NAROBI: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced the closure of the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net).
Members of the web-based platform, which allowed companies, organizations, cities and states to showcase their climate neutral strategies, and to share and access information and ideas with fellow participants, are being invited to approach other similar platforms to continue their climate neutral efforts.
Beginning with just 13 participants, the network today consists of 300 members, who have been aiming at different paces and scale to work towards low carbon growth.
Some 10 countries, 7 regions, 19 cities, 156 companies, 40 organizations and 11 universities joined CN-Net.
Highlights of the CN-Net campaign include “A Case for Climate Neutrality: Case Studies on Moving Towards a Low Carbon Economy” – a publication showcasing green business strategies from the network’s members – and projects on eco-tourism in Kenya and Tanzania.
CN Net members have also been actively involved in World Environment Day activities.
One of the founding CN Net members was the city of Arendal in Norway, which has been a leading light among municipalities in efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.
The city is on track to meet the ambitious goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 90% between 2007 and 2017, primarily through the phasing out of oil-fired boilers and the greening of the city’s car fleet with low emission vehicles.
Following Arendal’s example, the Norwegian government is currently working on a pilot project on climate neutrality including 10 government institutions and agencies in Norway, employing more than 300,000 people.
The possible emissions reductions from this exercise are estimated at 600,000 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent.
After overseeing CN Net for three years, UNEP is now inviting members to contact three organisations – Caring for Climate, Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the Climate Group. These organisations, who have signalled their enthusiasm to work with CN Net participants, offer similar platforms to foster commitment to climate neutrality in the private and public sectors, and support organisations in achieving their environmental goals.
“Many of the countries, cities, companies and other stakeholders have achieved a great deal during the life time of this campaign, and I would like to congratulate those who assisted in making CN Net a success in terms of outreach and in many cases in terms of real and tangible action”, said Nick Nuttall, Acting Director of UNEP’s Division of Communications and Public Information and UNEP Spokesperson.
“On behalf of UNEP, I would like to thank the participants of CN Net for their involvement and wish everyone all the best in their endeavours for the future towards accelerating and scaling up a pathway to a Green Economy”.
The closure of CN Net follows discussion with participants on the most rationale way forward..
In October 2011, UNEP in collaboration with the city of Arendal, convened a ‘webinar’ to discuss options for the future. Following feedback from members, it was decided to close the platform and present the offer of handing over the campaign to the three platforms in order to better focus international and local efforts in this field.