Unitaid Secretariat to be carbon neutral by 2022
Geneva, 11 November 2021 – In response to growing evidence on the detrimental impact of climate change on people’s health, global health agency Unitaid has committed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the goals set by the Paris Agreement.
Following its Climate Action Roadmap, launched today, Unitaid will reduce carbon emissions of the Secretariat by 50% by 2030 and will offset its carbon footprint to effectively achieve net-zero emissions from 2022.
This announcement comes as countries committed to climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this week, recognizing the urgent need to confront the mounting health risks posed by global warming.
Initial actions will focus on tackling the largest sources of emissions at the Secretariat level. These include: decarbonizing procurements through net-zero and environmental pledges; reducing travel and prioritizing green modes of transportation; and closing its emissions gaps through high-quality certified carbon offset programs.
Looking to the future, Unitaid will push for climate solutions that reach beyond its organizational boundaries to reduce the carbon emissions of its investments and of the health products and innovations it catalyzes. These priorities will be reflected in Unitaid’s upcoming 2022-2026 strategy.
The Climate Action Roadmap sets out clear pathways to achieving these reductions in emissions across Unitaid’s operations. It was developed following a comprehensive carbon footprint assessment of Unitaid’s Secretariat and investment portfolio to establish a robust baseline of carbon emissions, conducted with support from independent evaluator Gaia.
Unitaid is proud to lead this effort with grant implementers, health agencies and other partners to address unprecedented challenges caused by climate change and contribute to an environmentally responsible and sustainable global health response.
Unitaid is a global health agency engaged in finding innovative solutions to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases more quickly, cheaply, and effectively, in low- and middle-income countries. Its work includes funding initiatives to address major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, as well as HIV co-infections and co-morbidities such as cervical cancer and hepatitis C, and cross-cutting areas, such as fever management. Unitaid is now applying its expertise to address challenges in advancing new therapies and diagnostics for the COVID-19 pandemic, serving as a key member of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. Unitaid is hosted by the World Health Organization.
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