Governance

The current system of global environmental governance reflects the challenge of assembling cooperation among the international community, even on environmental matters that all agree require common action. There are three elements to global environmental governance. One element is comprised of intergovernmental organizations within the United Nations system, led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which are responsible for developing and coordinating environmental and sustainable development policy at the international level. A second element is the framework of international environmental law, which takes the form of a large number of environmental treaties. These treaties, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, are legally binding agreements that call on countries to take joint action on environmental problems. A third element is the financing mechanism to build capacity to carry out treaty commitments, to supplement national efforts toward sustainable development in poorer countries, and to support the UN agencies and treaty secretariats that coordinate and carry out environmental efforts. These include the bilateral development assistance, the World Bank, other regional development banks, UN funds like the UN, the Global Environment Facility, philanthropies, and the private sector.

Events and Articles

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UN Climate Change Conference - United Arab Emirates Nov/Dec 2023

When climate negotiators arrive in Dubai, they'll have a full agenda: completion of the first Global Stocktake under the 2015 Paris Agreement, operationalizing the funding arrangements for loss and damage, a new collective quantified goal on climate finance, and the global goal on adaptation, among other items.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 30 November 2023 - 12 December 2023

5th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Parties took crucial steps toward eliminating mercury pollution, including by adopting decisions on: new dates to phase out mercury-added products including cosmetics, strengthened ties with Indigenous Peoples, the Convention’s first effectiveness evaluation, and a threshold for mercury waste, which will help countries avoid becoming dumping grounds for mercury-contaminated wastes.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 30 October 2023 - 3 November 2023

25th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 25) and Resumed Second Part of the 15th Meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties

Ten months after adopting the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), delegates met to provide expert advice on the scientific, technical, and technological aspects of GBF implementation. At the resumed 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), delegates conducted elections and discussed the date and venue of COP 16.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 15 October 2023 - 20 October 2023

UN Summits Week 2023

Marking the halfway point to the 2030 Agenda, the SDG Summit and the Climate Ambition Summit aim to provide renewed impetus for accelerating the pace of change in the fields of sustainable development and climate action, respectively.
Event 18 September 2023 - 20 September 2023

SDG 6 and Water Action Agenda Special Event

The 2023 edition of the SDG 6 Special Event focused on the outcomes of the UN 2023 Water Conference, including the almost 830 commitments included in the Water Action Agenda.
Event 17 July 2023

What Happens After the VLR?

City leaders at different stages of producing Voluntary Local Reviews—reports that measure local progress and challenges in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals—compared notes on lessons learned and how to maintain momentum after a VLR.
Event 11 July 2023

High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2023)

Participants acknowledged that at the mid-point of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we are offtrack. They called on everyone to rally in the second half to achieve the Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, overcoming the setbacks caused by climate change, conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic, and debt.
Event 10 July 2023 - 19 July 2023