UN announces to halve its own emissions in 10-year plan

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (R) speaks during the UN Youth Climate Summit at the UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 21, 2019. Photo: IANS
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United Nations: The UN Secretariat, which runs the day-to-day operations of the gigantic world body, announced a plan to slash its own emissions by almost half by 2030.

The UN Secretariat has adopted a new 10-year Climate Action Plan aimed at transforming its operations to achieve a 45 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and sourcing 80 per cent of electricity from renewable energy by 2030, said its Department of Global Communications in a press release on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The announcement came on the eve of a Climate Action Summit that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will host on Monday.

The global operations of the UN Secretariat represent approximately 58 per cent of the reported greenhouse gas emissions from the entire UN system, according to a report of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The UN Secretariat, headed by the secretary-general, is the largest entity within the UN system, with 44,000 international civil servants.

To drive its action to 2030, the secretariat is setting bold quantitative and performance targets, said the press release.

The plan aims to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of 25 per cent by 2025 and 45 per cent by 2030. It would do this through per capita reductions in electricity consumption of 20 per cent by 2025 and 35 per cent by 2030 and sourcing 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025 and 80 per cent by 2030. Other quantitative targets address the climate impact of commercial air travel and events, it said.

The whole UN system generated 45 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities, such as headquarter offices, field offices, and logistic centres, 42 percent from air travel, and 13 percent from other modes of travel.

The targets of the UN Secretariat Climate Action Plan will be achieved by intensifying existing environmental management efforts, fostering innovative solutions, changing the organisational culture and partnering with external stakeholders, said the press release.

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