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June 21, 2019

IGPN 2019 Newsletter

IGPN Newsletter first half the year of 2019 is available now! Download file

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category : Newsletter

May 27, 2019

National High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Consumption held in Beijing

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Beijing, China | 25 April 2019 –The National High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Consumption for Policy Makers and Stakeholders held in Beijing, co-organized by SWITCH-Asia II Regional Policy Advocacy Component (PPAC) and China Environmental United Certification Center (CEC) with the support of Delegation of the European Union to China, Environmental Development Center of Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China (MEE). Mr. Ren Yong, Director of Environmental Development Center, MEE and Ms. Dechen Tsering, Director of Asia Pacific Regional Office, UNEP, attended and delivered keynote speech.

Mr. Ren Yong stated in his opening remarks that establishing the policy system leading to the transition to green production, consumption and life style is an important task for ecological civilization in China, and the current stage is the key period for developing China's sustainable consumption model, Which fully acknowledged the importance of this dialogue for China's sustainable consumption policy research and recommendations to the Government. Ms. Dechen Tsering, highly appreciates the concept of ecological civilization and low-carbon development advocated by China government, believes this conference will further stimulate sustainable policy making and good practice.

Ms. Zhang Xiaodan, General Manager of CEC/Chief Advisor of Environmental Development Center of MEE, presented the sustainable consumption policy status and trends, and proposed four policy recommendations including "attaching great importance to and firmly grasping the historical opportunity period on transition to green consumption in China". Dr. Mushtaq Memon, Project Manager of SWITCH-Asia II RPAC, briefed the regional activities promotion SCP towards SDG 12. During the panel discussions, representatives made proposal with discussion focusing on the needs, challenges, key areas, roadmap and trends, systems, good practices and related industry practices to promote sustainable consumption model transformation.

Around 60 representatives from national governmental departments, research institutions, civil society, UN and International Organizations, and private sectors participated.

Read more at CEC News

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category : Topics

April 16, 2019

Procurement Can!

10 April 2019-The European Commission – The Directorate General of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs held the high-level conference “Seizing opportunities in the public procurement of tomorrow”, in cooperation with Romanian Presidency on 4th April 2019 in Bucharest at the Parliament House.

Key messages throughout the event were that public procurement can be a:
• Catalyzer for growth, jobs and innovation, it can provide access to markets for SMEs,
• It can be used to gain the trust of citizens in public authorities and democracy, sustainability, and social cohesion.
• It is a key mechanism to address greenhouse gas emissions, local air and water quality, the use of hazardous substances and raw material usage.

The Chair of the Procura+ Network Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of the City of Malmö, who spoke at the event, put it simply: ’procurement can make a significant contribution to achieving goals and targets and address the public sector’s big challenges: health, ageing population, energy security, mobility, resource scarcity, food security and inclusive societies amongst others.’

However, why is it that still today procurement decisions are made based on the lowest price? To address this potential-action gap, Jammeh, emphasized the importance of change at the system level. Also, it is vital to bring tools for change to a level where procurers, policy makers, budget holders understand that what they do has an impact, that they are involved and play a role in addressing achieving environmental and societal goals.

Read more at Procuraplus news centre

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category : Topics

March 21, 2019

World pledges to protect polluted, degraded planet as it adopts blueprint for more sustainable future

Nairobi, 15 March 2019 –The fourth UNEA has concluded its five-day session. The session laid the groundwork for a radical shift to a more sustainable future. Ministers from more than 170 United Nations Member States delivered a bold blueprint for change, saying the world needed to speed up moves towards a new model of development where innovation will be harnessed to tackle environmental challenges, the use of throwaway plastics will be significantly reduced, and development will no longer cost the earth.

Delegates commit to improving national resource management strategies through integrated full life cycle approaches and analyses to achieve a resource-conserving low carbon economy; Promoting sustainable food systems through resilient agricultural systems; Addressing poverty through sustainable management of natural resources; Facilitate the use and sharing of environmental data. Ministers also agreed to significantly reduce the use of single-use plastic products by 2030.

To address critical knowledge gaps, ministers promised to work towards producing comparable international environmental data while improving national monitoring systems and technologies. They also expressed support for UN Environment’s efforts to develop a global environmental data strategy by 2025.

At the close of the Assembly, delegates adopted a series of non-binding resolutions, covering the logistics of shifting to a business-unusual model of development.

These included a recognition that a more circular global economy, in which goods can be reused or repurposed and kept in circulation for as long as possible, can significantly contribute to sustainable consumption and production.

Other resolutions said Member States could transform their economies through sustainable public procurement and urged countries to support measures to address food waste and develop and share best practices on energy-efficient and safe cold chain solutions.

Resolutions also addressed using incentives, including financial measures, to promote sustainable consumption while encouraging Member States to end incentives for unsustainable consumption and production where appropriate.

A key focus of the meeting was the need to protect oceans and fragile ecosystems. Ministers adopted a number of resolutions on marine plastic litter and microplastics, including a commitment to establish a multi-stakeholder platform within UN Environment to take immediate action towards the long-term elimination of litter and microplastics.

Read more at UN news centre

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category : Topics

January 25, 2019

IGPN Secretariat is launched in Beijing

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The International Green Purchasing Network(IGPN) Secretariat was launched in Beijing on November 26, 2018 at the “Capacity Building Project on Typical Green Products in APEC Economies-Workshop on Ecolabel and Green Consumption”. Witnessed by all the participants and international experts of the workshop, IGPN Chairman Mr. Hideki Nakahara officially handed over the Letter of Authorization to Ms. Zhang Xiaodan, General Manager of CEC.

The handover of IGPN Secretariat to CEC obtains the approval of Ministry of Ecology and Environment as well as agreement of IGPN Council, Advisory Committee and all its members. The Secretariat will give full play to the role of IGPN; continuously facilitate green purchasing in public authorities and business sectors; actively promote green production and green consumption; promote green and win-win regional development and contribute to the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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March 30, 2017

El Salvador makes history as first nation to impose blanket ban on metal mining

Nina Lakhani in Mexico City
Thursday 30 March 2017 12.49 BST

El Salvador has made history after becoming the first country in the world to ban metal mining.

Lawmakers in the water-parched country passed the ban in a unanimous vote on Wednesday, declaring El Salvador a mining-free territory.

The decision followed a long and bitter struggle to protect the Central American country’s diminishing water sources from polluting mining projects.

Campaigners holding banners with the now famous “No to mining, yes to life” slogan celebrated inside and outside the legislative assembly in the capital, San Salvador.

“The vote is a victory for communities who, for more than a decade, have relentlessly organised to keep mining companies out of their territories. The prohibition ensures the long-term ecological viability of a country already considered one of the most environmentally vulnerable in the world,” said Pedro Cabezas, from International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador.

Wednesday’s vote, which was expected by both sides to be much closer, builds on a rising tide of popular opposition to environmentally destructive projects across Latin America, where partial bans have been implemented in Costa Rica, Argentina and Colombia.

El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Latin America and, while rainfall is plentiful, holding on to the water is a major issue because of unsustainable farming practices and inadequate industrial controls that have led to widespread soil erosion and the almost total destruction of its forests.

Read more at The Guardian.

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category : Topics

March 28, 2017

Only Sweden, Germany and France among EU are pursuing Paris climate goals, says study

Arthur Neslen
Tuesday 28 March 2017 12.58 BST

Sweden, Germany and France are the only European countries pursuing environmental policies in line with promises made at the Paris climate conference, according to a new ranking study.

The UK is in fifth position in the table which assesses policy actions taken by EU states to meet Europe’s pledge of a 40% cut in carbon emissions by 2030.

Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain and Italy are judged to be propping up the league, due to their support for forestry and carbon accounting dodges that weaken the greenhouse gas reduction effort.

“EU politicians portraying themselves as climate leaders should put their money where their mouth is by closing loopholes in the EU’s key climate law and pushing for more ambition,” said Femke de Jong, the EU policy director for Carbon Market Watch, a campaign group that co-drafted the EU Climate Leadership Board survey.

The ranking was compiled using ministerial statements and official documents submitted to the European commission, and was then cross-checked with country representatives.

It focuses on behind-the-scenes lobby forays mounted by EU countries in negotiations over an “effort sharing regulation” to cover the 60% of European emissions that come from transport, buildings, agriculture and waste management.

These fall outside the bloc’s flagship Emissions Trading System (ETS) which allocates tradable pollution permits to heavy industry.

Several countries have tried to gain wiggle room in the talks by pushing for measures such as a later (and higher) baseline for measuring their CO2 cuts, or greater use of forestry credits to meet the EU’s climate goal.

Read more at The Guardian.

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category : Topics

March 27, 2017

Achieving Paris Climate Goals Could Give Global Economy a $19T Boost

March 27, 2017
by Sustainable Brands

$19 trillion — According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), that’s amount the global economy stands to gain if countries rise to the challenge of meeting the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In a new report released by IRENA for the German government, the energy body highlighted how investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency — crucial measures for keeping global warming below the agreed 2 degrees Celsius limit — has the potential to add approximately .8 percent to global GDP by 2050.

However, current rates of investment are not enough to achieve the desired outcome. The CO2 emission intensity of the global economy would need to be reduced by 85 percent in 35 years. This means reducing energy CO2 emissions by 2.6 percent per year on average, or .6 gigatons per year in absolute terms.

Investment would essentially need to double in order to speed up the transition to a low-carbon economy, a sum of around $3.5 million annually. IRENA and the International Energy Agency (IEA) — which co-authored the report — also pointed out that the percentage of renewables as a primary energy source would also need to change substantially, increasing to 65 percent by 2050 from 2015’s 15 percent.

While companies such as DONG Energy and Royal Dutch Shell recognize the benefit and necessity of embracing a low-carbon future, the move is still a hard sell for many. The IRENA report suggests that the transformation of the energy sector to a low-carbon model would mean abandoning $10 trillion of coal, gas and oil assets. With investment in renewables, however, these losses could easily be offset, with an added advantage of creating around six million jobs.

Read more at Sustainable Brands.

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category : Topics

March 24, 2017

WWF, AHLA, Rockefeller Foundation Kick Off Pilot to Curb Hotel Food Waste

March 24, 2017
by Libby MacCarthy

Food waste is increasingly garnering attention from governments, businesses and private individuals as its impact on both environmental health, food security as well as bottom lines — companies that invest in reducing food waste can expect a 14:1 ROI — are increasingly researched and understood. Now, a new pilot project initiated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with support from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and The Rockefeller Foundation hopes to make food waste in the hotel industry a thing of the past.

Food production has the largest environmental footprint of any human activity, yet one-third of the world’s available food either spoils or gets thrown away. Forty-percent of food is wasted through the supply chain in the United States and the majority of that loss comes from homes and food service industries, including the hotel industry. Improved food management strategies across food service operations present industry-transforming potential, which ultimately has led WWF and the AHLA’s Food & Beverage and Sustainability Committees to join forces to develop actionable projects to prevent food waste through better food management.

Hotel brands participating in the projects include Hilton, Hyatt, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) and Marriott International, as well as Hershey Entertainement & Resorts, Sage Hospitality and Terranea Resort. The pilots were also developed with the support of The Rockefeller Foundation’s YieldWise Initiative, which aims to reduce post-harvest food loss and halve the world’s food waste by 2030.

“With its substantial food service volume and broad reach with consumers, the hospitality industry is an ideal catalyst for accelerating change,” said Pete Pearson, Director of Food Waste at WWF. “Imagine every hotel breakfast buffet or conference luncheon eliminating food waste. While businesses should make food donation and landfill diversion a priority, these pilot projects will focus on food waste prevention, which is ultimately better for business and the environment.”

Recent research conducted by WWF shows a strong need for industry-wide training and education on food waste reduction among hotel properties, and a general lack of measurement and track of food waste. Each pilot project within the program has been developed to tackle a critical step along the food waste supply chain. This includes measuring food waste outputs on a regular basis, improving employee training programs, creating menus designed to limit food waste and raising awareness with customers.

Read more at Sustainable Brands.

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category : Topics

March 23, 2017

Waste materials are an underused resource in the construction of Europe’s roads

Recycled waste material could play a major role in the construction of roads in Europe, bringing both environmental and economic benefits. A new study proposes a scenario where 50% of the asphalt for Europe’s roads consists of recycled materials, leading to significant reductions in costs, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the European Waste Framework Directive, there is a need to promote reuse and recycling, which are the preferred options to disposal or incineration of waste. However, there need to be clear pathways for that recycled waste to take. One such pathway is reuse in the construction and renovation of Europe’s road network. Europe’s road network is the key component in its transport infrastructure, and as such it requires constant maintenance; every year 4.7 million kilometres of new road are built.

Waste is already used in road construction. This study suggests that the input of recycled materials in road construction can be increased, with the potential for both economic and environmental benefits. The researchers assessed certain waste materials as substitutes for virgin raw materials that normally form the basis for new roads.

These waste materials, which include glass, asphalt, concrete, wood and plastics, were considered appropriate substitutes because they demonstrate comparable performance to traditional materials and are available in large quantities, with effective systems in place for their collection. In addition, there are no alternative applications with higher value for these waste materials, and they are too expensive to dispose of by traditional methods such as incineration. Part of the analysis also looks at potential sources for the materials, such as construction and demolition waste and end-of-life vehicles.

Read more at "Sciencefor Environment Policy": European Commission DG Environment News Alert Service, edited by SCU, The University of the West of England, Bristol.

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