International Cooperation

Partnering with International Organizations

EPA collaborates with a wide variety of multilateral organizations and institutions to protect human health and the environment. Many pollutants released abroad directly affect the populations and ecosystems within our borders. In addition, foreign partners also often seek solutions to environmental problems from EPA and U.S. companies. 
These multilateral institutions provide a forum for encouraging collective actions for common solutions and help leverage resources as we seek to manage ongoing and emering environmental threats in new ways. 

Learn More about Our Work with International Organizations:

The United Nations 

The United Nations (U.N.), with its many component bodies, is foremost among the multilateral, intergovernmental organizations with which EPA engages on environmental and sustainable development issues. The U.N. system contains subsidiary bodies to support its environmental efforts. EPA works with several of these, which are described below.

The United Nations Environment Programme

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established in 1972, is the designated entity addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level for the United Nations. EPA has had a long and very successful relationship with UNEP, including numerous substantive partnerships and programs. This partnership has advanced work on environmental assessments, capacity building, knowledge management, technology for sustainable development, the green economy, and measurable reductions in pollution – especially related to fuels and vehicles. 

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC)

A founding charter body of the United Nations, ECOSOC is the place where the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges are discussed. ECOSOC is composed of subsidiary bodies, including the recently concluded Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), and also convenes major international conferences on specific issues, including the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). EPA has engaged in CSD and related ECOSOC efforts since their inception and continues to follow the work of the ECOSOC-managed Post-2015 Deveopment Process , which will connect the conclusion of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) with the topic of sustainable development, highlighted at Rio+20. 

International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) was created in 1948 to promote cooperation between governments in the regulation of shipping engaged in international trade and to encourage the adoption of the highest practicable standards concerning maritime safety, efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of marine pollution from ships. EPA’s work has led to higher energy efficiency requirements for new ships, stricter emission limits on greenhouse gases, and the implementation of an Emissions Control Area (ECA) for both North America and the U.S. Caribbean.

Arctic Council

The Arctic Council, established in 1996, promotes cooperation among Arctic nations on sustainable development and environmental protection. EPA leads U.S. government participation in the Arctic Contaminants Action Programme (ACAP) Working Group, which seeks to reduce contaimination from hazardous chemicals and waste, as well as reduce emissions of black carbon and other short lived climated forcers (SLCFs). EPA has also engaged on several specialized task forces, including co-charing the Task Force on Short-Lived Climate Forcers, focusing on black carbon, methane and associated tropospheric ozone.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy to support sustainable economic growth, boost employment, raise living standards, maintain financial stability, assist other countries' economic development, and contribute to growth in world trade. EPA leads U.S. engagement with the OECD’s Environment Policy Committee (EPOC), as well as related subsidiary bodies.


For additional information on EPA's work with International Organizations, contact:
Hodayah Finman
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-6600