UN conference kicks off with calls for climate mitigation

Tuesday, February 27th, 2024 08:30 | By
UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen
UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen. PHOTO/Print

The sixth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) kicked off yesterday with calls for heightened efforts to combat the triple planetary crisis encompassing climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss.

From leaders to activists to civil society groups, all the groups had one message; Why we need to end the triple planetary crisis.

Speaking during the opening plenary, Inger Andersen (pictured) Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme said the world needs to overcome this crisis because it casts its shadow over every person on this planet, regardless of nationality, colour, faith, or gender.

“This Assembly knows all too well that we are living through an intensifying triple planetary crisis. The good thing is this forum has consistently shown the unity we need to overcome this crisis. We will need that unity to safeguard Earth as we know it,” said Andersen.

Leila Benali, Morocco’s Energy Transition Minister and the President of UNEA-6 revealed that to achieve this, many of the discussions at UNEA-6 are expected to focus on how the triple planetary crisis is entrenching poverty and widening the divide between rich and poor. Leaders plan to use the Assembly to renew calls for progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, a global blueprint for protecting the planet and promoting prosperity. Just 15 per cent of the goals, which come due in 2030, are on track.

“We must find practical ways to advance the human right to a healthy environment, which is crucial for sustainable development. We know that when we protect the natural world, public health improves. When we focus on sustainable solutions to the climate crisis, our economies get stronger,” said Benali.

This year’s session, the sixth since the Assembly’s launch in 2014, will see countries consider some 19 resolutions aimed at everything from halting desertification to countering air pollution. The resolutions are part of a broader push at UNEA to accelerate the global campaign against the triple planetary crisis.

Government leaders are expected to debate 19 draft resolutions.

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