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World to zero in on solutions for the future at 4th UN Environment Assembly

  • UN calls for governments, public and private sector to take a critical look at their consumption and production patterns, urging to “Think Beyond, Live Within.” 
  • Countries to make measurable commitments toward stimulating innovation and implementing circular economy systems.
  • Resolutions expected to cover the mainstreaming of biodiversity and the sound management of chemicals and waste, the use of big data, information management, indigenous knowledge solutions, the promotion of sustainable lifestyles and the efficient use of resources.
  • The sixth Global Environment Outlook, the UN’s flagship periodical assessment of the state of the environment, will be launched at the Assembly. 


The United Nations Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level environmental forum attended by Heads of State, environment ministers, CEOs of multinational companies, NGOs, environmental activists, and more, to discuss and make global commitments to environmental protection.

The Assembly is the year’s best opportunity to track the latest developments in environmental policy and action, report on new stories and interview people in power, the world’s foremost environmental innovators and those whose lives and livelihoods are threatened unless we embark on a path to sustainable consumption and production. 

Sustainable Production and Consumption

The fourth Environment Assembly zeroes in on the twin themes of innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production inspiring nations, private sector players and individuals to #SolveDifferent and take a critical look at their consumption and production patterns.

“For all the progress inspired by the Global Goals, one barrier impedes them all: the choices we make in our everyday lives continue to fuel consumption and production habits that are increasingly extending beyond the limits of our planet,” H.E. Siim Kiisler President of the 2019 UN Environment Assembly.

Sustainable consumption and production addresses the life cycle of economic activities: the extraction of resources, their processing into materials and products, and the subsequent use and discarding of those products. They can also be broken down into specific economic activities in order to do more and better with less and identify priorities according to their environmental impacts and resource demands. 

Urging participants to “Think Beyond, Live Within”, Member States at the Assembly will call for bold resolutions to stimulate sustainable consumption and production patterns across the world, through: 

  • Policy interventions
  • Environmentally sound technologies
  • Sustainable financing schemes
  • Education, research and development
  • Sharing of best practices
  • Capacity-building and awareness-raising
  • Private and public partnerships

“We have grown at the expense of our planet. To guarantee a sustainable future, we all need to work together to transform our patterns of consumption and production,” Joyce Msuya, Acting Head of UN Environment said.  “The 2019 UN Environment Assembly will provide a platform for game-changing innovations and ensure that we have a roadmap for these bold ideas to flourish.”

The Assembly will further see the launch of the sixth Global Environmental Outlook, UN Environment’s flagship report that provides a periodic review of the status of the three major economic and social systems, namely energy, food and waste systems. The GEO report outlines not only areas of most concern but also sheds light on the options that policymakers have to achieve environmental progress. 

The launch of the report will be the catalyzer for science-based discussions on the environmental state and trends at the global, regional and local level. Scientists and government representatives will put forward assessments and expectations of environmental policy efforts, painting a clearer picture of the necessary transformation to our industry, agriculture, buildings, transport and energy sectors. 

Side events at the assembly will be a platform for in-depth conversations on the latest thinking, reports, data and action on environmental issues.

What to watch for:

High-level leadership dialogues bringing together Heads of State, environment ministers and business leaders to discuss the way forward to economies that embrace sustainable consumption and production, and the innovations that will get us here. 

Experts from the private sector, prominent scientists and leaders in environmental protection. 

Environmental innovations, showcased by some of the boldest pioneers in the field. 

Resolutions on sustainable consumption and production – adopted by all 193 UN Member States – creating a framework for a circular economy and a sustainable future. 

Launch of the Global Environment Outlook: UN Environment’s flagship report will give a comprehensive overview of the overall state of our environment and how it affects our social and economic status.

Media roundtables with leaders of faith, business and innovation, sharing the broader story of environmental change and protection. Media roundtables will include:

  • Faith for Earth: Prominent Faith leaders will visit the Assembly to discuss ways to address environmental challenged through faith-based organizations: treating the earth as a gift.
  • The latest in the fight against plastic pollution: there are no silver bullets when it comes to plastic pollution. Making sure that nations and citizens adopt sustainable production and consumption patterns. 
  • Playing for the Planet: how can the gaming industry promote the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals via their platforms and through their industry?
  • Green Collar jobs: Sustainable production and consumption open up new opportunities for job creation. The International Renewable Energy Agency projects that the current 8.1 million renewable energy jobs could increase to more than 24 million by 2030. Key leaders from education institutions and various employment sectors will shed light on the future of Green Collared jobs.
  • The launch of the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion: Fashion is a 2.5 trillion-dollar industry that employs approximately 60 million people worldwide. It is a key economic sector. We need to improve the fashion industry’s environmental footprint, by establishing a circular system for sustainable textile chains. 

Where: United Nations Compound, Nairobi, Kenya

Dates: 11-15 March 2019

Read original release here.