UN Environment Assembly focuses on moving faster towards Sustainable Development Goals

Ministers and delegates from 170 countries put their minds together to set global Green agenda

By DTE Staff
Published: Sunday 17 March 2019
Illustration: Getty Images

The world needed to moves faster towards a new development model vis-à-vis the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, the United Nations Environment Assembly observed. Environment ministers of more than 170 countries adopted a blueprint for change.

Putting a curb on single-use plastics is big in their scheme of things. “We will address the damage to our ecosystems caused by the unsustainable use and disposal of plastic products, including by significantly reducing single-use plastic products by 2030, and we will work with the private sector to find affordable and environmentally friendly products,” the ministers said.

Innovative solutions and sustainable consumption and production patterns figured high in their priorities to combat increasing pollution, rapid global warming and depletion of resources.

“We will improve national resource management strategies with integrated full lifecycle approaches and analysis to achieve resource-efficient and low-carbon economies,” they said.

This would be done by:

  • Encouraging resilient farming practices
  • Managing natural resources sustainably to tackle poverty
  • Promote the use and sharing of environmental data
  • Significantly reduce single-use plastic

The delegates at the Assembly also adopted a series of non-binding resolutions “covering the logistics of shifting to a business-unusual model of development.” These included:

  • Recognising the importance of an economy in which goods are kept in circulation for longer by reuse and repurposing
  • Sustainable public procurement
  • Addressing food waste
  • Developing and sharing more energy-efficient cold chain solutions
  • Incentivising sustainable consumption and production
  • “If countries deliver on all that was agreed here and implement the resolutions, we could take a big step towards a new world order where we no longer grow at the expense of nature but instead see people and planet thrive together,” they said.

The assembly was held March 11-15, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. Apart from ministers, the 4,700-plus delegates included scientists, academics, business leaders and the civil society.

The outcome is expected to set the global agenda ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit, scheduled in September.

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