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EU, UNEP Strengthen Collaboration on Environment, Climate Change

EU UNEP25 June 2014: The European Commission and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that lays the foundation for continued collaboration on environment and climate change issues. Under the MOU, the European Commission and UNEP and will engage in more targeted cooperation on such areas as climate change, green economy, biodiversity and the new mercury convention.

The MOU outlines the cooperation the two parties will undertake to protect the environment and prevent climate change, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication goals. The agreement is one response to the outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), held in June 2012. It will help ensure the environment is considered in national policy-making for all sectors and consolidate the parties' approach to implementing the post-2015 agenda on the regional and global levels.

The agreement expresses the shared priorities of the two parties, which have a long history of collaborating in the fields of "biodiversity, sustainable consumption and production, climate change, water resources, sound chemicals and waste management, environmental monitoring and assessment, strengthening environment governance at the global, regional and national levels," according to UNEP. The European Commission will provide €9 million annually over the next seven years in support of UNEP's work.

Using the EU's General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 (7th EAP) and UNEP's Medium Term Strategy for the period 2014-2017, the specifics of the strategy for dialogue and cooperation will be described in an Annex to the MOU and announced over the coming months.

The Memorandum, which builds on a similar MOU agreed in 2004, was signed by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and EU Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik in Nairobi, Kenya, during the UNEP Environment Assembly taking place 23-27 June 2014. [UNEP Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of the UNEP Environment Assembly]