News in Brief 12 December 2017 (PM)

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Secretary-General António Guterres (on screen) addresses the One Planet Summit in Paris. Photo: UN/OSSG

Align financial investments with climate objectives: UN Secretary-General

Finance will be the "decisive factor" between winning or losing the battle against climate change.

That's the message UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered to world leaders at the One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday.

The event was held on the second anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which seeks to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The UN chief told the gathering that finance must not only work for profit but for the future of all people and the planet.

He said: "we need policymakers and central banks, stock exchanges, pension funds, rating agencies and all financial actors to align investments with the needs of climate action and sustainable development."

UN-backed report calls for energy improvement in buildings sector

Time is running out to cut energy use by the building and construction sector to meet global climate goals, according to a UN-backed report released on Tuesday.

The industry accounts for nearly 40 per cent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.

The report says more than half of all construction expected through 2060 will take place in the next 20 years, mostly in countries that do not have mandatory building energy codes in place.

It calls for improving the retrofit rate over the coming decade: from 1 to 2 per cent a year to up to 3 per cent annually.

This could contribute to potential savings that amount to more than all the energy consumed in the world's leading industrialized nations in 2015.

The report, published by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, was coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

WFP approves five-year strategy to assist vulnerable Palestinians

The World Food Programme (WFP) has approved a five-year strategy to support the most vulnerable Palestinians.

The plan, announced on Tuesday, will provide food rations and electronic food vouchers to 314,000 people across Gaza and the West Bank beginning in January 2018.

WFP said the strategy is in line with a Palestinian national policy agenda which lists continued food assistance as a priority to alleviate poverty.

It was developed in close collaboration with the Palestinian Authority, Government donors and other development partners.

It is also aligned with the two Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that address hunger eradication and promotion of public and private partnership.

World leaders adopted the 17 SDGs two years ago in efforts to bring about a more just and equitable planet by 2030.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'46"

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