Environment – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

Protecting migratory species in a rapidly changing world

Many animals – including birds, fish and mammals – migrate along set routes in search of food or breeding grounds. How best to protect them in a rapidly changing world is the focus of a major UN wildlife meeting which opened in Gandhinagar, India, on Monday. 

In Pakistan, Guterres urges world to step up climate action, praises support to Afghan refugees

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday began a three-day visit to Pakistan, recognizing the country’s decades of “outstanding generosity and solidarity” as one of the world’s largest hosts of refugees, and highlighting its commitment to climate action.  

Mobile game aims to bridge gap between citizens and leaders on climate action

Millions of people worldwide will get to share their views on climate action through a UN campaign launched on Thursday aimed at connecting them with Governments and policy makers. 

Climate crisis: Antarctic continent posts record temperature reading of 18.3°C

Fresh fears of accelerating damage to the planet’s ice sheets and sea level rise have been fuelled by confirmation from the UN’s weather agency that the Antarctic likely saw a new temperature record of more than 18°C on Thursday. 

2020: the year for action, to ‘rise up’ and safeguard ocean life 

With the ocean in deep crisis, members of civil society and philanthropic organisations are urging governments and corporations to take bold action to safeguard the ocean.  After a two-day preparatory meeting in New York ahead of June’s UN Ocean Conference in Portugal, activists handed over what they termed “A Blue Call to Action” to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, on Wednesday.  

Ocean Conference has potential to be a ‘global game-changer’

The second global Ocean Conference taking place in Portugal in a few months’ time promises to be “a critical moment” for the health of life under water and on land, the President of the UN General Assembly said on Tuesday, as preparations got underway.

Climate action ‘both a priority and a driver of the decade’: Guterres

Climate action will be both a priority and a driver of world affairs through the coming decade, United Nations Secretary-General chief António Guterres announced on Monday, during a speech at UN Headquarters in New York, in which he declared that the next ten years will be “crucial for achieving a fair globalization, boosting economic growth and building peaceful societies”.

Suriname’s climate promise, for a sustainable future

Suriname has become the second nation globally to outline updated plans to fight climate change in the hope of ensuring that any future increase in the temperature of the planet does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

India: Climate emergency message resonates at world’s largest literature festival – UN News special report from Jaipur

Against the backdrop of India’s famed “pink city” of Jaipur, the world’s largest literature festival hosted the UN’s top representative in the country on Monday, who told audience members attending a special session on the climate emergency, that the Organization is working flat out to slow the pace of damaging climate change. 

FROM THE FIELD: Sourcing clean water in Ghana

Communities in northern Ghana are benefiting from the rehabilitation of water sources which is expected to boost livelihoods and build resilience against climate change, thanks to a project supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). 

‘Green economy’ pioneer Pavan Sukhdev wins 2020 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement

Renowned environmental economist and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador Pavan Sukhdev was awarded on Monday the 2020 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, recognizing his groundbreaking ‘green economy’ work. 

FROM THE FIELD: Niger supporting the most vulnerable, as crises mount  

The number of people requiring humanitarian assistance in Niger, a country which the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, says is “being assaulted on all fronts”, is expected to increase in 2020. 

At Davos, UN chief urges ‘big emitters’ to take climate action

The world is “doomed” in the face of climate change unless major industrial nations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday. 

UN chief outlines solutions to defeat ‘four horsemen’ threatening our global future

The start of the New Year finds the world facing four looming threats to human progress: surging geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday. 

FROM THE FIELD: Weeding out Mexico’s unwanted beach invader

An invasive species of seaweed which has blighted tourist beaches in Mexico has become more aggressive due to the heating effects of climate change. But now, thanks to support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), efforts are underway to hold back its advance and protect local ecosystems.  

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

The UN Human Rights Committee has determined that countries cannot deport people who have sought asylum due to climate-related threats. 

East Africa locusts threaten food security across subregion, alerts UN agriculture agency

Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are dealing with desert locust swarms of “unprecedented size and destructive potential” that could spill over into more countries in East Africa, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned on Monday.

Capacity of cities to tackle climate change key in ‘crucial battle’ for planet’s preservation, says UN chief

Cities – hubs of creativity and new ideas – can provide solutions to resolve humanity’s “suicide war” against nature, and lead the world towards a sustainable future, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Saturday in Lisbon, which has been named the 2020 European Green Capital. 

Climate crisis ‘affecting quality of life and fuelling discontent’

The climate crisis, as well as persistently high inequalities, and rising levels of food insecurity and undernourishment, is affecting the quality of life in many societies and fuelling discontent, the UN warned on Thursday, on the publication of the 2020 World Economic Situation Report (WESP).

2019 second hottest year on record, UN confirms

Last year was the second warmest year on record, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed on Wednesday. 

Inaction over climate emergency ‘not an option’ says UN Assembly chief

Inaction when it comes to the fight back against damaging climate change is not an option, the President of the UN General Assembly told a major energy conference in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Australia bushfire crisis: UNICEF offers help and support

Raging bushfires wreaking havoc across Australia have prompted the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, to offer its support to the Australian Government and its partners which are battling the “unprecedented disaster”.

Stop escalation, urges UN chief, as geopolitical tensions reach ‘highest level this century’

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on world leaders to de-escalate geopolitical tensions on Monday, which he described as being “at their highest level this century” as the new decade dawns.

2019: The UN News year in photos

From sustainable development to economic development, and human rights to humanitarian aid, UN News provides daily coverage across all of the Organization's  key issues – health, migration, climate change and so much more.

Guterres's message for 2020: In world of turmoil, youth are its ‘greatest source’ of hope

As the world enters 2020 with “uncertainty and insecurity all around”, the United Nations chief maintained that the world’s young people are its "greatest source” of hope.

The 2010 – 2020 UN News Decade in Review, part two

With the 2020s now in full view, welcome to the second in our three-part series looking back at some of the major UN-related stories of the past decade. In part two, we take in the years 2014 to 2016, which saw the worst outbreak of Ebola ever recorded; new hope that the climate crisis could be tackled by world leaders, through the historic Paris climate agreement; a UN mission in Colombia to facilitate a much-awaited peace process; and the launch of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, a plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity.

Lesotho: Tens of thousands ‘one step away from famine’ as drought impacts harvests and UN launches flash appeal

Devastating drought in the southern African nation of Lesotho has left more than half a million people facing severe food shortages and tens of thousands “one step away from famine”, UN humanitarians said on Friday, in an appeal for funds. 

Thursday’s Daily Brief: tobacco burn-out, cholera cases down, ‘shifting the needle’ on climate

Among today’s stories: more men are quitting nicotine than ever before, a big drop in cholera cases was recorded between 2017 and 2018, and the UN calls on developed countries to raise their climate ambitions, following the disappointment of COP25.

An important opportunity lost as COP25 ends in compromise, but Guterres declares 'we must not give up'

Negotiations at the COP25 UN climate conference in Madrid finally ended on Sunday, wrapping up an event which saw much progress made by the private sector, and by national, regional and local governments. However, there was widespread disappointment that no overall consensus was reached on increased climate ambition.

As COP25 goes into the night, Guterres calls for more climate ambition

With national delegations thrashing out an outcome agreement at the UN COP25 climate change conference in Madrid, the UN chief has called on countries to be more ambitious, side strongly with science, and commit to stronger action.