Climate Change

A girl tends to a hydroponic garden

Our food systems are breaking the planet – and the climate crisis is breaking our food systems. These are two of the biggest problems the world is facing today, and subject to the two biggest conversations the UN. At the UN Food Systems Summit in September, the WFP issued a wake-up call: 811 million people are going to bed hungry in countries where food systems are unequal, strained or broken. Yet, as more than 190 countries come together for COP26, the topic of food systems is yet to make it into the mainstream conversation at UN climate meetings.

Four people laughing in a field of grains

Staple crops in eight African countries could decrease by as much as 80 percent by 2050 in some areas if temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, according to a report released today by IFAD. This could have a catastrophic impact on poverty and food availability unless there is an urgent injection of funding to help vulnerable farmers adapt how and what they farm. The organisation warned that COP26 will fail to achieve a lasting impact if world leaders continue to prioritise mitigation and neglect investments in climate adaptation.

Nuclear technology and applications contribute to tackling climate change. As the only world forum in the nuclear field, the IAEA continues to contribute to an informed debate on the benefits of nuclear power and applications in the many international events, including COP26, where political leaders, industry, scientists and civil society will discuss the way forward.

The world spends an astounding US$423 billion annually to subsidize fossil fuels for consumers – oil, electricity that is generated by the burning of other fossil fuels, gas, and coal. This is four times the amount being called for to help poor countries tackle the climate crisis, one of the sticking points ahead of the COP26 global climate summit, according to new UNDP research. The main contributor to the climate emergency is the energy sector which accounts for 73 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuel subsidy reforms would contribute to reducing CO2 emissions

A woman looks out her window.

Building materials and the construction sector accounts for 11 per cent of annual carbon dioxide emissions. A UN-Habitat project shows how a construction project can help achieve a carbon-free world.

An illustration of people holding up symbols of climate action.

A new report from UNOPS, UNEP and the University of Oxford reveals how infrastructure defines our climate and calls for radical changes in the way governments plan, design and manage infrastructure.

Wildfires reaching two homes

Climate impacts are widespread, rapid, and intensifying. UNEP will be working towards three goals at COP26: raising national level ambitions, stimulate private funding, and reducing GHG emissions.

The globe with illustrations of different data points around it.

The World Bank commits to increase climate finance targets to 35% of total commitments over the next five years, align financing flows with the Paris Agreement, and integrate climate and development.

Women and men gather in a conference room.

New reports published ahead of the COP26 climate summit show that even though decision-making and technical panels under UN Climate Change (known as “constituted bodies”) are increasingly integrating a gender perspective into their work, male overrepresentation in government delegations persists. Equal and meaningful participation and leadership of women is vital to achieve climate goals. While women and girls around the world are demanding more climate action and have received increasing recognition for their leadership, women’s voices are not yet equally represented.

a woman carries a water container wading through water around flooded huts.

UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report 2021 outlines reforms of the international financial system to get more climate adaptation funds flowing to developing countries. Released ahead of the COP26 climate summit, the report calls for a transformative approach to climate adaptation, with advanced economies ensuring that multilateral institutions can support developing countries to manage the changing climate. Estimates indicate that annual climate adaptation costs in developing countries could reach $300 billion in 2030, yet current funding is less than a quarter of that figure.

A girl in a dry land holds a tray on her head.

The Conference of Parties (COP) is the big UN Climate Change summit gathering the signatory countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. World leaders, negotiators, representatives of civil society, business, and international organizations meet annually to discuss how to address the world’s climate crisis, which impacts all parts of the global food system – from production to consumption. As global powers meet in Glasgow on 31 October to 12 November, WFP joins humanitarian organizations daring to hope for decisions that will save millions from hunger.

WHO Director-General holds up a scroll.

Countries must set ambitious climate commitments if they are to sustain a healthy and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Health, in the lead-up to COP26, spells out the global health community’s prescription for climate action based on research that establishes the many and inseparable links between climate and health. The report is launched at the same time as an open letter, signed by over two thirds of the global health workforce calling for countries to step up climate action.

A head points to a laptop screen with a green and yellow geometric background.

You aren’t alone. You just haven’t found your community yet.

Cassia Moraes knows the power of community. She’s building a global network of young people, trained to take on climate jobs and to support each other in solving the climate crisis. 

UN News talked to Ms. Moraes about the Young Climate Leaders program, where young people work to solve real problems, and to provide a reality check to the climate movement bubble, strengthened by the “entrepreneurship of scarcity.”

No Denying It, the UN climate action podcast, brings you the voices of young climate changemakers from across our warming planet. In this episode Mamadou Ndiaye introduces Cassia Moraes.

Illustration of a family enjoying time outside their home that has solar panels installed on its roof.

The theme for this year’s World Habitat Day, Accelerating Urban Action for a Carbon-Free World, recognizes that cities are responsible for some 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions with transport, buildings, energy, and waste management accounting for the bulk of urban greenhouse gas emissions. Events and activities during World Habitat Day will explore how national, regional and local governments and organizations, communities, academic institutions, the private sector and all relevant stakeholders can work together to create sustainable, carbon-neutral, inclusive cities and towns.