The Congress Organized by The Economist Highlights Key Sustainable Elements of the Project, Emphasizing FC Barcelona's Commitment to Sustainability

Euro Spotlight: Espai Barça’s Sustainability Win

The Congress Organized by The Economist Highlights Key Sustainable Elements of the Project, Emphasizing FC Barcelona’s Commitment to Sustainability and its Application in the Redevelopment of Spotify Camp Nou.

Sustainability holds a central position in FC Barcelona’s 2025 Strategic Plan and serves as a fundamental principle for the Espai Barça project. The project design is centered on minimizing environmental effects while enhancing the well-being and health of residents in the local community and the city. The club unveiled its strategies for the new stadium during the European Sports Integrity Summit, conducted online today with the theme “Shielding the true spirit of sports in ambiguous times.” The summit was organized by Economist Impact, a division of the esteemed British publication, The Economist.

As part of the summit’s Sport Sustainability block, FC Barcelona’s head of engineering and sustainability, Jorge Laborda, spoke about the significance of sustainability for the team. He started out by outlining the crucial function performed by Jordi Portabella’s Sustainability Area and how it directly affects Barça’s day-to-day operations.

Laborda detailed the various elements incorporated into the planning of Espai Barça, with particular emphasis on the upcoming Spotify Camp Nou. The infrastructure is slated to be entirely sustainable, prioritizing environmental considerations. Notably, substantial endeavors are underway to reduce material consumption, concurrently advocating for greener transportation methods and implementing additional measures to safeguard the environment.

Spotify Camp Nou is the first stadium in the world to be LEED certified, and Espai Barça is BREEAM certified. The various projects include the installation of 18,000m2 of photovoltaic panels on the exterior roof, a 25ha landscaped area, and circuits that will result in approximately 40% energy savings. In addition to having a rainwater collection system that directs collected rainwater into subterranean tanks, the future ground will be able to generate its own energy and emit zero carbon dioxide. This will result in a 20% reduction in water consumption.

Sustainability and sport
The European Sports Integrity Summit serves as a prominent conference uniting leaders from major sports organizations and businesses across Europe. Its primary objective is to exchange best practices in crucial areas like sustainability, diversity, and inclusion. The summit highlights initiatives such as those undertaken by FC Barcelona and Espai Barça, emphasizing sustainability. This platform provides the club with a valuable opportunity to directly present detailed insights and reaffirm its dedication to constructing an entirely sustainable Espai Barça.

FC Barcelona’s focus on sustainability not only reflects a responsible approach to infrastructure development but also contributes to the global imperative of addressing environmental concerns and promoting a greener, more sustainable future.

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Efficient Ships, Eco-Fuels for the Future

Green Cruising: Efficient Ships, Eco-Fuels for the Future

Reporter Damon Embling travels to Genoa, an Italian coastal city, in this edition of Focus to learn how the cruise industry is charting the future of sustainability.

The president of Costa Cruises, based in Genoa, Mario Zanetti, speaks with Damon about the difficulties the industry faces in achieving net zero, including the sector’s contribution to the expansion of marine fuel substitutes.

In the preceding year, the MSC Euribia cruise vessel achieved a significant milestone by undertaking the inaugural voyage in the industry with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This groundbreaking journey was made possible by procuring approximately 400 tonnes of bio-liquefied natural gas, underscoring a symbolic commitment to environmental sustainability.

Damon further explores a cutting-edge laboratory, a collaborative effort between technology firm Ecospray and the University of Genoa. Within this innovative space, dedicated researchers are actively engaged in the industrialization of fuel cells. This transformative technology has the potential to capture as much as 90% of carbon emissions from cruise ships, presenting a promising avenue for reducing the environmental impact of maritime travel.

The Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) director general for Europe, Marie-Caroline Laurent, speaks with us and emphasizes the significance of installing shoreside electricity so that cruise ships can plug in. When in port, it allows ships to turn off their engines and reduce their emissions.

While in Brussels, we examine the European Union’s initiatives aimed at curbing emissions within the maritime sector. Noteworthy among these measures is the implementation of an Emissions Trading System (ETS), a framework designed to assign a monetary value to carbon emissions. Additionally, the FuelEU maritime initiative, a strategic plan set in motion, seeks to progressively diminish reliance on conventional fuels starting from 2025 onwards.

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IKEA's Eco-Focused Journey Unveiling New Stores and Initiatives in 2024

IKEA’s Eco-Focused Journey: Unveiling New Stores and Initiatives in 2024

In 2024, IKEA US is set to embark on a transformative journey, focusing on sustainability and introducing new format stores to enhance customer experience. The company plans to open four stores with plan and order points and pick-up services, with two locations in Austin, Texas, and the Atlanta Metropolitan area, and two in greater Los Angeles.

In a bid to increase accessibility for customers, IKEA US is rolling out plan and order points with pick-up services in Annapolis and Gaithersburg, Maryland, and in Katy, Texas. This initiative allows customers to choose their purchase collection point based on convenience, providing them with flexibility in the shopping process.

Understanding the importance of a seamless shopping experience, IKEA US is offering support from its experts to help customers plan and order their kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. This personalized assistance aims to enhance customer satisfaction and make the purchasing process more efficient.

IKEA has long been committed to sustainability, and in 2024, the company is taking significant strides towards its goal of becoming climate-positive by 2030. The expansion of the buyback and resell service allows customers to purchase gently used products, contributing to a more sustainable and circular economy.

As part of its sustainability mission, IKEA US is installing public electric vehicle chargers in its stores, encouraging the adoption of eco-friendly transportation. The company is also actively advocating for US legislation to support its sustainability goals.

In the year 2023, IKEA US reported impressive financial results, with total sales of goods and services exceeding $6.3 billion, marking a 6.6% increase compared to 2022. The company celebrated its success by announcing a $54.5 million bonus payout to employees, culminating what it referred to as a “record year.”

IKEA US didn’t just focus on financial success in 2023; it made substantial strides in sustainability projects. The company commissioned solar installations across seven units, introduced a large-scale renewable heating/cooling project to optimize HVAC systems at five stores, and achieved a significant milestone with its first-ever battery storage project.

As IKEA US reflects on its performance in 2023 and gears up for the challenges of 2024, it remains committed to its mission of sustainability and customer satisfaction. The strategic opening of new stores, coupled with innovative services like plan and order points and pick-up, demonstrates IKEA’s dedication to evolving with the times.

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ERI's Vision Reinforced with New Chief Officer

Sustainable Strategies: ERI’s Vision Reinforced with New Chief Officer

Electronics recycler ERI, located in Fresno, California, has appointed David Hirschler as its first chief sustainability officer.

Hirschler, who held the position of senior director of sustainability and legislative compliance at ERI in his previous role, played a pivotal role in engaging with legislators and government agencies. In this capacity, he actively collaborated on various initiatives, overseeing collection programs aimed at responsibly managing electronic waste. His responsibilities extended to involvement in circularity projects, wherein he contributed to the development and implementation of strategies that promote a more sustainable and circular economy.

Hirschler also showed initiative in monitoring and promoting ERI’s internal sustainability and waste reduction goals. His efforts went beyond mere oversight, as he actively promoted and championed the adoption of practices that align with the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship. His diverse responsibilities included close coordination with stakeholders both inside and outside the company, which cemented his standing as a pivotal figure in furthering ERI’s sustainability goals.

 John Shegerian (ERI Chairman and CEO) said: “We’re excited to name David our chief sustainability officer, a title that is well-earned and fitting for someone with such a strong track record and set of skills in the space,”

 “With his passion for–and deep understanding of–sustainability issues, it makes perfect sense to elevate David’s already critical role to the next level of stewardship to benefit not only ERI, but the planet.”

Hirschler was the director of waste prevention for the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) before coming to work at ERI in 2014. In addition, Hirschler is on the board of directors of Fabscrap, a nonprofit organization that recycles and reuses commercial textiles.

Hirschler said: “It’s truly an honor to accept this leadership role at ERI, where we can continue to set benchmarks of sustainability excellence, By elevating this role into the C-suite, ERI is truly demonstrating its commitment to sustainability.”

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SLMG Beverages Sustainable Vision

₹100 Cr Green Push: SLMG Beverages Sustainable Vision

SLMG Beverages will allocate ₹75 crore towards sustainability initiatives, with an additional ₹25 crore dedicated to enhancing quality.

In an effort to champion sustainable solutions in the fight against climate change, SLMG Beverages Pvt Ltd, the Coca-Cola bottling partner in India, is set to invest over ₹100 crore this year specifically towards sustainability, safety, and environmental initiatives.

The company announced that out of the entire investment, ₹75 crore will be directed towards sustainability, while ₹25 crore will be allocated for quality improvement.

SLMG Beverages Pvt Ltd Chairman and Managing Director S N Ladhani said: “Sustainability is core to our business strategy to respond to current and future challenges, while creating positive change for the planet,”

Ladhani stated: “Our water, packaging and climate goals are interlinked. By creating a circular economy for packaging, we will minimise our carbon footprint,”

SLMG wants to attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in accordance with Coca-Cola’s global initiative to build a “World Without Waste”. This audacious goal demonstrates the company’s commitment to taking the lead in combating climate change and lessening its environmental impact.

SLMG is planning to deploy an additional 20 Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) in Agra, in addition to the existing 12.

According to the company, it is dedicated to using solar energy to generate 70% of its electricity needs.

As stated, the company is actively diminishing its ecological impact by implementing planned capacity expansions in Ayodhya (15 MW), Unnao (5 MW), and Chhata (2.5 MW). Simultaneously, the focus is on adopting clean energy solutions.

By 2025, SLMG hopes to have 5,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in its fleet; by 2027, it hopes to have 10,000.

According to the statement, the company is buying big electric vehicles (EVs) for distribution and warehousing in order to follow the global trend toward sustainable transportation.

By aligning financial resources with sustainable practices and product excellence, SLMG Beverages sets an example for corporate responsibility, influencing positive outcomes for both the environment and consumers worldwide.

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Garment Industry Victory $1M for CA Workers

Garment Industry Victory: $1M for California Workers

The recent announcement by the US Department of Labour marks a significant milestone in the fight for the rights of Californian garment workers. With over US $1 million in back wages and damages secured, the repercussions of the investigation into malpractices by Los Angeles garment contractors are far-reaching.

Investigation Details: The investigation delved into the operations of four sewing contractors – Good Cash LLC, Good Cash Inc., Premium Quality Apparel LLC, and Premium Quality Apparel Inc. Owned by Ramon Tecum, Marisela Romero (also known as Diana Tecum), and Joseph Delao, these contractors were found to have willfully failed to pay overtime wages for hours exceeding 40 in a workweek. Shockingly, employees, who averaged 52 hours per week, were deprived of their rightful compensation.

Violations and Consequences: Former California Deputy Labour Commissioner Conrado Gomez played a significant role in these businesses. During a court-authorized investigation inspection, Tecum, Romero, and Gomez attempted to disguise themselves as workers, even resorting to cutting off power and instructing employees to leave.

Beyond Yoga’s Response: In a commendable move, athleisure apparel brand Beyond Yoga, associated with the implicated contractors, accepted responsibility for the wrongdoing. They agreed to pay a substantial amount of US $582,317 in back wages and damages. Beyond Yoga also committed to an enhanced compliance agreement, updating its code of conduct to align with the Fair Labour Standards Act.

Legal Actions Taken: The Office of the Solicitor took decisive action, securing a consent judgment against Good Cash and Premium Apparel entities. A US $200,000 civil money penalty was imposed, setting a precedent for the consequences of violating labour laws in the garment industry.

Impact on Garment Workers: The plight of garment workers, often working long hours in challenging conditions, is brought to the forefront. The settlement highlights the need for improved working conditions and fair compensation in the industry.

Fair Labour Standards Act Compliance: An overview of the Fair Labour Standards Act underscores the importance of aligning the code of conduct for garment contractors with the Act’s stringent standards.

Beyond Yoga’s Code of Conduct Update: Details of Beyond Yoga’s commitment to compliance are provided, emphasizing the steps taken to ensure adherence to the Fair Labour Standards Act.

Reflection on Industry Practices: The article addresses common issues in the garment industry, advocating for fair and ethical treatment of workers. It calls for a collective effort to rectify systemic problems.

Public Reaction: Social media platforms buzz with responses to the announcement, with users calling for ethical practices and fair treatment of workers in the garment industry.

Preventing Future Violations: The importance of proactive measures in monitoring and enforcing labour laws is discussed, offering suggestions to prevent similar violations in the future. Workers’ Rights Advocacy: The role of labour organizations in supporting workers and promoting awareness about workers’ rights is highlighted.


Q: What led to the investigation into the garment contractors?

A: The investigation was prompted by allegations of malpractices, including the wilful failure to pay overtime wages.

Q: How did Beyond Yoga respond to the allegations?

A: Beyond Yoga accepted responsibility, agreeing to pay US $582,317 in back wages and damages. They also committed to an enhanced compliance agreement.

Q: What legal actions were taken against Good Cash and Premium Apparel entities?

A: The Office of the Solicitor secured a consent judgment, imposing a US $200,000 civil money penalty for their violations.

Q: What are the broader implications of this settlement for the garment industry?

A: The settlement highlights the need for improved working conditions and fair compensation, setting a precedent for ethical practices in the industry.

Q: How can similar violations be prevented in the future?

A: Proactive measures, including monitoring and enforcing labour laws, are crucial in preventing similar violations. Compliance with industry standards is also essential.

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Tommy Hilfiger Teams Up with Redress

Green Design Challenge: Tommy Hilfiger Teams Up with Redress

Tommy Hilfiger is set to make a significant contribution to the field of sustainable fashion by partnering with Hong Kong-based Redress for the prestigious Redress Design Award 2024—a leading competition dedicated to fostering sustainable design excellence.

Future designers from all over the world are invited to submit their circular and sustainable fashion designs by March 15, 2024, the deadline for submissions.

The top recipient of the Redress Design Award 2024 will have the unique opportunity to engage in a collaborative venture with the Tommy Hilfiger design team. This collaboration will involve working on a sustainable design project tailored for retail, providing the winner with invaluable hands-on experience within the industry. Furthermore, it serves as a platform for the winner to broaden their comprehension of sustainable fashion practices.

The goal of the environmental non-governmental organization Redress, which focuses on Asia, is to “Accelerate the transition to circular fashion by educating designers and consumers.”

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), acting through Create Hong Kong (CreateHK), is the main sponsor of the prize.

“Fashion is one of the world’s most polluting industries. Left unabated, pollution and waste is set to worsen. We urgently need to accelerate circular fashion, which is the best way to let fashion thrive without costing the earth.”-Christina Dean (Founder of Redress)

Tommy Hilfiger, owned by PVH Corp., is renowned for its commitment to sustainability and inclusivity under the motto ‘Wastes Nothing and Welcomes All.’ The brand boasts a decades-long track record dedicated to making the fashion industry more sustainable and inclusive.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Tommy Hilfiger and Redress for the Green Design Challenge marks a commendable step towards sustainable and inclusive fashion. As the fashion industry increasingly recognizes the importance of eco-conscious practices, this partnership exemplifies a commitment to reducing environmental impact and fostering innovation in design. With Tommy Hilfiger’s established legacy and Redress’s dedication to promoting sustainable fashion, the Green Design Challenge holds promise not only for the participants but also for the broader movement towards a more responsible and eco-friendly fashion landscape.

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China's U.S. Policy

China’s U.S. Policy: A Focus on Mutual Respect and Cooperation

China-U.S. relations have traversed a 45-year odyssey, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson expressing the historical significance of this journey. The growth of these ties, as elucidated, not only impacts the two nations directly involved but also holds implications for global peace, stability, and development.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the U.S. in 1979 marked a consequential event in international relations. Over the ensuing 45 years, these ties have endured challenges and evolved significantly.

On January 1, 2024, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden exchanged letters of congratulations, emphasizing the diplomatic milestones achieved. Such gestures underscore the weight both nations place on their relationship.

Economically, the collaboration between China and the U.S. has witnessed remarkable growth. From a trade volume of less than U.S.D 2.5 billion in 1979 to a staggering $760 billion in 2022, and a surge in two-way investments from almost zero to over U.S.D 260 billion, the economic ties between the two nations have strengthened.

The establishment of 284 pairs of sister provinces, states, and cities further illustrates the depth of the connection. This network fosters understanding and cooperation at a sub-national level, contributing to the overall bilateral relationship.

Beyond economic collaboration, China and the U.S. have effectively collaborated on various international and regional hotspots, showcasing a shared commitment to addressing global challenges.

China’s policy towards the U.S. centres on mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation. This approach aligns with the evolving dynamics of international relations and serves the common interests of both nations.

The summit meeting in San Francisco was a pivotal moment, with leaders reaching over 20 deliverables spanning political affairs, foreign policy, trade and finance, people-to-people exchange, global governance, and military and security. The establishment of a future-oriented San Francisco vision set the course for bilateral relations.

The spokesperson emphasized China’s unwavering commitment to a stable, sound, and sustainable China-U.S. relationship. This commitment extends beyond rhetoric, with both nations actively working towards implementing common understandings and outcomes from the summit meeting.

China expresses readiness to collaborate with the U.S. in developing a right perception, managing disagreements effectively, and advancing mutually beneficial cooperation. Both nations, as major global players, share the responsibility of promoting people-to-people exchanges, steering the relationship towards mutual benefit.

As the 45th anniversary marks a significant milestone in China-U.S. relations, it is evident that the journey has been one of growth, collaboration, and shared responsibility. Nurturing a stable, sound, and sustainable relationship remains a priority for both nations, offering a beacon of hope for global peace and development.


Q: How has trade between China and the U.S. evolved over the 45 years?

A: Trade has surged from less than U.S.D 2.5 billion in 1979 to close to $760 billion in 2022.

Q: What are the key achievements of the summit meeting in San Francisco?

A: Over 20 deliverables were reached, spanning political affairs, trade, people-to-people exchange, and more.

Q: How does China view its U.S. policy?

A: China’s U.S. policy revolves around mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation.

Q: What is the significance of the 284 pairs of sister provinces, states, and cities?

A: It signifies a robust network fostering understanding and cooperation at a sub-national level.

Q: What steps are China and the U.S. taking to manage disagreements effectively?

A: Both nations aim to develop a right perception and advance mutually beneficial cooperation for effective conflict management.

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Environmental Projections for 2024

Sustainability Spotlight: Environmental Projections for 2024

In 2024, significant occurrences and observances will shape the environmental landscape, emphasizing implications for biodiversity, the environment, and global sustainability. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is committed to promoting multilateralism, science-driven discussions and initiatives, innovation, inclusive collaborations for biodiversity, and addressing urgent challenges such as antimicrobial resistance.

The following significant international gatherings and events are scheduled (dates and specifics subject to change):

-January 9–10: UNEP Working Group on Nitrogen Holds Fifth Meeting  

This is the fifth meeting of the UNEP Working Group on Nitrogen, which aims to advance the implementation of UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolutions 4/14 and 5/2 on “Sustainable Nitrogen Management.” This event will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, and attendance options include both hybrid and in-person attendance.

-January 23–25: Bern III Conference on Biodiversity-Related Convention Cooperation for the Kunming–Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework Implementation

The primary objective of the Bern III Conference is to strengthen the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) through the promotion of inclusive collaboration. The conference seeks to pinpoint opportunities for cooperation among conventions related to biodiversity, proposing measures to enhance collaboration within the confines of respective mandates. Additionally, it underscores the significance of sharing practical experiences to guide scalable cooperation in the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).

-From February 12 to 17, the Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP 14) will take place.

In order to ensure the survival of migratory species, international cooperation is emphasized at the upcoming CMS COP14 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Under the umbrella of “Nature knows no borders,” it is consistent with the Global Biodiversity Framework developed by Kunming and Montréal. The climate crisis, overexploitation, and habitat conservation are the topics of this meeting. The conference emphasizes cross-border cooperation among nations to ensure the survival of these species.

-The United Nations Environment Assembly will hold its sixth session from February 27 to March 1. (UNEA-6)

UNEA-6, held at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, places a strong emphasis on multilateral efforts that are sustainable and effective in addressing pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Through official events and dialogues, Member States and stakeholders will work together to advance the Decade of Action and address the connections between these global challenges. The assembly’s goal is to set the stage for more robust regional and international efforts by the UN, its member states, and its allies to take meaningful environmental action. In addition, there will be exhibits, several official and affiliated side events (some hybrid), Leadership Dialogues, and much more at the event.

-International Day of Zero Waste is on March 30.

In order to combat pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss, the International Day of Zero Waste advocates for circular economies and sustainable consumption and production. Zero-waste initiatives seek to minimize and prevent waste, improving environmental protection and human well-being, as the world’s waste output reaches 2.24 billion tons annually.

-Fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) is scheduled for April 21–30.

As required by the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) resolution, the Plastic Pollution Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) will meet in Ottawa, Canada. The UNEP-backed committee is working to create a globally enforceable law that addresses plastic pollution, including in marine environments.

-Nairobi Convention, COP 11, May 28–30

The Nairobi Convention, a regional treaty dedicated to safeguarding, overseeing, and fostering the development of the Western Indian Ocean, is convening its eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP 11). This event encompasses an initial gathering involving partners, experts, and national Focal Points, succeeded by a meeting of Heads of Delegation. The agenda includes an assessment of the Convention’s Work Programme for 2022–2024, endorsement of the Work Programme and budget for 2024–2026, and discussions on pivotal decisions.

-June 3–5 is the date of the second global Montevideo National Focal Points meeting.

The Montevideo Environmental Law Programme is committed to the advancement of the global environmental rule of law. The forthcoming Second Global Meeting of National Focal Points is scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya. The program aims to foster the creation and enforcement of environmental rule of law on a global scale, build capabilities within nations, and play a role in addressing the environmental aspects of the 2030 Agenda.

-From June 17 to 12, the 3rd session of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group will convene to discuss the establishment of a Science-Policy Panel. The primary focus is to advance the sound management of chemicals and waste, aiming to prevent pollution.

Aligned with UNEA resolution 5/8, the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) 3 persists in its efforts to recommend the establishment of a Science-Policy Panel focusing on Chemicals and Waste. Tasked with finalizing proposals by 2024, the group delves into crucial elements such as institutional structure, governance, nomenclature, scope, functions, and operational principles. These considerations aim to facilitate meaningful contributions to the effective management of chemicals and the prevention of pollution.

-High Level Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance on September 24

An important chance to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance is the 2024 United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The purpose of the conference is to reaffirm international commitment while investigating creative and cooperative measures to counteract AMR’s extensive effects on healthcare, mortality rates, and general well-being.

-October 21–23: 26th Intergovernmental Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA IGM 26)

In Cambodia, the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) will hold its 26th Intergovernmental Meeting. Key tactics for managing marine environments in the East Asian Seas region will be the main topic of discussion at the event.

-16th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, October 21–November 1.

October–November 2024 will see the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) take place. This occasion represents an important international meeting to discuss biosafety, access to genetic resources, and biodiversity conservation.

-On November 4-5, the 4th Global High-Level Ministerial Meeting addressing Antimicrobial Resistance will take place.

The fourth high-level global ministerial conference on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is hosted by Saudi Arabia, gathering leaders to collectively tackle pressing issues related to preventing and managing AMR at a global level.

From November 25 to December 1, the 5th session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee will convene to craft an international legally binding instrument addressing plastic pollution, encompassing marine environments.

The Plastic Pollution Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-5) meets in Busan, Republic of Korea, in alignment with UNEA-5.2’s resolution for the establishment of a legally binding instrument addressing plastic pollution. Encompassing the entire plastic life cycle, the objective is to conclude the committee’s work by the conclusion of 2024.

As we venture into 2024, the collective commitment to sustainability stands as a beacon of hope and proactive change. The anticipated environmental milestones, international conferences, and collaborative initiatives signify a global dedication to fostering a healthier planet. From tackling plastic pollution to advancing biodiversity conservation, the year holds promise for transformative actions. The convergence of nations, organizations, and individuals in these sustainability endeavors reflects an understanding of the interconnectedness between human well-being and the health of our planet. As we collectively stride towards a more sustainable future, the momentum gained in 2024 becomes a crucial foundation for continued efforts in safeguarding the environment and promoting a harmonious coexistence with nature.

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Missed Opportunities The Federal Stumble in Advancing Sustainable Transportation

Missed Opportunities: The Federal Stumble in Advancing Sustainable Transportation

In the realm of sustainable transportation advocacy, 2023 proved to be a challenging year, overshadowing the positive strides made in reducing car dependency. This article delves into the disheartening developments that unfolded, ranging from record-breaking road death tolls to missed opportunities for positive change.

The year commenced with grim news as the final road death toll for 2022 shattered previous records. This unfortunate reality set the tone for what would unfold for sustainable transportation advocates.

An alarming statistic emerged, revealing the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 41 years. Paradoxically, this surge transpired as evidence suggested a decline in Americans’ walking habits, painting a perplexing picture for advocates.

Despite numerous opportunities to reverse the alarming trends, the federal government’s response left much to be desired. Key moments, such as the withdrawal of a memo urging states to prioritize existing highways, showcased a lack of commitment to sustainable initiatives.

In March, Republican lawmakers and the Government Accountability Office applied pressure on the Biden administration, resulting in the withdrawal of a memo aimed at redirecting infrastructure focus. The repercussions of this decision reverberated across the nation.

In the absence of federal guidance, states continued their path of asphalt expansion. Even states with Democratic governors, such as Maryland, seemingly overlooked climate platforms in favour of highway projects, raising questions about the true commitment to sustainability.

Boondoggles like the Interstate Bridge Project garnered massive federal grants, despite advocates demonstrating the fiscal irresponsibility of such endeavours. The disconnect between climate goals and actual project allocations became glaringly evident.

Projects intended to “Reconnect Communities” torn apart by freeways faced scepticism, with accusations that they were merely “highways by another name.” The failure of such infrastructure to address the core issues further fuelled disillusionment among advocates.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration faced criticism for allegedly caving to pressure from trucking industry lobbyists. The alteration of a crucial report on “underride” crashes, with a significant underestimation of lives lost, raised concerns about transparency and accountability.

In a shocking revelation, a Seattle police officer’s comments regarding the paltry settlement for a pedestrian’s death highlighted a broader issue – the devaluation of pedestrian lives in civil crash settlements. The callousness of such remarks underscored the need for systemic change.

The decline in mass transit ridership in various cities compounded the challenges for sustainable transportation. Simultaneously, assaults on transit operators surged, pointing to a broader crisis in public transportation safety.

The rise in assaults on transit operators further underscored the challenges facing the sector. Safety concerns became a deterrent for potential passengers, exacerbating the struggles of mass transit systems.

The private sector didn’t escape the challenges either, with shared transportation options facing setbacks. Greyhound stations disappearing from downtowns raised questions about the viability of shared transportation services in a rapidly changing landscape.

Adding a twist to the already challenging narrative, the unveiling of the Cybertruck brought Elon Musk back into the spotlight. The ensuing discussions around Musk and his ventures diverted attention from pressing issues in sustainable transportation advocacy.

Despite the myriad challenges, 2023’s setbacks are seen as potential fuel for advocacy in the coming years. Each story, each failure, serves as a rallying point for advocates to redouble their efforts and push for meaningful change in 2024 and beyond.

The year 2023 posed formidable challenges for sustainable transportation advocates, but within these challenges lie opportunities for change. Acknowledging the setbacks is the first step toward crafting effective strategies for a more sustainable future.


Q1: What were the key challenges for sustainable transportation in 2023?

A: 2023 presented challenges such as record-breaking road death tolls, pedestrian fatalities, and missed opportunities for policy change.

Q2: How did the federal government contribute to the challenges?

A: The federal government’s withdrawal of a memo urging states to prioritize existing highways and the allocation of funds to questionable projects exacerbated the challenges.

Q3: Were there any positive developments in 2023 for sustainable transportation?

A: While challenges dominated, advocates see the setbacks as fuel for future advocacy, providing hope for positive change in the years to come.

Q4: What role did private sector transportation play in the challenges faced?

A: The private sector experienced setbacks, with shared transportation options struggling, and the unveiling of the Cybertruck diverting attention from pressing issues.

Q5: How can advocates turn the challenges of 2023 into opportunities for change?

A: By acknowledging the setbacks, advocates can strategize and mobilize efforts to address the systemic issues in sustainable transportation, turning challenges into catalysts for positive change.

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