Climate Action

Climate Action
Overview
SDG 13


Global greenhouse gasses (GHGs) emissions are increasing breaking record levels. The impacts of climate change are starting to be visible everywhere, with raising temperatures, ice caps in the Artic melting, increased sea levels and natural ecosystems collapsing. 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 goal 13 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 and energy security, and health. Without climate-oriented development, climate change could force more than 100 million people from the region into extreme poverty by 2030, wiping out the gains made in poverty reduction over the last decades.

The economic costs associated with disasters across the region are also increasing. Already, damage to property, crops and livestock from disasters increased from US$52 billion annually to over US$523 billion between 1970 and 2015. 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.

The latest 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 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 were fully implemented, the world would still be on the path to warming between 3.5 to 4°C. Given the narrow window of opportunity available to prevent runaway climate change, 2020 will be a critical year 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 (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 per 2019, the Convention has been ratified by 197 countries (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, in 1997 the international community agreed on the Kyoto Protocol, 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 Agreements 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. 

Case Studies

132

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.

13213

SDG's in Crisis? Lessons learnt in fragile settings

Solevaka is an online knowledge and engagement platform designed for development professionals to work together as a community. Our ambition is to accelerate the attainment of the 17 SDGs and Agenda 2030 in line with the Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development and the SAMOA Pathway.

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
Click here

Youth Voices for Climate Action

 

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About the Campaign

The Youth Voices for Climate Action (YV4CA) campaign serves as an inclusive platform for youth in the
Asia-Pacific region 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 initiatives making positive impact for all;
  • make decision-makers aware of young people’s needs for urgent climate action


This is your campaign!

How to join?

To start, take the YV4CA survey (don't worry, it's short!) and or submit a statement (details below). Next,
you can adopt the campaign by sharing it among your network, exponentially increasing your impact.
Finally, you can apply through us to join the campaign as a YV4CA Advocate! Scroll down for detail on
YV4CA Advocates.  

 

Take the Survey   

How does climate change impact you? What climate actions does your government need to take?
Let the world know!

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 are encouraged to share a statement on social media. Simply tag your social media post or video with 
#APyouth4climate, it's that easy!

Also you can send us a short, one sentence quote along with your photo, name, and country by filling out 
this form, and it can be featured on this site as a quote card.

Alternatively, you can submit an official video or written statement using the buttons below. 
 

Video Statement

statement

Become a Campaign Advocate

By becoming a YV4CA Advocate, you can formally adopt the campaign by spreading it and assisting in
collecting youth voices from your country. In addition, you can make use of our campaign’s platform to
feature and brand your own climate action campaign or initiatives. In addition, by joining YV4CA as an
Advocate, you will have a direct line to other Advocates and YV4CA partner organizations from across
the Asia-Pacific. 

Apply to become a YV4CA Advocate here!

For any questions, contact us (scroll down for the contact information).   


Contact

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

1

The New Climate Economy

2

Emissions Gap Report 2018

3

WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin

4

IPCC Climate Report 2018

5

WMO State of the Global Climate in 2018

6

Global Environment Outlook 2019

7

IPCC Climate Change and Land 2019

7

Climate Action and Support Trends

8

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

NDCs Case Studies

lao

Lao PDR

thai

Thailand

vanuatu

Vanuatu

viet nam

Viet Nam

Tools

132

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.

 

Climate Action