Katowice (Poland), Dec 12 (IANS) Fifteen international organisations on Wednesday jointly announced a commitment to make their operations climate neutral at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 24) in this Polish city.
They will measure their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce them as much as possible and compensate the currently unavoidable ones with credible carbon credits.
Representing over two million tons of CO2 per year in emissions, and more than 50,000 staff, the aggregate action by these organisations sets an important example that can inspire all levels of society.
While some participating organisations are only just starting their journey, others have already achieved full climate neutrality. The rest have already developed advanced sustainability strategies to step up their climate action by committing to reach climate neutrality.
Through this commitment, organisations with more evolved plans will support those at earlier stages and share best practices.
By joining this initiative, organisations not only demonstrate a clear commitment to climate action and to implementing the global climate neutrality goal contained in the Paris Agreement, but they also serve as models for others to follow suit.
The international organisations that announced their commitment to climate neutrality include the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Secretariat Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa Secretariat, Eastern Africa Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Investment Bank and World Travel & Tourism Council.
By doing so, they have joined the United Nations agencies, which adopted a strategy and a roadmap in 2007 to reach climate neutrality by 2020.
Over half of all UN system entities are now climate neutral, representing 39 per cent of the total UN emissions as per the 2018 Greening the Blue report.
The UN Headquarters have reached climate neutrality for the first time in 2018.
Some of the climate actions that these organisations are implementing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions include the installation of solar photovoltaic systems, policies for reduction of air travel, upgrading of insulation and lighting systems in buildings, reduction of paper used at conferences, installation of efficient cooling systems and promotion of car-pooling schemes among employees.
(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at [email protected])