Tagged on: Resource Efficency

Our Planet
The First United Nations Environment Assembly - Our Planet June 2014
United Nations Environment Programme

The first ever United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is the core theme of this issue of Our Planet. Sustainable Development Goals, the need to decouple economic growth from natural resource depletion and the way forward within the context of the Post-2105 Development Agenda are all robustly discussed in this edition’s feature articles. With contributions from experts in sustainable development, the topics range from the role cities can take in lowering their carbon footprint, through progress in environmental planning in China, to Africa’s opportunities to develop its renewable energy sources. Three inspiring innovations relating to sustainable development are also covered along with UNEP’s latest publications and a section on the organization’s dedicated goodwill ambassadors.


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2014
Reports and Books
Green Growth Indicators
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

A first set of green growth indicators was proposed in Towards Green Growth: Monitoring Progress in 2011. This report updates and extends those indicators. It charts the progress that countries have made in four areas: the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient economy||maintaining the natural asset base||improving people’s environmental quality of life||and implementing policies for, and realising the economic opportunities associated with, green growth.


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2014
Reports and Books
Assessment of Transboundary Freshwater Vulnerability in Africa to Climate Change
United Nations Environment Programme, Water Research Commission

Managing the freshwater impacts of climate change in Africa is as much a political and development challenge as a technical climate change challenge. Even without climate change, many of Africa’s water resources are facing overuse, pollution, and degradation. Poor land-use practices are contributed to this process. Large numbers of people living in poverty in rural and informal urban areas are already vulnerable to water-related risks, whether floods, droughts, poor water quality, or increasing water scarcity. The status of water resources in Africa has been changing for many decades, whether through decreasing water quality, lowered groundwater, more or less rainfall, and changed timing of rainfall. Change is not new. Climate change, however, will profoundly accelerate the rate of change, affecting the ability of people and societies to respond timeously. The rate of change is compounded by uncertainty of the impacts of climate change. While there are a number of models that attempt to predict the impacts of climate change, many of these are at a very coarse scale and do not predict localised impacts, which may differ from the generalised picture. At the same time, different models predict different climate change trends in the same areas, some, for example, predicting an increase in rainfall, while others predict a decrease in rainfall. Managing for high rates of change in a context of uncertainty is thus what is demanded of African governments.


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2014
Reports and Books
Frozen heat: a global outlook on methane gas hydrates - Volume 2
United Nations Environment Programme

In 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) commissioned the Global Outlook on Gas Hydrates as part of its mandate to examine the environmental aspect of key emerging issues and provide accurate and objective scientific assessments for the benefit of the science community and policy makers. This report, written by experts in the field, provides a review of the science and history of this emerging energy source, evaluates the current state of research and explores the potential impacts of gas hydrates on the future global energy mix. By commissioning this report, UNEP neither encourages nor promotes the development and use of gas hydrates as an energy source.


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2014
UNEP Year Book 2014: emerging issues in our global environment
United Nations Environment Programme

Ten years after the first Year Book in this series appeared, a special e-book anniversary edition – UNEP Year Book 2014 – presents a fresh look at ten issues highlighted over the past decade. This UNEP Year Book 2014 takes advantage of the latest technology, providing a multi-media experience that helps illustrate the environmental challenges we face today and some of the innovative solutions that have been created to solve those challenges. Video, animations, data visualization and stunning images from around the world help tell the stories.


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2014
Reports and Books
Global Environment Outlook: Small Island Developing States : Outlook - GEO SIDS
United Nations Environment Programme

GEO SIDS Outlook is a contribution to the 2014 Third International UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, which has an overarching theme of the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States through genuine and durable partnerships. It is also an important and new contribution to UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook that looks at the drivers for change and highlights opportunities and challenges for SIDS in a rapidly changing world.


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2014
Reports and Books
Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development: Insights from Practice
United Nations Environment Programme

Financing remains one of the greatest challenges in advancing sustainable development. Hundreds of trillions of dollars need to be invested over the coming decades to drive economic progress. The challenge will be ensuring that this investment is consistent with and supportive of sustainable development. UNEP is active alongside other parts of the UN and many other partners in creating the conditions to meet this challenge. It contributes to the development of national environmental policies and international agreements including, economic measures that steer sustainable production and consumption. Such measures range from engagement in macroeconomic planning, to fiscal action and public procurement, support to small and medium sized enterprises, research and development and technology deployment.


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2014
Reports and Books
Frozen heat: a global outlook on methane gas hydrates - Volume 1
United Nations Environment Programme

In 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) commissioned the Global Outlook on Gas Hydrates as part of its mandate to examine the environmental aspect of key emerging issues and provide accurate and objective scientific assessments for the benefit of the science community and policy makers. This report, written by experts in the field, provides a review of the science and history of this emerging energy source, evaluates the current state of research and explores the potential impacts of gas hydrates on the future global energy mix. By commissioning this report, UNEP neither encourages nor promotes the development and use of gas hydrates as an energy source.


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2014
Reports and Books
Towards a global map of natural capital: key ecosystem assets
United Nations Environment Programme

Natural capital is fundamental to human wellbeing, underpinning the global economy. Natural capital comprises both ecosystem assets (such as fresh water) and natural resources (such as fossil fuel deposits). This report presents the first attempt to give an overview of the global distribution of ecosystem assets. Ecosystem assets have the capacity to generate a basket of ecosystem services, and this capacity can be understood as a function of the extent (quantity) and condition (quality) of the ecosystem. The report builds on a considerable body of work in the fields of natural capital accounting and the mapping of ecosystem services. In particular, it draws on the UN Statistics Division's System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) and its Experimental Ecosystem Accounting approach, as well as the work by many other researchers.


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2014
Our Planet
Our Planet: small island developing states
United Nations Environment Programme

The magazine of the United Nations Environment Programme


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2014