summit convened by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, due to take place on 23rd September in New York.

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Human activity the common link between disasters around the world
2021-09-08 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Disasters such as cyclones, floods, and droughts are more connected than we might think, and human activity is the common thread, aUN Report released on Wednesday reveals. The study from the UN University, the academic and research arm of the UN, looks at 10 different disasters that occurred in 2020 and 2021, and finds that, even though they occurred in very different locations and do not initially appear to have much in common, they are, in fact, interconnected.

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Improving air quality ‘key’ to confronting global environmental crises
2021-09-02 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

With environmental events becoming increasingly interconnected, a new global report on air pollution published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on Thursday underscores that improved air quality is “key to tackling the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste”.

“Yet, air quality continues to deteriorate despite the increase in laws and regulations seeking to address air pollution”, UNEP chief Inger Andersen said in the foreword to theGlobal Assessment of Air Pollution Legislation (GAAPL).

Recognizing that there is no silver bullet to address the air pollution crisis, the report emphasizes that robust air quality governance is critical to attaining air quality standards and public health goals that can be achieved through developing legislation for air quality control, that integrates accountability, enforceability, transparency, and public participation.

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Climate and weather related disasters surge five-fold over 50 years, but early warnings save lives - WMO report
2021-09-01 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Climate change and increasingly extreme weather events, have caused a surge in natural disasters over the past 50 years disproportionately impacting poorer countries, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) said on Wednesday.

According to the agencies' Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes, from 1970 to 2019, these natural hazards accounted for 50 per cent of all disasters, 45 per cent of all reported deaths and 74 per cent of all reported economic losses. There were more than 11,000 reported disasters attributed to these hazards globally, with just over two million deaths and $3.64 trillion in losses. More than 91 per cent of the deaths occurred in developing countries.

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ILO and IUCN sign an agreement to harness the interdependence between jobs and nature
2021-09-01 Source: ILO

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to raise awareness on the interdependence between jobs and nature.

The MOU is intended to formalize the already ongoing collaboration between the two organizations to promote and support, among other things, Green Works, the creation of decent jobs through investments in reforestation, soil and water conservation, environmental rehabilitation and climate change adaptation.

The world of work has a critical role to play in shaping human-centred, nature-based solutions that can generate jobs, income, reduce poverty, and restore biodiversity and ecosystems. Both the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work and the Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis underline the environment as one of the key drivers of transformative change in the world of work.

The ILO, the UN agency for the world of work, in partnership with IUCN, the global authority on the status of the natural world and measures to safeguard it, are ideally positioned to lead and support silo-breaking, cross-sectoral and innovative solutions for people and nature. The strengths of both organizations set forth a path towards a just transition to a future of work that contributes to sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions.

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