The United Nations releases its fourth edition of Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN – the annual progress report on the UN’s journey towards climate neutrality.
To date, thirty-six UN agencies have started work on emission reduction strategies. This entails carrying out baseline studies, creating policies and outlining specific actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten agencies have achieved senior management approval for their strategies, making emission reduction efforts part of corporate policy.
Some are expanding their efforts from managing greenhouse gas emissions to the implementation of broader Environment Management Systems. Individual agency greenhouse gas inventories provide valuable information for emission reduction strategies. Air travel is consistently reported to be the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions for UN agencies, representing slightly over 50% of total emissions on average. Consequently, many agencies are focusing efforts on reducing the number of flights undertaken,
particularly in business class, and are introducing e-communications as a substitute for air travel.
The operation of facilities and offices are also major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Energy management strategies are being applied, including the production of renewable energy on site, and the use of passive design strategies and energy efficient technologies such as LED lights and control system, are helping to reduce the carbon footprints of many UN facilities.