World Stamps

United Nations stamps to support Climate Action Summit

Sep 6, 2019, 9 AM

By Denise McCarty

The United Nations Postal Administration is issuing nine stamps Sept. 23 in conjunction with the one-day 2019 Climate Action Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York City.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres convened the summit “to meet the urgent need to address climate change and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement,” according to the summit’s website.

Adopted Dec. 12, 2015, at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, the Paris Agreement has the main objective of strengthening “the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees,” according to the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Six of the stamps are rectangular and issued in separate panes of 20. The other three are round and issued in souvenir sheets of one.

The rectangular stamps are denominated 55¢ and $1.15 for use from the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City; 1 franc and 1.50fr for use from the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and 0.80 and 0.90 for use from the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.

The round stamps are denominated $1.15, 2fr and 1.80.

Sergio Baradat of the United Nations, who designed the stamps, said: “Climate change is the most existential threat the world now faces.

“The inspiration was to try and illustrate the concept of elapsed time.

“The before and after photos clearly illustrate the dire effects of greenhouse gases and of man’s encroachment on the natural world.”

Each stamp design depicts a symbolic stopwatch showing Earth and also includes the slogan “A Race We Can Win.”

Fauna and flora can be seen in some of the stamp designs.

For example, the round $1.15 stamp features a polar bear, while the rectangular stamp with the same denomination shows a fish. Fish are featured along with coral on the 1.80 stamp; the selvage of the souvenir sheet shows plastic bottles.

The 1fr stamp includes images of berries and dead trees. The design of the 1.50fr stamp pairs a photo of a field of wildflowers with a photo of bumper-to-bumper cars.

Smokestacks figure prominently in the designs of the 0.90 stamp and the 2fr souvenir sheet, and they also are visible in the background of the 0.80 stamp.

The remaining stamp, 55¢, shows scenes of a mountain lake and a glacier.

In the press release announcing the stamps, the UNPA said: “The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. We must change course by 2020, the UN Secretary-General has said, or we risk missing the point where we can avoid the ‘disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.’”

Cartor Security Printing printed the stamps by offset in the following quantities: 90,000 each of the UNPA/New York rectangular stamps; and 70,000 each of the other rectangular stamps.

The quantities printed of the souvenir sheets are 11,000 of the $1.15; 13,000 of the 2fr; and 15,000 of the 1.80. Each souvenir sheet measures 81mm by 81mm.

For ordering information, visit the website; email unpanyinquiries@un.org; telephone 212-963-7684 or 800-234-8672; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.

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