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Good morning, this is Kasmira. Today, ahead of the UN Economic Commission for Europe's high-level session, we spoke to its chief about why shifting to a so-called circular economy is key to cutting carbon emissions. That's just ahead of Joe Biden's virtual climate summit for world leaders on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a new mapping tool developed by the UN and backed by major financial institutions aims to connect investors with SDG-related projects around the world. And in Europe, deliberations over new green finance rules continue, with countries still split over whether to label gas as green or not.

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Kasmira Jefford


Sustainable business and finance news

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Masks made from plastic household items by Thai artist Thanawat Maneenawa are on display at gallery in Bangkok, Thailand, in March 2021. The installation highlights waste accumulation while prompting people to turn to recycling. (Credit: EPA/Diego Azubel)

🔁 Going round in circles. To slash planet-warming emissions, countries urgently need to step up their commitments to “circular” policies of reusing and recycling, the UN Economic Commission for Europe will urge ministers at a high-level meeting this week. Speaking to Geneva Solutions, Olga Algayerova, executive secretary of the UNECE, said "ambition must be raised much stronger and higher and faster. Because there is no time to waste. We don't have another planet."

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🗺️💰 Mapping SDG investment projects across the globe. A new online tool developed by the United Nations Development Programme and backed by some of the world's largest financial institutions aims to connect investors with projects across the world that can contribute to the body's 17 sustainable development goals.

Bloomberg (EN)

🌱 The EU's dilemma over classing gas as "green" or not. The European Union will this week lay out conditions that transport, industry and buildings must meet to be classed as a sustainable investment in Europe, but delay a decision on whether to label gas and nuclear power as green, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

Reuters (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

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Workers clean cashews. Less than 15 per cent of the nuts grown in Africa are deshelled on the continent. / ©

🥜 Going nuts for cashews. The global market for cashews is booming, but the African countries growing more than half the world’s supply aren’t cashing in, an UNCTAD report says, due to their lack of processing industries. Between 2000 and 2018, world trade in raw cashew nuts more than doubled to 2.1 billion kilograms, and African producers – led by Côte d’Ivoire – accounted for almost two-thirds of the growth. But the continent’s farmers and exporters get only a fraction of the final retail price, according to the report.


Next on the agenda

📍20-21 April | Sixty-ninth session of the UNECE. This high-level meeting of the UN Economic Commission for Europe will gather ministers from the region and set the agenda for the commission for the next two years. The topic of focus: how to transition to a circular economy and sustainable use of natural resources.


📍21 April | Gender lens initiative for Switzerland webinar. The Gender Lens Initiative for Switzerland (GLIS), a working group that launched on 8 March, will hold its first webinar to discuss gender lens investing in its different aspects and how to enhance the Swiss contribution to UN SDG5 of achieving gender equality.

Sustainable Finance Geneva (EN)

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