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Minister Mikkonen: Smart investments help to solve not only the COVID-19 crisis but also the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity
Nature and sustainable recovery the themes of UN Environment Assembly UNEA

Ministry of the Environment
19.2.2021 10.34
Press release

The UN Environment Assembly UNEA-5 brings together the UN Member States and representatives of the business sector and civil society organisations to a session conducted virtually on 22-23 February. The themes of the meeting are the role of nature in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and green rebuilding and sustainable recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Finnish delegation is led by Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen, who will also participate in a high-level discussion on strengthening the role of the environmental sector in post-COVID-19 recovery.

“Each euro can be used just once. With smart investments we can solve the COVID-19 crisis, while at the same time finding solutions to biodiversity and climate crises and boosting a genuine transition to a sustainable economy. The same formula will also help us prevent future pandemics. This requires broad cooperation and sharing of good practices between countries. Now UNEA offers us an excellent virtual opportunity for this,” Minister Mikkonen says.

“We must look far enough into the horizon. For example, the investment cycles of industry are very long: we are now building a world of zero-emissions based on a circular economy in 2050. Jobs should not be created at the cost of nature and climate - and ultimately the people,” Mikkonen says.

The UN Environment Assembly UNEA-5 is the first of a series of important meetings this year. In the autumn decisions are to be made on joint global targets to halt the loss of biodiversity in Kunming, China. The Glasgow Climate Change Conference in November brings together the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC to boost the global climate work. Instead of individual sectors or targets, UNEA will discuss comprehensive approaches and solutions to halt the decline of the state of the environment.

“UNEA has an important role in mainstreaming environmental issues in the UN system. This is why Finland wants to strengthen the environmental agenda of the UN and is one of the major funders of the organisation,” Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Mikkonen says.

The virtual session is to adopt the UNEP Medium Term Strategy 2022–2025 and work programme 2022–2023. Other negotiations on the resolution will take place in a resumed session of UNEA-5 to be held as an in-person event in Nairobi early next year. The UN Environment Programme will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, and the festivities will be started at the virtual meeting.

In connection with UNEA-5 a number of other events will be organised, including the Global Civil Society Forum, Global Youth Environment Assembly and UN Science-Policy Business Forum on the Environment.


Riikka Yliluoma
Special Advise to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
tel. +358 295 250 091
[email protected]

Marjaana Kokkonen
Ministerial Adviser
tel. +358 295 250 025
[email protected]