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Global Environment Facility funding for UNIDO projects set to exceed USD 100m

24 June 2024

GEF 67th Council Meeting

Washington DC, 20 June 2024 – The Global Environment Facilitys (GEF) 67th Council Meeting has approved UNIDO programme and project concepts tackling a range of environmental issues with a total financial value of more than USD 100m. This is the highest amount that UNIDO has ever achieved in a single GEF Work Programme.

In the Chemicals and Waste focal area, the UNIDO portfolio includes the Global Electronics Management (GEM) Program and a full-size project on mercury reduction in the cement sector in Brazil.

The Global Electronics Management (GEM) programme was highlighted for the strength and clarity of its systems-based approach, Theory of Change and gender dimensions. This global initiative seeks to create an enabling environment for responsible electronics management in 16 developing countries by supporting access to finance and technology, alongside policy and legislative changes. Led by UNIDO in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), GEM aims to significantly reduce e-waste generation and increase circularity and resource recovery. The total budget of the GEM programme is more than USD 65m and UNIDOs share amounts to USD 25m.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, UNIDO will support the country to meet its commitments under the Minamata Convention on Mercury through its project on "Control and reduction of mercury emissions from the Cement Industry in Brazil”. Monitoring efforts and innovative approaches under the Cement Technology Roadmap are expected to deliver a total reduction of 7.8 tonnes of mercury and at least 3m tonnes of CO2 from the cement industry. The total budget of the project amounts to USD 13.4m.

According to Ciyong Zou, UNIDO Deputy to the Director General and Managing Director of the Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Industrial Development Directorate, “The approval of UNIDO  projects in the latest Work Programme reflects GEFs continued trust in the Organizations work on chemicals and waste management. This allows countries to not only meet their obligations under relevant Conventions but also highlights UNIDOs unique mandate in integrating innovative technological solutions and multi-stakeholder approaches to environmental issues”.

The GEF was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle the planets most pressing environmental problems. Under the GEF-8 Cycle (2022-2026), over USD 100m of funding has been approved so far for UNIDO projects focused on Chemicals and Waste (CW). A hard pipeline of new project concepts in the CW focal area is planned for submission in the upcoming work programmes in 2024-2026 with an estimated total budget of more than USD 50m.

Of special note is that the first global programme approved under the Least Developed Countries Fund (LCDF) by the GEF 67th Council Meeting was the UNIDO Programme for Innovation in Climate Adaptation and Resilience Building Solutions (PARS) with a total budget of $32m.

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For further information, please contact:

Smail Alhilali, Chief, email

Carmela Centeno, Industrial Development Officer, email