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21 April, 2022 Legal Update

Sustainability Update: April 2022

Sustainability Update: April 2022


Read about the latest sustainability news from the United Nations, ECLAC, the EU, and the WBCSD.

ECLAC Forum Highlights Key Elements for Achieving the SDGs

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), organized the forum for the region’s 33 countries. The three-day event served as a lead-up to the 2022 HLPF, to assess the region’s progress towards the 2030 Agenda. According to ECLAC, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is the developing region most affected by COVID-19 from a health, economic and social point of view. Eight LAC countries will present a VNR at this year’s HLPF.
 
The annual report on progress towards the 2030 Agenda in the LAC region analyzes these growing asymmetries and presents specific proposals on related to: financing for development; improving national and regional policy implementation; building institutions’ resilience; and overcoming conflicts through agreements and compacts.
 
The outcome of the fifth forum is a set of conclusions and recommendations adopted by participating delegations. The document recognizes the April 2021 entry into force of the Escazú Agreement –the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean. The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Agreement (COP1) will take place on April 20-22, 2022 in Santiago, Chile.
 
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EU: Impacts on Agricultural Production

The new policy brief prepared by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) analyzes existing evidence on the impact of environmental degradation on European food availability. It focuses on climate change, biodiversity loss and soil degradation.
 
While these impacts on crop yields are mostly studied for major staple crops such as wheat, rice or maize, recent results suggest similar results for vegetables, fruits, nuts and fiber products, which are essential for healthy nutrition. In particular negative impacts are expected for vegetables, leafy crops, soft fruits, tree fruits and nuts.
 
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EU: Feedback on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence

The European Commission has opened its proposal for a directive on corporate sustainability due diligence for feedback. The Commission will summarize all feedback received and submit it to the European Parliament and Council with the aim of feeding into the legislative debate.
 
Feedback period ends May 23, 2022.
 
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New Guidance Being Developed for Decarbonization of Logistics

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Smart Freight Centre has announced a new initiative with 25+ global companies to advance the quantification of logistics emissions, and support the logistics industry on their journey to net-zero emissions.
 
The objective is to enable companies to better understand and track their carbon emissions on a granular operational level, enhance industry collaboration and support businesses in the implementation of their decarbonization strategies and achievement of net-zero targets.
 
The guidance is expected to be published by the end of 2022, with an intended formal launch during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, in January 2023.
 
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UN: Draft Program Released for 2022 HLPF

The UN Secretariat released on April 6, 2022, the draft program for the July 2022 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The 2022 HLPF will focus on in-depth reviews of five SDGs (SDG 4,5,14,15 and 17). 45 countries are expected to present voluntary national reviews (VNRs). The HLPF will also be the site of side events, VNR “labs,” special events, and exhibitions. Applications for side events and exhibitions are being accepted until May 31, 2022.
 
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UN: Expert Group to Build Accountability for Net Zero Pledges

The UN Secretary-General has appointed a high-level group of experts to increase credibility and accountability for net-zero pledges by businesses, financial institutions, and local and regional governments. The independent group is expected to issue recommendations within 9 to 12 months of its first meeting, which will take place in early 2022.
 
The Group’s recommendations will address:

  • current standards and definitions for setting net-zero targets, and any needed additional elements to maximize integrity for net-zero targets;
  • credibility criteria used to assess the objectives, measurement and reporting of net-zero pledges;
  • processes for verifying progress towards net-zero commitments and decarbonization plans, including processes for assessing aggregate impact; and
  • a road map to translate standards and criteria into international and national regulations.

UN: 2022 World Water Development Report Focuses on Groundwater

The UN has released the 2022 edition of the UN World Water Development Report, which focuses on groundwater. The report stresses the need for environmental regulations to prevent pollution of groundwater. It will provide a baseline for the December 2022 UN Summit on Groundwater in Paris, France, which is also part of preparations for the March 2023 UN Water Conference. This conference will serve also as the mid-term review of the international decade of action on water for sustainable development.
 
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