Climate Action

Climate Action
Overview
SDG 13


According to UNDP, "Climate action means stepped-up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-induced impacts, including: climate-related hazards in all countries; integrating climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning; and improving education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity with respect to climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning. It requires mobilizing US$100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries in moving towards a low-carbon economy."

Climate action is essential as global greenhouse gasses (GHGs) emissions are increasing and breaking record levels. These emissions increase what is called the “greenhouse effect” wherein the GHGs effectively trap heat close to the surface of the earth, leading to rapid changes in climate and disturbances to historic weather patterns.

The impacts of climate change are starting to be visible everywhere, with rising temperatures, ice caps and glaciers melting in the Artic and alpine regions, rising sea levels (through meltwater and thermal expansion), and natural ecosystems collapsing among other issues. Without tackling climate change, it will not be possible to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to end poverty, build stronger economies and safer, healthier, and more livable societies everywhere. To this end, 12 of the 17 SDGs directly speak to climate change, with SDG 13 solely dedicated to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.”

Climate action (SDG 13) is particularly important in the context of the Asia-Pacific, being at the forefront of the impacts of climate change. Higher temperatures, sea level rise, and extreme weather events linked to climate change are having a major impact on the region, harming its economies, natural and physical assets, and compounding developmental challenges including: poverty; food, water, and energy security; and health. Without climate-oriented development, climate change could force more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030, wiping out the gains made in poverty reduction over the last few decades.

The economic costs associated with disasters across the region are also increasing. Already, damage to property, infrastructure, crops and livestock from disasters increased from US$52 billion annually to over US$523 billion between 1970 and 2015. Under a scenario seeing global warming of an additional 1.5 to 2°C, the costs of climate change have been estimated to total US$54 and US$69 trillion respectively. Globally, over 60 per cent of climate-related disasters occur in East, North-East, and South-East Asia. The Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019 points out that many countries in the region could be reaching a tipping point beyond which disaster risk exceeds their capacity to respond. The most vulnerable communities will be the hardest hit.

At the same time, the region accounts for 53 per cent of global emissions and the high-growth path which many of the region’s economies are on means that this contribution will grow without fundamental policy interventions. Greenhouse gas emissions in the region originate mostly from the combustion of oil, gas, and coal as well as from deforestation, land use change, construction, rapid industrialization, and agriculture. These trends highlight the urgent need to transition towards low carbon, green growth development to slow climate change down, as well as the need to strengthen climate resilience. Key sectors for reducing emissions and for decisive climate action include energy production and use, waste management, low carbon transport, and restoration of natural carbon sinks such as forests and wetlands.

The latest special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shown that urgent change is needed and that carbon emissions will have to decrease drastically within the next decade, if we want to hold the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. With the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the international community committed to keeping the global temperature increase between 1.5 and 2°C above pre-industrial levels and creating climate resilient societies, underpinned by necessary finance flows. Countries have submitted Intended (INDCs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as their individual contribution towards meeting this objective. 

However, at the aggregate level, the emission reductions the NDCs entail are not enough to keep the world on track to limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Even if the NDCs are fully implemented, the world would still be on the path to warming well above the target level. Given the narrow window of opportunity available to prevent runaway climate change, the decade of action will be a critical decade in securing enhanced ambition needed to put the world firmly on the track for achieving the 1.5°C objectives the international community has collectively agreed to. 

Most of the rules for the operationalization of the Paris Agreement are now in place. Therefore, it is time to rally behind governments and non-Party stakeholder s (NPS), in an unprecedented manner, to support them address challenges in significantly scaling up efforts to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change in line with the Paris Agreement. Concerted efforts are needed for systemic changes to secure a transformation towards low emissions and climate resilient world.

Background

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and entered into force on 21 March 1994, puts forth the legal framework and principles for international cooperation on climate change, with the objective of regulating atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference (DAI) with the climate system. The adoption of the Convention and its instruments has been pivotal for raising awareness of the threats posed by climate change and to elevate consideration of climate action in terms of policies, projects, and programmes to the highest political level.

As of 2020, the Convention has been adopted by 197 parties (Parties to the Convention).  Signatory states meet regularly at the so-called COPs (Conference of the Parties) to agree on further steps towards climate action. 

To expedite the Convention, the international community agreed on the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, with the aim to minimize global warming by reducing the GHG concentration in the atmosphere. Based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), the Protocol considers individual capabilities in setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. The Protocol entered into force in 2005 and has 192 Parties. For the first commitment period (2008-2012), 37 industrialized countries and the European Union pledged to cut down GHG emissions by 5 per cent compared to 1990 levels. For the second period (2013-2020), the Parties have committed to an 18 per cent emission reduction against 1990 levels.

2015 marked an historic year for global climate efforts, with the adoption of the Paris Agreement, which entered into force in 2016 with the ambition of limiting global warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Furthermore, the Agreement strives to increase Parties’ capability to deal with the consequences of climate change and foster climate resilience and adaptation. The Agreement delineates the necessity to identify adequate and consistent financial flows, new technology frameworks, and capacity building systems to support action at country level.

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the core of the Paris Agreement, as they require each Party to determine, disclose and sustain the emission reductions that they aim to achieve. NDCs are submitted every 5 years to the Secretariat of the Convention. 

Climate Change Adaptation


According to NASA, "Mitigation – reducing climate change – involves reducing the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, either by reducing sources of these gases (for example, the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat or transport) or enhancing the “sinks” that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests and soil).

Meanwhile, "Adaptation – adapting to life in a changing climate – involves adjusting to actual or expected future climate. The goal is to reduce our vulnerability to the harmful effects of climate change (like sea-level encroachment, more intense extreme weather events or food insecurity). It also encompasses making the most of any potential beneficial opportunities associated with climate change (for example, longer growing seasons or increased yields in some regions)."
 


Briefing Notes

SDG Localization through Integration of Climate Change in Agricultural Planning and Budgeting at the National and Sub-national Levels

SDG Localization through Integration of Climate Change in Agricultural Planning and Budgeting at the National and Sub-national Levels

monitoring

Advancing on monitoring and evaluation for adaptation in the agriculture sectors

impact evaluation

Using impact evaluation to improve policymaking for climate change adaptation in the agriculture sectors

institutional capa

Institutional capacity assessment approach for national adaptation planning in the agriculture sectors

gender responsive

Promoting gender-responsive adaptation in the agriculture sectors: Entry points within National Adaptation Plans

cost-benefit analysis

Cost-benefit analysis for climate change adaptation policies and investments in agriculture
 


Other Resources

Making the Right Choices
E-tutorial - Making the right choices: Appraisal of adaptation options
 

Adaptation Knowledge Portal Library

Adaptation Knowledge Portal Library

Case Studies

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Adaptation Knowledge Portal Case Studies

The Adaptation Knowledge Portal (AKP) is a product of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP), the UNFCCC knowledge-for-action hub for climate adaptation and resilience. The AKP aims to provide access to information and knowledge on climate change adaptation, and on the work of related workstreams under the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The AKP builds on the worldwide contributions of policy-makers, practitioners and researchers to offer first-hand information and actionable knowledge for end-users. 

The portal provides free and open access to a curated database of adaptation knowledge resources including case studies, methods and tools, publications and technical documents, and other materials. Users can also browse the profiles and action pledges of NWP partner organizations with recognized expertise or activities in the field of climate adaptation. All information in the database can be filtered by type, geographic region, sector or theme, adaptation element, and climate hazard.
 


WeAdapt Logo

weADAPT Map of Case Studies

weADAPT is a collaborative platform on climate change adaptation issues. It allows practitioners, researchers and policy-makers to access credible, high-quality information and connect with one another.


 

 

 

Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2019

APCW

Regional Climate Weeks inspire individuals and organizations to become part of the momentum created by the global climate agreement in Paris. It is a unique collaborative platform where both government and non-Party stakeholders gather to address relevant climate issues under one umbrella with the common goal of addressing climate change.

The weeks comprise a series of events that provide space for a grassroots exchange of knowledge and best practices across the region on: Nationally Determined Contribution implementation, UN Sustainable Development Goals, and Global Climate Action. Every year the Regional Climate Weeks are held in the following regions: Africa, Latin-America and Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific.

The Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW) 2019 took place from 2 to 6 September, in the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand. It was organized in support of preparations for the UN Secretary General’s (SG’s) Climate Summit and to voice recommendations and support actions from the region. Similarly, APCW contributes towards building momentum for the COP 25 to be held in Madrid, Spain in December 2019 by ensuring that climate action remains central to the UN Climate Change process.

In line with the SG’s identified priorities, APCW focused on the following action portfolios: Finance, Nature-Based Solutions, and Energy and Industry Transition. These portfolios will ensure that transformative actions are as impactful as possible in order to bridge the gap between unsatisfactory climate action ambitions and necessary climate action targets.   

APCW 2019 wrapped up with participants agreeing on a set of key takeaways on what steps urgently need to be taken for the region to be able to profit from the advantages of the transition to low carbon and resilience and the worst impacts of climate change. A key takeaway was that Asia-Pacific Region can lead the global transformation in line with a 1.5 Celsius, climate resilient world. Holding the global average temperature rise is the central goal of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Participants at the gathering agreed that the transformation to low carbon and resilience in Asia can be driven not only by governments, but by dynamic subnational regions and cities, an innovative private sector, political leadership and finance.
 

Asia Pacific Climate Week Key Messages for the UN Climate Action Summit

APCW Key Messages
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Youth Voices for Climate Action

 

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About


The Youth Voices for Climate Action (YV4CA) campaign serves as an inclusive platform for youth in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to make their voices heard on climate action. By making your voice heard on this critical issue, you can inspire others to do the same and move policy makers in your country to accelerate climate action.

The overarching goals of YV4CA, which are aligned with the ActNow UN campaign, are to create a space for young people to:

  • share views on how climate change is impacting young people’s lives;
  • showcase grassroots youth initiatives making positive impact for all;
  • make decision-makers aware of young people’s need for urgent climate action

 

 


 

 

Take the Survey


How does climate change impact you? What climate actions does your government need to take? Let the world know! The survey results can be found here.

take survey

 

Submit a Statement


Make your voice heard! Submit a statement expressing your opinions, ideas, and concerns surrounding the imperative need for climate action in your home country and beyond. You can submit an official video or written statement using the buttons below.

Alternatively, you can simply tag your social media post or video with #APyouth4climate.
 

Video StatementWritten Statement Form

 
Voices of YV4CA


Hear what youth are saying about climate action!

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YV4CA Youth Advocates


Meet the YV4CA Advocates!

 

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For any questions regarding the YV4CA campaign, including how you or your organization can become involved, fill out the contact form here.

See the dedicated YV4CA web page here for more!
 

 

Action Portfolio

action portfolio

According to UNDP, climate action entails “stepped-up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-induced impacts.” The UN Secretary-General has laid down a list of action portfolios that have a high potential to curb GHHs emissions and accelerate global action on adaptation and resilience.

  • Finance: mobilizing public and private sources of finance;
  • Energy Transition: divesting from fossil fuels and moving towards renewable energy, as well as enhancing energy efficiency;
  • Industry Transition: facilitating repurposing of industries (especially Oil and Gas, Steel, Cement, Chemicals and Information Technology) to meet the climate goals;
  • Nature-Based Solutions: highlighting the key role of nature in addressing the climate crisis, including through biodiversity conservation;
  • Cities and Local Action: enhancing mitigation and resilience at urban and local levels, focusing on low-emission buildings, eco-friendly mass transport and urban infrastructure; and resilience for the urban poor;
  • Resilience and Adaptation: addressing and managing the impacts and risks of climate change, safeguarding the most vulnerable.

Furthermore, three additional key areas were also identified:

  • Mitigation Strategy: to create momentum for ambitious the NDCs and ensure achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement;
  • Youth Engagement and Public Mobilization: To create global awareness and mobilize people worldwide to act on climate change, while ensuring that the voices of young people are heard and integrated into the decision making;
  • Social and Political Drivers: to increase people’s well-being, by reducing air pollution, promoting decent and fair jobs and strengthening climate adaptation strategies.
Tools and Methodologies
Publications

 

Accelerating Implementation of the NDCs

Accelerating Implementation of the Paris Agreement in Asia-Pacific: A Guide for Policymakers

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Decoding Article 6 of the Paris Agreement Version II

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Progress of NDC Implementation In the Asia-Pacific: Methodological Framework and Preliminary Findings

170 actions

170 Actions to Combat Climate Change

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Report of the Secretary-General on the 2019 Climate Action Summit and the Way Forward in 2020

Assessing the role of ag. in NDCs

Assessing the role of agriculture and land use in Nationally Determined Contributions

Circular low carbon

A 1.5°C World Requires a Circular and Low Carbon Economy

UN CC Learn

UN CC:Learn-Library of Documents

State of the World's Forest

The State of the World's Forests 2020

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WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019

Water and Climate Change

The United Nations world water development report 2020: water and climate change

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The New Climate Economy

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Emissions Gap Report 2018

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WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin

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IPCC Climate Report 2018

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WMO State of the Global Climate in 2018

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Global Environment Outlook 2019

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IPCC Climate Change and Land 2019

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Climate Action and Support Trends

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Global Outlook Report 2019

Maximizing Co-benefits by Linking Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Action

Maximizing Co-benefits by Linking Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Action

egr2019

Emissions Gap Report 2019

playbook

Playbook for Climate Action

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Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans

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Strengthening monitoring and evaluation for adaptation planning in the agriculture sectors

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IPCC: Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Publications

NDC Case Studies


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Lao PDR

thai

Thailand

vanuatu

Vanuatu

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Viet Nam

Tools


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Adaptation Knowledge Portal

The Adaptation Knowledge Portal (AKP) is a product of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP), the UNFCCC knowledge-for-action hub for climate adaptation and resilience. The AKP aims to provide access to information and knowledge on climate change adaptation, and on the work of related workstreams under the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The AKP builds on the worldwide contributions of policy-makers, practitioners and researchers to offer first-hand information and actionable knowledge for end-users. 

The portal provides free and open access to a curated database of adaptation knowledge resources including case studies, methods and tools, publications and technical documents, and other materials. Users can also browse the profiles and action pledges of NWP partner organizations with recognized expertise or activities in the field of climate adaptation. All information in the database can be filtered by type, geographic region, sector or theme, adaptation element, and climate hazard.

NDC Partnership logo
NDC Partnership Climate Toolbox

The Climate Toolbox is a searchable database of tools and resources to support NDC implementation. It includes key analytical tools and guidance documents, links to other knowledge platforms, and sources of technical support (e.g. help desks) that are relevant to NDC planning and implementation for both mitigation and adaptation. The Climate Toolbox draws together the most relevant resources for from across its Partners and other leading institutions. Content from over 100 different organizations can be easily referenced and accessed through the toolbox.
 

Toolkit for value chain
Toolkit for value chain analysis and market development integrating climate resilience and gender responsiveness

This Toolkit aims to help countries in selecting and analyzing value chains for opportunities to improve climate change resilience and reduce gender inequalities. Key strengths of the value chain approach include assisting in adaptation planning, analysis of vulnerabilities and hotspots across a value chain, assessing risks at each node, identifying new market opportunities to help communities adapt, and suggesting partnerships in which there is mutual benefit from the implementation of the strategies. 

enhancing ndcs

Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans

Published by WRI and UNDP, Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans is designed to help practitioners think through how to structure their country’s enhanced NDCs across three dimensions: strengthening targets to reduce emissions (mitigation), enhancing climate resilience (adaptation) and clearly communicating their actions to build trust and facilitate effective implementation.
 

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En-ROADS Training Plan

Climate Interactive is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank that grew out of MIT Sloan in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Based on a long tradition of system dynamics modeling, their simulations and insights help people see connections, play out scenarios, and see what works to address climate change, inequity, and related issues like energy, health, and food. Through Climate Interactive's En-ROADS simulator, they train people to engage others around climate change solutions (both in-person and online). Anyone interested in facilitating an En-ROADS event – such as the En-ROADS Climate Workshop or Climate Action Simulation game – can explore the training plan in order to improve their ability to lead events and enhance their knowledge on the model, game, workshop, and other relevant topics. 

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IPCC Inventory Software

The IPCC Inventory Software implements the simplest Tier 1 methods for all sectors and Tier 2 methods for most categories under Energy, IPPU and Waste Sectors as well as Agriculture categories under AFOLU Sector in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. The TFI is currently working on making it compatible with the Tier 2 methods for the Land component of the AFOLU Sector.

IPCC Logo

Emission Factor Database

The EFDB is meant to be a recognised library, where users can find emission factors and other parameters with background documentation or technical references that can be used for estimating greenhouse gas emissions and removals. It is a database on various parameters to be used in calculation of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases. It covers not only the so-called "emission factors" but also the other relevant parameters. For convenience sake, however, the term "Emission Factor" or its abbreviation "EF" is sometimes used to represent parameters in this database generally.


UN-REDD+

UN-REDD+ Fact Sheets

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is a mechanism developed by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.
 

APICTDRRG

Asia-Pacific E-Resilience Toolkit

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has been widely recognized as an indispensable development that contributes and accelerates achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Considering the significant progress in the field of ICT, the prevalence of natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, and ICT's heightened potential to strengthen the adaptive capacity of critical infrastructure and societies, e-resilience has gained substantial traction. The Asia-Pacific E-Resilience Toolkit offers insights into a spectrum of available ICT tools and best practices that may benefit policymakers in the Asia-Pacific region to enhance e-resilience and disaster risk management.

UNDP

Climate Action Impact Tool

UNDP has developed this tool to help a broad range of stakeholders in managing the design, development, implementation, financing, measurement, reporting and verification of the various type of actions. It identifies significant impacts, indicators, and set targets and track the progress of the actions towards the NDCs.
 

SFTF Toolkit

Sustainable Freight Transport and Finance - Toolkit

UNCTAD objective is supporting developing countries in mainstreaming sustainability considerations into freight transport-related policies, plans, operations, and investment decisions.To achieve this UNCTAD, as part of a UNDA-funded project, has developed the SFTF toolkit, encompassing training materials, information, and a methodology to assess gaps and strengthen the capacity to design, develop, and implement SFTF strategies.

E-learning


Browse e-learning courses on climate action

 

Climate Action