UNEP, UNFCCC and GORD unveil online tool for green events
New York, September 20, 2022 – Events, regardless of their size, are a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and impacts on sustainable development. In an effort to facilitate environmentally friendly events designed to assess the sustainability performance of events, the Gulf Research and Development Organization (GORD), the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have developed an online site Green Events Tool (OBTAIN). This platform was first presented at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021.
The GET online portal was unveiled during a virtual ceremony held on September 14, 2022, marked by the presence of representatives of GORD, the UNFCCC secretariat and UNEP. Among the dignitaries who spoke at the event were Dr. Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chair of GORD, Ms. Isabella Marras, Senior Program Officer, Inter-Agency Affairs, UNEP, and Mr. Connor Barry, Director, Branch of Engagement, UNFCCC Secretariat.
Addressing the audience attending the launch event, Dr Alhorr said: “Last year at COP26, we jointly presented this forward-looking solution to the world. As COP27 approaches, we are proud to deliver on our promise and offer an end-to-end solution to green events globally. Between COP26 and today, the GET has undergone numerous road tests with various organizations and event organizers. The fact that the portal is ready less than a year after the initial introduction is a testament to the dedication and commitment of stakeholders to climate action and sustainability.
“GET’s web portal has been developed with a highly process-centric and transparent approach. And while its planning and development required years of research and hard work, the intrinsic value of GET lies in simplifying the arduous processes needed to assess and improve event sustainability profiles,” Dr. Alhorr added.
With the GET online portal now publicly available, organizations can achieve their climate change mitigation goals by greening their events. The platform helps event organizers to systematically assess the GHG emissions profile and sustainability impacts of the proposed event at the planning stage, design mitigation activities, and transparently report the event. actual impact on sustainability and GHG emissions resulting from their events. GET-supported events go through a comprehensive assessment framework covering aspects of venue construction, venue operations, flight, ground transportation, communications, audiovisual systems, production and exhibition, accommodation and catering.
Mr. Barry of the UNFCC said: “Beginning as a project to help the UN system plan and deliver more sustainable events, the Green Events Tool has evolved into an instrument available to all parties. interested stakeholders around the world. We hope it helps reduce the impact of the events we all host, and look forward to user feedback to continue improving and developing it..”
Ms. Marras of UNEP said: “The UN system is strongly committed to reducing its climate and environmental footprint and aligning with UNFCCC recommendations to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Events are a key part of how the UN operates and carries out its mandates. For this reason, the GET is an essential tool to help the UN system meet its reporting commitments and responsibilities. Beyond increasing environmental sustainability, encouraging the use of virtual or hybrid events has the added benefits of increasing inclusivity, accessibility, and gender equality. We are excited that this tool is now available to organizations across the UN system and beyond.
The main objective of the GET is to encourage actions aimed at reducing the negative impacts of events, including their carbon footprint, at the planning and implementation stages. This is achieved by documenting activities that have an impact on sustainability aspects and GHG emissions, and calculating GHG emissions (carbon footprint). It also allows transparent reporting of the calculated carbon footprint and actions to ensure sustainability; third-party verification process (optional but encouraged) to receive a sustainability rating; and recommend the use of high quality carbon credits to offset unavoidable GHG emissions.
NOTES TO EDITORS
GORD is a non-profit organization leading the sustainability community in the MENA region. Based in the Qatar Science and Technology Park, GORD drives the transformation of societies, industries and the built environment by influencing business ethics, fostering innovation and developing the capacity to enable sustainable growth low-carbon for current and future generations. The main activities of the organization include R&D, standard setting, green building certification, accreditation services, voluntary carbon markets, performance testing, knowledge dissemination and advisory services on sustainability and climate change for governments, non-governmental organizations, public and private.
About the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
UNEP is the world’s leading voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in environmental protection by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
ABOUT THE UNFCCC:
With 198 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near-universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. century well below 2 degrees Celsius and spur efforts to further limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate goal of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent any dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame that allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.
For more information contact:
Keishamaza Rukikaire, Chief of Information and Media, United Nations Environment Program