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UN environment assembly opens in Kenya with call for climate actions

UN environment assembly opens in Kenya with call for climate actions
February 27
07:55 2024

Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), says the world must unite to tackle the three planetary crises – climate change, pollution, and nature and land loss.

Andersen spoke on Monday at the opening plenary of the sixth United Nations environment assembly (UNEA-6) in Nairobi, Kenya.

She said the assembly serves as a decision-making forum for concerted effort “to reimagine how to work together for greater impact and accelerated action”.

“This assembly knows all too well that we are living through an intensifying triple planetary crisis: the crisis of climate change, the crisis of nature and land loss, and the crisis of pollution and waste,” she said.

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“This crisis casts its shadow over every person on this planet, regardless of nationality, colour, faith or gender.

“This forum, which we like to think is the world’s most-influential decision-making body on the environment, has consistently shown the unity we need to overcome this crisis.

“We will need that unity to safeguard Earth as we know it. And this year, the assembly is more powerful and more united than ever.

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“I often say at these assemblies that the world is watching. In fact, this year, the world isn’t just watching. The world is here. We have a record number of delegates, a record number of countries represented, and a record number of ministers.”

The UNEP director encouraged member states to tackle environmental crises and challenges that are urgent.

“This is the impactful, nimble and foresightful environmentalism that we seek,” she added.

She said the resolutions which will be considered during the assembly are designed to “speed the transition to net zero”.

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“These are resolutions that will boost multilateral actions to address climate injustice. Spark a global conversation on emerging technologies that will equip nations with the science and wisdom to make the right choices for people and the planet,” Andersen said.

“Help to usher out the culture of take, make and waste that is the twisted heart of the triple planetary crisis.”

She said delegates must put aside political differences and agree on the resolutions to secure intergenerational justice, and equity as well as the common goal of a pathway to a sustainable and safe future.

The environment assembly which meets biennially will run from January 26 to March 1.

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