UNEP

boat made of recycled plastic

For much of the last three weeks, the Flipflopi, a dhow made from recycled plastic, including a helping of old sandals, has been calling into ports across Lake Victoria. The crew of the 10-metre-long vessel is on a mission to raise awareness about a tide of plastic choking Africa’s biggest lake – and to demonstrate that trash can be turned into treasure. A recent report by UNEP and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that 27 per cent of plastic waste in Kenya is collected and, of that, only 7 per cent is recycled in the country. The problem is global. Humanity’s penchant for producing cheap plastic products, using them, and then throwing them away, has created a global pollution crisis that is threatening the natural world and human livelihood.

cover of report with word CITY

REN21’s Renewables in Cities Global Status Report (REC) series provides an overview of the status, trends and developments of renewable energy in cities.

forest

The rangers of the Mt. Kenya Trust work tirelessly to protect the area's forests and wildlife from illegal activities such as logging and poaching. Their mission is to protect this incredible ecosystem and educate local communities about the benefits of conserving the forests of Mt. Kenya. Watch this film, shot by Joan Poggio for the United Nations Environment Programme Wild for Life campaign and explore the immersive journey on forests to discover how these precious ecosystems support humans and wildlife every day.

Illustration of an oil well surrounded by plastic.

Every year, the toxic trail of economic growth – pollution and waste – results in the premature deaths of millions of people while doing untold damage to the planet. Plastic poses a big problem from source extraction to waste. Not only to the environment, but also to human beings and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Would you like to know how? Find out with this animation! UNEP supports strong laws and institutions for a healthy planet and healthy people.

Man carrying plastic water containers.

The Global Commitment to the New Plastics Economy campaign is making progress but the world needs to ramp up actions to curb plastic pollution. Humanity dumps its own combined weight in plastics annually into ecosystems. That’s 300 million tonnes every year choking waterways and seas, clogging streets, harming wildlife, and causing damage to public health. To stem that tide, UNEP and partner lobbied private and public sector decisionmakers to commit to cultivating a circular economy around plastics, one in which plastics are made to last and to be reused.

Women play a major role in shaping climate-resilient societies. Their needs and capacities can lay the foundation for solutions that not only address the climate crisis but also pave the way for a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

collage of photos

Women are playing a lead role in tackling some of the planet’s biggest environmental threats, from climate change to species loss, to pollution. Meet seven extraordinary women who are using their powers to save the planet.

Illustration of a hand holding out the globe.

UNEP’s Global Recovery Observatory on green spending brings together global leaders and international institutions to debate progress, explore openings, and attempt to answer some of the major questions following the Covid-19 pandemic. An online UN-Oxford panel discussion is asking and answering the questions that matter: What is at risk if we fail to build back better? Can recovery spending bring strong economic and job impacts while securing environmental progress? How can countries better leverage recovery spending to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and more equitable world?

At the UN Environment Assembly leadership dialogue ministers and other high-level representatives are invited to announce concrete actions by their respective governments or organizations that will promote the environmental dimension of sustainable development

A forest in the mist

The Fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) warned that the world risks new pandemics if we don’t change how we safeguard nature. Attended by thousands of online participants, including more than 1,500 delegates from 153 UN Member States, the Assembly also agreed on key aspects of the work of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), kicked off the commemoration of UNEP’s 50th anniversary and held leadership dialogues, where Member States addressed how to build a resilient and inclusive post-pandemic world. In a political statement endorsed at the close of the Assembly, Member States reaffirmed UNEP’s mandate as the leading global environmental authority and called for greater and more inclusive multilateralism to tackle the environmental challenges.

Firefighters in Australia.

The past six years have been the warmest on record since 1880, with 2016, 2019 and 2020 being the top three, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The year 2020 was 1.2°C above pre-industrial era (1880) temperatures. WMO predicts a 20 per cent probability that temperatures will temporarily exceed 1.5°C as early as 2024. According to the Paris Agreement, Member States committed to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels. In January this year, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, said 2021 was a critical year for climate, calling for multilateral action. 

What would the world look like if we hadn’t saved the ozone layer? It’s 2084 and the disease known as the GROW has taken over. Three teenagers, Knox, Sagan and Terran, find themselves on an epic adventure to save themselves and the world.

A woman inside a volcano crater with monitoring equipment.

UNEP calls for nominees for the Champions of the Earth award – the UN’s highest honour for individuals and organizations that are safeguarding our environment and transforming societies.

cover-unep global climate litigation report

Surge in court cases over climate change shows increasing role of litigation in addressing the climate crisis, according to UNEP report.