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UNECE participation at COP-15

Published: 11 December 2009


The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will participate actively in the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 7- 18 December, which core component will be the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

On this occasion, UNECE is releasing Catalysing change - The UNECE response to the climate countdown. This publication highlights the pivotal role of the UNECE region — which spans 56 countries — in climate change.  Historically the region has been a large emitter of greenhouse gases that cause global warming and it will be particularly affected by a changing climate. At the same time, the region is also leading global efforts to combat climate change.

The publication presents the main impacts of climate change in the region, as well as the regional response to climate challenge, mitigation measures and adaptation strategies.

It shows that UNECE’s activities cover many key areas relevant to mitigating or adapting to climate change. These include sustainable energy, transport, buildings, forestry, integrated water management and public participation. UNECE’s sectoral work, its development of relevant norms and standards, and its multilateral environmental agreements are all important pillars that strengthen national, regional and global efforts to confront climate change. In addition, as one of the United Nations regional commissions, UNECE acts as a convener of regional action on climate change.

At COP-15, UNECE will participate in the following side events.

Sunday, 13 December

Forest Day 3
Radisson BLU Falconer Hotel & Conference Center,
The event is organized by the Center for International Forestry Research and the Government of Denmark under the auspices of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), which is headed up by FAO. http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/Events/ForestDay3/Introduction/

Monday, 14 December

Building capacity for effective public engagement in climate change governance
EU Pavilion: Czech Republic

Ms. Eva Adamova

Tel: +42 0 267122387

Organised with the support of UNECE and UNITAR, and linked to UNFCCC art. 6, Rio Principle 10 and the Aarhus Convention, this event will highlight good practices and key challenges in promoting transparency, raising public awareness and strengthening public engagement in addressing climate change.

  • UNECE to give a presentation on climate change and Aarhus Convention.

Advancing Work on Adaptation to Climate Change: A UN System Perspective
Room Halfdan Rasmussen: United Nations (UN)

Mr. Georgios Kostakos

Tel: +1 646 6421055

(Main presenter: Helen Clark, UNDP/UNDG)

The UN system is committed to assisting countries in adapting to the impacts of climate change, while tackling poverty and achieving growth. The event will showcase good practices and resources developed by the system in key adaptation areas.

Cities, population dynamics and climate change
Room Liva Weel: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)

Ms. Karin Buhren

Phone:+254 20 7623191

Climate change threatens access to basic urban services and reduces the quality of life, thus the severest burden is on the urban poor in slums. UN-HABITAT/UNEP partner with international organisations, national and local governments to build resilience via innovative tools and strategies.

    • Ján KUBIŠ, UNECE Executive Secretary, will open session and introduce UNECE film on energy efficiency in housing
    • Launch of UNECE publication on Global Energy Efficiency 21, (financing mechanisms and programmes prepared by UNECE in cooperation with other regional commissions under the framework of UN Energy)

Tuesday, 15 December

Cutting the carbon knot: Raising public awareness for GHG emission cuts through pollutant registers
Room Victor Borg: Armenia

Ms. Nune Hovhannisyan

Tel: +374 10 585349



Organized by Armenia in cooperation with the International PRTR Coordinating Group (UNECE, UNEP, UNITAR, OECD & REC), this event looks at how countries can use pollutant release and transfer registers to raise public awareness about major sources of GHGs to promote emission reductions.

  • UNECE  to give a presentation on the Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR)

Wednesday, 16 December

Supporting Regional Action: Regional Initiatives and Strategies in Support of Country Efforts on Climate Change
Room Victor Borg: United Nations (UN)

Mr. Amr Nour

Tel: +1 212 9635565

Regional perspectives and efforts to meet climate change challenges, incl.: adequate and accessible information services; private-public partnerships on energy efficiency; assessing economic impacts of climate change; low-carbon development pathways and; sustainable management of natural resources.

  • Opening remarks by Mr. Ján Kubiš, UNECE Executive Secretary in his capacity as current Coordinator of the UN Regional Commissions
  • Presentation by Mr. Ján Kubiš, UNECE Executive Secretary, on “Achieving energy efficiency through public-private partnerships: experiences from the UNECE region” 
  • Mr. Ján Kubiš introduced the publication on "Financing Global Climate Change Mitigation" prepared by UNECE in cooperation with all other UN Regional Commissions and within UN-Energy.

Launch of UNECE Guidance on Water and Adaptation to Climate Change
Holland Climate House
Adresses from Ms. Huizinga, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, The Netherlands, and Mr. Ashimov, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Kazakhstan 

The UN System Delivering as One on Climate Change
Room CCTV: United Nations (UN)

Mr. Georgios Kostakos

Tel: +1 646 6421055

This event will be chaired by the UN Secretary-General and all heads of organizations present at COP 15 will be present on stage.

It will provide an overview of UN system capacities and confirm the system's commitment at the highest level to further assist Parties to UNFCCC in planning and implementing measures to address climate change in adaptation, capacity building, technology transfer, REDD and other areas. 

Thursday, 17 December

Climate neutral cities
Room Victor Borg: Italy

Ms. Laura Calamaro

Tel: +39 6 57228130

The event features the launching of video on climate neutral cities and plans and programs for reducing emissions in urban areas, including on transport, housing, urban forests and financing. Speakers from the Italian Ministry, UNECE and other organizations.

The complete list of side events is available on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

Ref: ECE/ENV/09/P32

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05