Climate and Environment

COP26: SDG or NDC? Our guide to the language you need to know

If you’ve been following the UN for any period of time, you will quickly notice the plethora of acronyms, initialisations and jargon that abound across the Organization. There will be plenty more to confuse you at COP26 (a classic example in itself), so here’s our handy guide to help you make sense of some of the key buzz words you’ll be hearing, as the landmark climate change conference gets going. 

Middle East Green Initiative: ‘pathbreaking work’ to protect the planet

The Middle East Green Initiative launch in Saudi Arabia on Monday was hailed by the UN’s deputy chief as a valuable commitment and strategic vision, to transition regional economies away from unsustainable development, to a model “fit for the challenges of the 21st century”.

COP26: Praise for updated national climate plans, but ‘nowhere near’ goal

New or updated climate action plans by governments can be effective in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but greater efforts are needed to keep global warming at bay, the UN climate change office (UNFCCC) said in a new report on Monday. 

UN chief calls for China commitment to ‘ambitious’ climate goals 

The UN Secretary-General on Monday called on China to present an “ambitious” Nationally Determined Contribution in the run-up to the UN Climate Conference, COP26, starting in Glasgow at the end of this week.  

‘No time to lose’ curbing greenhouse gases: WMO

Last year, heat-trapping greenhouse gases reached a new record, surging above the planet's 2011-2020 average, and has continued in 2021, according to a new report published on Monday by the UN weather agency.

From the Field: Costa Rica points the way to a sustainable world

Costa Rica is one of the winners of the inaugural UN-backed Earthshot Prize, in recognition of the Central American country’s efforts to reverse damage to its environment and develop in a sustainable manner.

'Landmark decision’ gives legal teeth to protect environmental defenders

A 46-strong group of countries across the wider European region has agreed to establish a new legally binding mechanism that would protect environmental defenders, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said on Friday.

Madagascar: Severe drought could spur world’s first climate change famine

More than one million people in southern Madagascar are struggling to get enough to eat, due to what could become the first famine caused by climate change, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). 

Plastic pollution on course to double by 2030 

Plastic pollution in oceans and other bodies of water continues to grow sharply and could more than double by 2030, according to an assessment released on Thursday by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). 

No Denying It episode 9: Erin McGoff Introduces Lefteris Arapakis

In episode nine of the UN climate action podcast No Denying It, award-winning documentary director Erin McGoff introduces Lefteris Arapakis, the self-proclaimed “worst fisherman in Greece”. Lefteris hauls in a bountiful catch every day - of plastic pollution. He is the co-founder of Enaleia, Greece’s first fishing school, with a program to train and incentivise fishermen to collect plastic from the sea.