Climate

worker in Nigeria

It has been an immensely challenging year for governments, which have been scrambling to contain the spread of the virus while also managing the economic fallout, supporting workers, and ensuring continuity of schooling for children. At the same time, the climate crisis has not gone away, nor has the soaring gap between rich and poor. In fact, these existing challenges have been magnified by the pandemic. Despite the gloom, there’s some good news; with the right choices, governments can address all of these crises at once, by making the transition to low-carbon, green economies. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that the move to low-carbon, greener economies has the potential to create 60 million jobs by 2030.

cover of report with word CITY

REN21’s Renewables in Cities Global Status Report (REC) series provides an overview of the status, trends and developments of renewable energy in cities.

men carrying light sources

UN Climate Change has launched a new and exciting blog, which will highlight climate action being taken around the world: 1.5 Degrees: A Climate Action Blog.

boy transporting onions on a camel

With the highest birth rate in the world, recurring droughts exacerbated by climate change and a lack of arable land and access to water, producing enough food to sustain Niger’s rapidly growing population is an enormous challenge. To help improve food security for its growing population and address climate-related challenges, UNOPS is supporting an ambitious programme – funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation – that aims to harness the country’s agricultural potential, boost economic development and ensure a more sustainable approach to using natural resources.

youth planting trees

The project, Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change in Seychelles, is working to reduce the vulnerability of the Seychelles to climate change. Supporting communities to adapt to life in a less predictable climate system, this approach to managing climate risk will secure critical water access and bolster resilience to flooding. Through pipes connected to the wetland by the Department of Agriculture, the farming community now benefits from a year-round water supply from the Bougainville wetland, building the resilience of the farming community to climate-induced drought. 

Women play a major role in shaping climate-resilient societies. Their needs and capacities can lay the foundation for solutions that not only address the climate crisis but also pave the way for a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

collage of photos

Women are playing a lead role in tackling some of the planet’s biggest environmental threats, from climate change to species loss, to pollution. Meet seven extraordinary women who are using their powers to save the planet.

Elliott Harris

Ignoring nature imposes costs that have been in the trillions.” In a recent interview, UN Chief Economist Elliott Harris spoke about a ground-breaking change to national accounting that, for the first time, includes valuing nature in addition to more conventional economic measures. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting – Ecosystem Accounting offers major scope for informing and improving decisions on economies, climate action and the protection of biodiversity.

A forest in the mist

The Fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) warned that the world risks new pandemics if we don’t change how we safeguard nature. Attended by thousands of online participants, including more than 1,500 delegates from 153 UN Member States, the Assembly also agreed on key aspects of the work of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), kicked off the commemoration of UNEP’s 50th anniversary and held leadership dialogues, where Member States addressed how to build a resilient and inclusive post-pandemic world. In a political statement endorsed at the close of the Assembly, Member States reaffirmed UNEP’s mandate as the leading global environmental authority and called for greater and more inclusive multilateralism to tackle the environmental challenges.

withered plants in dry soil

Climate change is intensifying extreme weather events hitting the country, leaving almost half the population of 15 million unsure of where they’ll find their next meal. At the peak of this hunger season, 3.4 million people, more than a third of the entire rural population, are expected to face emergency or crisis levels of hunger. Over the past two decades, droughts have proved an insurmountable challenge for the smallholder farmers who produce most of the country’s food. Floods and cyclones strike, too, and things are only expected to get worse. Climate scientists anticipate severe droughts in Zimbabwe to increase by 21 percent over the next few decades which could lead to enormous losses. 

pie chart for La Niña update

The 2020-2021 La Niña event has passed its peak, but impacts on temperatures, precipitation and storm patterns continue, according to a new update from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Despite the general cooling influence of La Niña events, land temperatures are expected to be above-normal for most parts of the globe in February-April 2021.

sea waves

Oceans are an essential part of our planet. They provide us with food to eat and keep our atmosphere healthy. Without the oceans, we simply wouldn’t exist. But climate change means that ocean temperatures are increasing, icebergs are melting, and sea levels are rising. We need action to reverse these trends, and raising awareness is the first step. To do so, FAO hosted an online discussion titled Talking Oceans and Climate Change. 

Firefighters in Australia.

The past six years have been the warmest on record since 1880, with 2016, 2019 and 2020 being the top three, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The year 2020 was 1.2°C above pre-industrial era (1880) temperatures. WMO predicts a 20 per cent probability that temperatures will temporarily exceed 1.5°C as early as 2024. According to the Paris Agreement, Member States committed to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels. In January this year, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, said 2021 was a critical year for climate, calling for multilateral action. 

What would the world look like if we hadn’t saved the ozone layer? It’s 2084 and the disease known as the GROW has taken over. Three teenagers, Knox, Sagan and Terran, find themselves on an epic adventure to save themselves and the world.

Salt produced through the revival of traditional Fijian salt making is drained through a hand weaved basket.

In December 2019, UNDP Fiji through the Accelerator Lab Pacific embarked on an experiment to understand the interplay between traditional knowledge, cultural identity and climate resilience. The Accelerator Lab Pacific hypothesized that if communities revived their traditional practices, it would help towards strengthening cultural identity and then in turn improve climate resilience, through better relationship with their biodiversity and natural resources. Vusama village, on the south west coast of Fiji’s main island Viti Levu, which was the traditional custodian of salt making, but had not practiced it for more than 50 years, was set up a demonstration site for salt making revival.