Responding to Climate Change

Climate change is the defining global challenge of the 21st Century. That is why addressing climate change is a priority for the 62nd session.

The President of the General Assembly considers climate change as the flagship issue of the 62nd session. He is working with Member States to consider how the United Nations system as a whole can tackle the climate change challenge.                   

Therefore the President of the General Assembly has convened a thematic debate entitled "Addressing Climate Change: The United Nations and the World at Work” on 11 and 12 February 2008 to give various stakeholders and member states an opportunity to discuss partnerships and efforts by the United Nations system to tackle climate change. A follow-up meeting focusing on investment and climate change will take place on 9 June 2008.

Based on the suggestion of the President of the General Assembly, “Responding to Climate Change” was the theme of this year’s General Debate which brought together many heads of state and government and ministers in late September 2007. Almost all speakers took up this theme and expressed their views on climate change. There was a strong sense of urgency and commitment to achieve results. On the eve of the general debate a high-level event on climate change was convened by the Secretary General.

The general debate and the high-level event brought a lot of momentum for the upcoming climate negotiations on a post-2012 regime under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. In early December the General Assembly adopted a resolution "Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind“ which contained some messages for the UN climate conference in Bali. The President of the General Assembly also sent a letter to the delegations present in Bali.

The aim during the remaining session will be to support the climate negotiations and to consider which role the UN system can play in addressing climate change. On 11 and 12 February 2008 the President of the General Assembly has therefore convened a thematic debate “Addressing Climate Change: The United Nations and the World at Work”.

For more information about UN Climate Change