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Statement of CEB* on Climate Change

Moving towards a climate-neutral United Nations

Having taken note of the report1 entitled “Strategy for a climate-neutral United Nations” prepared by the Environment Management Group;

Conscious of the need for our broader engagement to integrate the principles of sustainable development into our daily work routines and activities;

Recognizing that leading by example will contribute to the ability of the United Nations to better support developing countries — those most vulnerable to climate change;

Commending efforts by those who have already taken initiatives to offset their emissions before the adoption of this common approach; and

Noting that there can be significant cost savings to the United Nations from energy efficiency and other mitigation measures;

We, the Heads of the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, hereby commit ourselves to moving our respective organizations towards climate neutrality in our headquarters and United Nations centres for our facility operations and travel.

In particular, by the end of 2009 we will:

  • Estimate our greenhouse gas emissions consistent with accepted international standards;
  • Undertake efforts to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to the extent possible;
  • Analyse the cost implications and explore budgetary modalities — including consulting with governing bodies as needed — of purchasing carbon offsets to eventually reach climate neutrality.

We make this commitment with a view to achieving the goal of climate neutrality at a date to be set in the future, by reducing emissions first and then offsetting the remainder through the purchase of offsets from the Clean Development Mechanism, that meet high international standards of additionality, transparency and verification and which promote sustainable development in developing countries.

We support the further development and implementation of a United Nations system-wide strategy for reaching climate neutrality; for monitoring our collective efforts; and for reporting back on progress made and difficulties encountered.

* CEB: UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination

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Updated : 2011-07-26