Regional initiatives

UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) North America Office is working to address the following issues:

Climate and clean air

Climate change is the major, overriding environmental issue of our time and adds considerable stress to our societies and to the environment, while air pollution is the world's single greatest environmental risk to health, killing approximately 6.5 million people per year.  UNEP is working on climate adaptation and mitigation measures to build climate-resilient and energy efficient communities and is focused on improving air quality and human health through the BreatheLife campaign.

Minimizing food waste

One-third of all food produced in the world – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – is lost or wasted every year. UNEP is a partner in Champions 12.3, a coalition of governments, businesses and civil society, dedicated to halving food waste by 2030. 

Phasing out the use of lead paint

While the use of lead paint for most purposes in North America has been banned for decades, many countries around the world continue to allow the unrestricted use of paint containing high levels of lead in homes and public buildings. Through the Lead Paint Alliance, UNEP aims to phase‐out of the manufacture and sale of paints containing lead by 2020.

Tackling marine debris

Plastic waste is one of the biggest threats to the world’s oceans today. More than eight million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year – equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic every minute. UNEP is committed to reducing plastic pollution through the Clean Seas campaign.

Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all. UNEP is supporting countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda by championing the environmental aspects of all 17 goals.