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GEO-5 Geneva Consultations Identify European Priorities

25 September 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Regional Consultation for Europe took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 23-24 September 2010, bringing together 53 participants representing a range of stakeholders, including UN agencies, government departments, research and academic institutions, the private sector and press from Europe.

This meeting was the sixth in a series of seven regional consultations being undertaken by UNEP as part of the preparation for the production of the fifth GEO (GEO-5). The principal output of these consultations is a final report for each region containing the outcomes of the meeting, including key recommendations, regional priorities, agreed goals and target audiences. This consultation resulted in agreement on key regional environmental issues and challenges as follows: air quality and air pollution; biodiversity; chemicals and waste; climate change; and freshwater. Environmental governance was identified as an overarching issue.

On climate change, participants highlighted the need to consider both mitigation and adaptation activities. Noting that its scope was broader, participants agreed to adopt Article 2 of the UNFCCC as the regional goal for climate change for GEO-5. This article requires stabilization of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. [IISD RS Summary] [GEO-5 Website]