The first-ever Annual Report of UN Climate Change analyses the role the UN Climate Change in the global response to climate change and shows that actions to mitigate climate change bring many co-benefits in human health, green jobs, poverty reduction and other aspects of development. The report covers areas of the 2017 work of UN Climate Change, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, considers climate change to be the single biggest threat to life, security and prosperity on Earth. Especially in 2017, we faced various impacts of climate change - from extreme storms, droughts and floods to reduced crop productivity and forced migration. In this context, UN Climate Change’s mandate is to lead and support the global community in its international response to climate change.
In 2017, UN Climate Change continued to deliver on its core tasks: a) to build consensus on the global response to climate change, b) to analyze information on emissions, c) to facilitate the implementation of decisions made by UN Climate Change organs, d) to facilitate the mobilization of finance for developing countries to adapt to and mitigate climate change, e) to promote the effective development and diffusion of innovative technology to developing countries, f) to engage in partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders including civil society, the United Nations system, and public and private sector organizations.
Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction, the UN Climate Change addresses interlinkages between climate change and population growth, rapid urbanization, food insecurity and water scarcity. In addition, UN Climate Change pays increasing attention to coherence of its activities and cooperation with other UN bodies such as UN Environment Programme, Food Agriculture Organization, UN Development Programme and the he United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, notes: “The Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction are intrinsically linked. Action in one area benefits the others, and pursuing the three together will increase impact and efficiency as well as help transform the lives of people and safeguard our planet.”
In 2017, 51 countries ratified the Paris Agreement before the most important climate change negotiations of the year, COP 23. In 2017, the COP Presidency was for the first time hold by a small island developing state - Fiji. COP 23 demonstrated that there is an unstoppable climate movement supported by all sectors of society across the globe. 2017 was characterized by the Talanoa Dialogue designed to help countries increase the ambition of their nationally determined contributions by 2020 (launched at COP23 in Bonn). In order to include and empower women to develop and implement climate solutions, alongside men, UN Climate Change adopted the first-ever Gender Action Plan. UN Climate Change put agriculture on the agenda and countries approved the first-ever agreement on agriculture in climate negotiation history. In 2017, a new platform for indigenous and local community climate action was launched by UN Climate Change.
The report concludes that despite all progress in the global response to climate change, it has yet to reach the scale and speed needed to stabilize the global temperature at a safe level. In this effort, the United Nations – led by UN Climate Change will support every step of the way. According to the UN Secretary General António Guterres, there is no alternative to decisive, immediate climate action if we are to safeguard the future.