UPU Conference on Postal Regulation (S3)

Theme: Climate action by the global postal sector


Thursday, 11 May 2023, 14:00 - 18:00

Responding to climate change is both a challenge and an opportunity for postal operators, and a cross-cutting issue that is relevant to each of the following broader sectoral challenges:

  • financing investment in physical and digital postal infrastructure;
  • increasing customer demand for more sustainable postal services;
  • competitive pressure associated with market share and efficiency;
  • weather-related, political and macroeconomic uncertainty that threatens energy security;
  • regulations at cross-sectoral level that restrict certain practices and introduce compliance costs;
  • opportunities to open up the UPU to the wider postal sector.

The global postal community is already taking climate action at multiple levels. These actions include the climate deliverables of the Abidjan Postal Strategy and Congress resolution C 17/2021, and efforts by individual designated operators to set emission targets, publish roadmaps, establish greener vehicle fleets and offer innovative climate services. In addition, as evidenced by its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the postal sector can provide critical support to other sustainability players.

However, it is recognized that climate action by the postal sector is set within a broader context of global, national and subnational climate regulation. This raises several key questions, as follows:

  • How best to engage with the broader climate policy agenda in order for the postal sector to achieve its climate goals?
  • From the perspective of designated operators, what are the emerging needs for and benefits of regulatory harmonization between national climate policy and postal policy?
  • From the perspective of policymakers and regulators, what are the opportunities for interagency collaboration at multiple governance levels?
  • In addition to directly reducing emissions from the postal sector, could such interagency collaboration amplify the climate-related efforts of non-postal actors at national, regional and global level?

Against this backdrop, the UPU will hold a Conference on Postal Regulation during its Council of Administration (CA) session of May 2023 (S3) to gather insights from multiple perspectives. The aim is to connect the dots between the climate actions of the postal sector and the broader climate agenda, with a particular focus on the interplay among climate policies, postal policies, the broader challenges faced by the postal sector, and possible regulatory solutions.

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Opening remarks: Mr Masahiko Metoki, UPU Director General (14.00–14.10)

Keynote address: Mr Abdallah Mokssit, Secretary, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (14.10–14.25)

Theme 1 (14.25–15.55)

Climate policy alignment in practice: experiences of postal, transport and logistics sectors

Panel 1 will provide an opportunity for speakers working in the postal, transport and logistics sectors to share their experience of aligning sectoral activities with national and regional climate policies and regulations. Three panellists will explore the challenges of aligning postal activities simultaneously with national postal regulations and with the climate regulations of national and city governments. The aim of the discussion is to identify policy gaps to be filled, or the regulatory spaces needed, to enable designated operators to accelerate climate action and help them to amplify the impact of other sustainability players.

Moderator: Dr Rajeev Venugopal, representing Canada as Co-Chair of UPU CA Committee 2


  • Mr Daniele Violetti, Senior Director, Programmes Coordination, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Ms Cathrine Grimseid, Principal Analyst, Cullen International
  • Mr Felix Blaich, Director, International Postal Relations, Deutsche Post

(Panel changeover – 5 minutes)

Theme 2 (16.00–17.30)

Experiences of climate policymakers and postal policymakers

Panel 2 will bring together public policymakers and regulators from the climate and postal domains. Another three panellists will present their experience of aligning sectoral policies with climate policies. In response to the regulatory challenges and opportunities raised by panel 1, the speakers will explore the opportunities presented by intergovernmental agency cooperation in climate policymaking and postal sector regulation, as well as in raising funds to support climate action. They will be encouraged to explore business models for climate services by the postal sector, the related opportunities for accessing climate finance, and possible regulatory solutions.

Moderator: Ms Nermin Hassan, representing Egypt as Co-Chair of UPU CA Committee 2


  • Mr Gareth Phillips, Manager of Climate and Environment Finance, African Development Bank
  • Mr Alex Körner, Team Leader, Electric Mobility Programme, UN Environment Programme
  • Mr Dirk Appelmans, Head of Postal Unit at the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications and Co-Chair of the Sustainability Working Group at the European Regulators Group for Postal Services

Main conclusions and takeaways (17.30–17.50)

Closing remarks: Mr Marjan Osvald, UPU Deputy Director General (17.50–18.00)