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UNEP Executive Director Highlights the Postal Sector’s Potential to Reduce its Environmental Footprint

Statement by Achim Steiner to the Universal Postal Union's 24th Universal Post Congress. Photo credit, UNEP 25 July 2008: In a speech delivered at the 24th Universal Postal Union (UPU) Congress, which is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 23 July to 12 August 2008, UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Executive Director, Achim Steiner, highlighted the postal sector's role in the transition towards a green economy.

Noting the postal sector's unique place in the global economy and that in the future, businesses will need to adapt to changes, he stated that the sector had a large potential to reduce its environmental footprint. He listed some examples of efforts carried out by national postal companies to decrease their emissions, but emphasized that the potential for the sector to reduce its environmental footprint is far greater. He

welcomed: the signing between UPU and UNEP of an agreement to assess the climate impacts of the world's postal services; the options given to UPU member States to reduce this impact; and UPU's aim of becoming climate neutral. He proposed initiating a global partnership on the climate change challenge between UNEP and postal services to raise public awareness on climate change, stressing the need to “focus and empower the minds of politicians” before the UNFCCC Conference in Copenhagen in 2009. [UNEP Executive Director's statement]