U.N. Creates Climate Neutral Network, Bringing Together Countries, Cities and Companies

U.N. Creates Climate Neutral Network, Bringing Together Countries, Cities and Companies

The Climate Neutral Network (CN Net) was launched this week with four countries, four cities and five corporations as its founders.

Set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and UN Environmental Management Group, CN Net is an Internet-based project aimed at exchanging information on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The founding countries are Costa Rica, Iceland, New Zealand and Norway. The initial CN Net cities are Arendal, Norway; Rizhao, China; Vancouver, Canada and Växjö, Sweden. And the first businesses to join are Co-operative Financial Services (England), Interface Inc. (United States), Natura (Brazil), Nedbank (South Africa) and Senoko Power (Singapore).

All have various carbon-cutting goals and methods for reaching those targets. Iceland plans to reduce its GHG emissions by up to 75 percent by 2050 through extending discounts for buying environmentally-friendly vehicles, converting fishing fleets to eco-friendly technologies like fuel cells and using various methods of carbon sequestration.

Vancouver's climate goals include having all new construction by 2030 be GHG-neutral as well as making all its civic operations carbon neutral through energy efficient retrofits, greener vehicles and using methane gas to provide energy for heating and electricity.

"The CN Net can assist in building confidence through demonstrable action at the national and local level on the art of the possible," UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in a statement. "The CN Net is also in for the long haul and equally aimed at mobilizing a broad-based response demonstrating that a transition to a low, even zero carbon future, can be a reality if inspiring and practical actions can be federated around the world"

CN Net plans to add more countries, cities and businesses as well as intergovernmental groups, organizations and individuals to its ranks in the coming months.