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 for environmental problems from EPA and U.S. companies.
These 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
- Arctic Council
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
- Multilateral Environmental Agreements that have been signed and ratified by the United States
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 (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.
The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created following the June 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio Earth Summit. In May 2011, the 19th Session of CSD, known as UNCSD-19 , was held at UN Headquarters in New York.
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.
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 also co-chairs the Task Force on Short-Lived Climate Forcers which provides information to Senior Arctic Officials on black carbon, methane and associated tropospheric ozone.
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 its subsidiary bodies.
For additional information on EPA's work with International Organizations, contact:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460