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Chapters and Articles
Solar Solutions: Bridging the Energy Gap for Off-Grid Settlements - Frontiers 2017: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern
Lemaire, Xavier, Kerr, Daniel

Recent years have seen an increased popularity of small distributed solar energy systems in low-income communities in Africa and Asia, where at least 95 per cent of the off-grid population reside. Advances in LED technology resulted in improved efficiency—more light emitted per electrical input. Highly polluting lead acid batteries are becoming obsolete, replaced by higher performance lithium ion batteries that provide higher energy storage capacity, longer service life, and faster and more efficient recharging.


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Reports and Books
Frontiers 2017: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern
United Nations Environment Programme

This planet and its people face a growing number of challenges. They are as diverse as our cultures and environments, but they can all be tackled through a combination of science, policy and action. The Frontiers 2017 report presents six emerging issues of environmental concern with global implications: Antimicrobial resistance, nanomaterials, marine protected areas, sand and dust storms, solar energy, and environmental displacement.


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Reports and Books
Global Mercury Waste Assessment: Review of Current National Measures
United Nations Environment Programme

The Minamata Convention on Mercury mandates that mercury waste be managed in an environmentally sound manner, taking into account the guidelines developed under the Basel Convention, and in accordance with requirements to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties. The United Nations Environment Programme, through its International Environmental Technology Centre, conducted this Global Mercury Waste Assessment, which included fact-finding missions to almost 30 countries. The assessment describes the current mercury waste management practices in these countries, and provides a basis for understanding the size and nature of the gap between current practices and the environmentally sound mercury waste management envisioned in the Minamata Convention. The central finding is clear: The gap between the provisions of the Minamata Convention and the current mercury waste management practices is wide.


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Emissions Gap Reports, Summaries
Emissions Gap Report 2019 - Executive Summary
United Nations Environment Programme

This tenth edition of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report provides the latest assessment of scientific studies on current and estimated future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and compares these with the emission levels permissible for the world to progress on a least-cost pathway to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. This difference between “where we are likely to be and where we need to be” has become known as the ‘emissions gap’. As in previous years, this report explores some of the most promising and applicable options available for countries to bridge the gap, with a focus on how to create transformational change and just transitions. Reflecting on the report’s overall conclusions, it is evident that incremental changes will not be enough and there is a need for rapid and transformational action.


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2019
Other
We Are Past Pledging and Politicking: The Way forward in 2019 - A letter from Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of UN Environment
Msuya, Joyce

This letter from the Acting Executive Director of UN Environment is structured around four main points: i) Where we Stand; ii) Opportunities; iii) Pathways; and iv) A Call to Action. The letter concludes with a challenge: "In Nairobi next month, and in New York in September, let us all prove that we are ready to hold ourselves to account. Our scientists have calculated that we need to increase five-fold, our ambition on climate change.
So, I challenge you, as our window of opportunity gets smaller by the hour:
What does ambitious climate action look like for you?
For climate, for nature, for consumers? For people, for planet, for posterity? What are you ready to bring to the table?"


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2019