United Nations

Environmental Protection and the Rule of Law

A Report from the Second Inter-American Congress on Environmental Rule of Law

I am back from attending the Second Inter-American Congress on Environmental Rule of Law, hosted by the Supreme Court of Chile in Santiago and planned by the Organization of American States, UN Environment, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, and other partners. For the past five years since the 2012 Rio+20 conference (20 years after the …

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France Pushes for Global Pact on the Environment

President Macron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and others support proposal for global environmental treaty

In Paris this past Saturday, a high-level group of legal experts endorsed a new proposal for a worldwide environmental treaty: the Global Pact on the Environment. President Emmanuel Macron of France gave the concluding speech at a launch event for the Pact (text and video in French); other speakers included former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Laurent Fabius …

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Ambitious international targets for sustainability

From September 25-27, the UN is hosting the high-level Sustainable Development Summit and, assuming all goes according to plan, adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The result of years of negotiation with dedicated efforts at transparency and inclusion, the SDGs are a big deal in the international development community. They represent ambitious, consensus international targets …

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Looking Back at COP20: How Should We Feel?

The Lima Accord lets countries name their own price to address climate change. But that doesn’t mean it failed.

As you’ve probably heard by now, this year’s UN climate change conference has produced an agreement, the “Lima Accord.” The Accord invites each of the nearly 200 negotiating countries to develop an “intended nationally determined contribution” (INDC) to reduce its GHG emissions. INDCs represent some step forward from each country–in the words of the Accord, “a progression …

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Happy (Belated) World Water Day! There’s Good News and Bad News….

Well, that’s embarrassing. Yesterday was the United Nations’ annual World Water Day, which apparently arrives every March 22nd.  I only stumbled across it by accident, since it was referenced by another website that I was reading.  But the UN has put a lot of PR effort at least into the project, and developed a very …

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Millenium Development Goals Report 2011

We’re a little late on this, but early last month the United Nations issued its 2011 Millenium Development Goals report, which really should be at the top of the environmental community’s focus.  Usually, the MDGs are thought of simply as concerning poverty and development, but of course these issues deeply concern the environment.  More directly, although not …

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