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Climate Crisis

This guide provides information, resources, and data on the climate crisis

Climate Mitigation

Climate Mitigation is reducing climate change. It involves reducing the flow of 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 places ("sinks") that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests, and soil).

The goal of climate mitigation is to avoid significant human interference in Earth's climate by stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions in a timeframe that will allow the Earth's ecosystems to sufficiently adapt. This will ensure that ecosystems such as those for food production, are not threatened, and economic development can continue to proceed in a sustainable manner to support humanity. 

Global cooperation is essential for all climate change mitigation. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement ensure cooperation across borders to tackle climate change and ensure a sustainable future.

Ways to Mitigate Climate Change
  • Using new technologies (such as Energy Smart appliances)
  • Updated older technologies to make them more efficient
  • Using renewable energy
  • Halting deforestation
  • Expand forests
  • Using land sustainably (agriculture, forestry, buildings)
  • Changing practices and behaviors (such as one's means of travel or diet)

Climate Adaptation

Climate Adaption is adapting to life in a changing climate. It involves adjusting to either the actual or a future expected climate that will be unlike prior experience. 

The goal is to reduce our risks from the harmful effects of climate change (like sea-level rise, more intense extreme weather events, or food insecurity). It also includes making the most of any potential beneficial opportunities associated with climate change (for example, longer growing seasons or increased yields in some regions).

Global Climate Mitigation

The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France, on 12 December 2015. It entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its overarching goal is to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

Long-Term Strategies

In accordance with Article 4, paragraph 19, of the Paris Agreement, all Parties (governments) should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, mindful of Article 2 taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances. The Long Term Strategies Portal provides access to  each party's submitted long term strategies.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of its long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. 

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs)

Developing country parties will take Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) in the context of sustainable development. NAMAs refer to any action that reduces emissions in developing countries and is prepared under the umbrella of a national governmental initiative. They can be policies directed at transformational change within an economic sector, or actions across sectors for a broader national focus. 

The Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997. Owing to a complex ratification process, it entered into force on 16 February 2005. Currently, there are 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. In short, the Kyoto Protocol operationalizes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by committing industrialized countries and economies in transition to limit and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in accordance with agreed individual targets. 

Countries with commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions must meet their targets primarily through national measures. As an additional means of meeting these targets, the Kyoto Protocol introduced three market-based mechanisms, thereby creating what is now known as the carbon market.

The Kyoto mechanisms
  • Stimulate sustainable development through technology transfer and investment
  • Help countries with Kyoto commitments to meet their targets by reducing emissions or removing carbon from the atmosphere in other countries in a cost-effective way
  • Encourage the private sector and developing countries to contribute to emission reduction efforts