UN Secretariat announces plan to halve its emissions


The UN Secretariat, which runs the day-to-day operations of the world body has announced a plan to slash its own emissions by almost half in 2030.

The UN Secretariat has adopted a new 10-year Climate Action Plan aimed at transforming its operations to achieve a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and sourcing 80 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2030, said its Department of Global Communications in a press release.

The announcement came on the eve of the Climate Action Summit that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will host on today.

The global operations of the UN Secretariat represent approximately 58 percent of the reported greenhouse gas emissions from the entire UN system, according to a report of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The UN Secretariat, headed by the secretary-general, is the largest entity within the UN system, with 44,000 international civil servants.

To drive its action to 2030, the secretariat is setting bold quantitative and performance targets, said the press release.

The plan aims to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of 25 percent by 2025 and 45 percent by 2030. It would do this through per capita reductions in electricity consumption of 20 percent by 2025 and 35 percent by 2030 and sourcing 40 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025 and 80 percent by 2030. Other quantitative targets address the climate impact of commercial air travel and events, it said.

The whole UN system generated 45 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities, such as headquarter offices, field offices, and logistic centers, 42 percent from air travel, and 13 percent from other modes of travel.

The targets of the UN Secretariat Climate Action Plan will be achieved by intensifying existing environmental management efforts, fostering innovative solutions, changing the organizational culture and partnering with external stakeholders, said the press release.