Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the UN General Assembly, awarded Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme Helen Clark for her “strong commitment and leadership in climate change and sustainable development” during a side-event of the Rio+20 Summit at which a collective UN commitment was launched to offset the 3,600 tonnes of carbon emissions generated by 1,400 UN staff who travelled to Rio to participate.
The Administrator stressed that what we ask of others, we must also do ourselves. UNDP is strongly committed to lead by example and green its own operations, she said. “At headquarters, for instance, we have adopted a strategy to reduce our emissions by 35 per cent over five years and have committed to buy Gold Standard Certified Emission Reductions to offset our remaining emissions to achieve full climate neutrality.”
“Throughout our work, we advise our partners not to pursue economic, social, and environmental objectives as competing goals, but rather to treat them as interconnected and mutually reinforcing objectives. We strongly believe that this holistic, integrated approach is the path towards empowered lives, resilient nations, and a sustainable future.”
"Not only am I pleased that through this initiative, the UN is walking the talk when it comes to protecting our environment”, the Administrator said, “but also that the Clean Development Mechanism project being supported is a prime example of a “triple win” approach to sustainable development – a project which not only is viable for the environment, but also advances economic and social goals.”
In furthering the United Nations and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s collective commitment to walk the talk on climate change, the President of the UN General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, launched the Rio+20 carbon offsetting initiative in partnership with the UNDP Environment and Energy Group and the Rio+20 Secretariat. UN staff emissions, largely from travel, were calculated and emissions were then offset through certified emissions reductions (CERs) generated by replacing the charcoal consumption of 30,000 households in Lusaka City, Zambia. Installation of high- efficiency stoves there will result in an 80% reduction in energy consumption and will be powered by renewable biomass - in this case small twigs.
Permanent Representative of Zambia to the United Nations, Mwaba Kasese-Bota, stated, “It is very gratifying to see that our environmental investment will result in even greater rewards for sustainable development.”
Read the full article by the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation