Environment – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

UNHCR responding to worst flooding in decades in South Sudan

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, is supporting the Government of South Sudan in assisting people hit hard by the worst flooding there in decades. 

Business leaders join UN chief to step up action for sustainability 

Business leaders joined UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday, to step up delivery of critical investment, for a ‘sustainable, net zero, resilient and equitable world’. 

UN-backed report reveals rising climate change risk across Africa

Climate change contributed to mounting food insecurity, poverty and displacement in Africa last year, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and partners said in a report published on Tuesday. 

UNESCO ‘eDNA’ initiative to ‘unlock' knowledge for biodiversity protection  

To understand the richness of biodiversity across World Heritage marine sites, the UN scientific organization launched on Monday a project to protect and preserve biodiversity, based on the study of environmental DNA - cellular material released from living things into their surroundings. 

From the Field: Eating our way to a healthier planet

The UN Food Systems Summit demonstrated the huge imbalances in the way we grow, produce, and consume food. But, as the UN Development Programme (UNDP) shows, we can farm and eat in a sustainable way that is good for us, and the planet.

Portuguese beaches lead the way during UN, EU clean-up campaign 

In recent months, some 260 different clean-up operations have been undertaken across, aimed at protecting life under the sea, with the UN and European Union’s #EUBeachCleanUp campaign, managing to remove some 50 tons of trash from some of the EU’s finest shorelines.

The right to a clean and healthy environment: 6 things you need to know

On 8 October, loud and unusual applause reverberated around the chamber of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. A battle fought for decades by environmental activists and rights’ defenders, had finally borne fruit.

From the Field: Lao farmers serve up fish with rice

Farmers in Laos are rediscovering ancient practices by cultivating rice and fish in the same field after more modern farming methods are failing to provide them with a liveable income.

UN chief urges lifesaving transformation of food systems

World Food Day is not only a reminder of the importance of what we eat to everyone on the planet, but also “a call to action to achieve food security around the world”, the UN chief said in his message marking the day on Friday.

Sustainable transport key to green energy shift: UN Secretary-General

With global transport at a crossroads, government leaders, industry experts, and civil society groups are meeting in Beijing, China, for a UN conference to chart the way forward to a more sustainable future for the sector, and greater climate action overall. 

Biodiversity commitment builds hope for 'living in harmony with nature'

More than 100 countries on Wednesday committed to develop, adopt and implement an effective post-2020 global framework, that aims to put biodiversity on a path to recovery, by 2030 at the latest.  

When disaster strikes, developing countries still too vulnerable 

Many developing nations remain unprotected against disaster, even though it is accepted that building community resilience has many benefits, beyond saving lives and livelihoods. 

Can we make transport safe and sustainable? An interview with motorsport chief, Jean Todt

Many developed countries have announced plans to ensure that fossil-fuel powered cars will be taken off the roads in the coming decades, but Jean Todt, the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, stresses that, in developing countries, much more immediate concerns, such as access to public transport and reducing accidents, need to be addressed as a priority.

Finance Ministers hold key to COP26 success: UN Secretary-General

The COP26 climate change conference must be “a turning point” if countries are to limit global temperature rise in line with the Paris Agreement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday. 

With clock ticking, sustainable transport key to Global Goals

From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest, according to a new UN multi-agency report launched on Tuesday.

WHO: Global health community prescribes climate action for COVID recovery

Ambitious national climate commitments are crucial for States to sustain a healthy, green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new UN health agency report launched on Monday in the lead-up to the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

UN chief calls for bold action to end 'suicidal war with nature'

With more than a million species at risk of extinction, countries must work now to achieve a sustainable future for people and the planet, Secretary-General António Guterres told leaders attending the UN Biodiversity Conference, which opened on Monday from Kunming, China.

Access to a healthy environment, declared a human right by UN rights council

The Human Rights Council recognised this Friday, for the first time, that having a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right. 

Pink flamingos return to Kazakhstan’s capital in time for World Migratory Bird Day

Following five years of absence, pink flamingos have been flocking back to Kazakhstan’s capital, Nur-Sultan, much to the delight of residents who have flooded social media with photos of their return.

Decade of climate breakdown saw 14 per cent of coral reefs vanish

Between 2009 and 2018, the continuous rise in sea temperature cost the world 14 per cent of its coral reefs – that’s more than the size of Australia’s reefs combined – a UN-backed report revealed on Tuesday.

Climate change, population increase fuel looming water crisis: WMO

Improved water management, monitoring and forecasting are needed in the face of a looming global water crisis, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and partners said in a report published on Tuesday. 

UN chief promotes 'enormous' benefits of greener cities

For the UN Secretary-General, the benefits of making cities more environmentally friendly are “enormous”, and include reduced climate risk, more jobs, and better health and well-being. 

In Barbados, Guterres highlights power of ‘youth voices’ ahead of key trade and development conference

The UN Secretary-General on Sunday said he was committed to ensuring that the Organisation is a place where “youth voices are heard, and their ideas lead”, as he spent the day in Barbados which tomorrow hosts a major UN conference on trade and development, focused on the need to build a global green economy and recover equitably from the COVID-19 pandemic.

7 climate action highlights to remember before COP26

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum before the decisive UN Climate Conference COP26 in early November.   

Brussels mural paints positive picture of ecosystem renewal

A Spanish artist is using a giant 40-metre-high artwork painted on the side of a building in the Belgian capital, Brussels, to pose questions about climate change and the effect it’s having on global ecosystems.

Multilateralism still ‘only way’ to address common challenges: Shahid

Multilateralism remains “the only way to address common challenges”, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid told journalists on Friday, in his first press conference since the conclusion of the annual High-Level Week.

Climate action: ‘Time is running out’, UN chief tells ministers

With just one month left until the COP26 climate change conference, countries must do more to reduce emissions, finance climate action and support mitigation, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the final official ministerial meeting in Milan, Italy, on Thursday. 

Keep raising your voices, UN chief tells young climate leaders

With the climate crisis already devastating lives and incomes, young people will be critical to driving global action forward, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told participants attending the Pre-COP Youth Event in Milan, Italy, on Thursday.

New FAO report highlights urgent need to restore Africa’s degraded landscape

The first-ever stocktake of Africa’s forests and landscapes, which was released on Wednesday finds slow progress in repairing Africa’s degraded lands and urges ramped up efforts for climate action.

Food waste: a global problem that undermines healthy diets

A lack of food, hunger and malnutrition affect every country in the world, the UN said on Tuesday, in an urgent appeal for action to reduce the amount of food that’s wasted.