UN Bonn building, Langer Eugen

UNFCCC Secretariat Continues Work Despite COVID-19

Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, functions of the UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat are continuing, with most staff working from home, and the secretariat making the best possible use of telecommuting and teleconferencing options in order to deliver on its mandates.

On Monday, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa announced that only a reduced number of colleagues would remain in the Bonn office, for example to ensure internet connectivity and support for the organization and delivery of virtual meetings. All other staff are work remotely from home. The arrangement is valid to 12 April and will then be reassessed.

“The health and well-being of the UNFCCC staff remain my greatest concern. It is therefore essential that we reduce social contact to a minimum and follow the clear recommendations of the World Health Organization, the German Government and local authorities to minimize the risks of transmitting COVID-19,” she said.

The UN’s top climate change official announced the secretariat is exploring the most advantageous and creative ways to ensure its ongoing support to the intergovernmental process on climate change. This is happening through remote work and modern technology, including video conferencing. For example, the upcoming meeting of the Adaptation Committee, scheduled for 24-27 March in Bonn, will take place virtually. 

Otherwise, the UNFCCC secretariat will not hold any physical meetings in Bonn and elsewhere up to the end of April 2020, and official missions have been suspended.

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