By 2050, with a projected increased global population of 9.6 billion, we would need the equivalent of almost 3 planets worth of resources to sustain our way of living, if our current consumption and production patterns remain the same. [UNEP, 2011, http://bit.ly/1Niu2q7]
So what is the UN doing about it?
Here is a selection of some activities the UN undertakes to try to prevent a global catastrophe caused by human-induced climate change.
The UN undertakes various activities to encourage young people to engage with climate change. For example Youth2030 is the United Nations Strategy on Youth which aims to scale up global, regional and national actions to meet young people’s needs, realize their rights and tap their possibilities as agents of change.
Other examples include:
- The Youth Envoy organised the Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change in 2016
- Close to half a million youth around the world have taken action on climate change through SGP
- 84% of the surveyed young people agree that they need more information to prevent climate change. [UNEP, 2011, http://bit.ly/1Niu2q7]
- About 73% of surveyed youth say they currently feel the effects climate change. [UNEP, GlobeScan Survey, 2008, http://bit.ly/1CtR3zZ]
- Some 89% of youth respondents say young people can make a difference on climate change. [UNEP, GlobeScan Survey, 2008, http://bit.ly/1CtR3zZ]
- Only 9% of youth are very confident the world will act quickly enough to address climate change. [UNEP, GlobeScan Survey, 2008, http://bit.ly/1CtR3zZ]
- Young people are key actors in raising awareness, running educational programmes, promoting sustainable lifestyles, conserving nature, supporting renewable energy, adopting environmentally-friendly practices and implementing adaptation and mitigation projects. [UNFCCC]
- Youth constitute the majority of the population in many countries and have an increasingly strong social and environmental awareness, which has the power to transform our societies towards a low-carbon and climate resilient future. [United Nations Joint Framework Initiative on Children, Youth and Climate Change, 2010, http://bit.ly/1FBQsfy]
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 1994 with the objective to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.
The framework sets non binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. Instead, the framework outlines how specific international treaties (called “protocols” or “Agreements”) may be negotiated to specify further action towards the objective of the UNFCCC.
There is a UNFCCC Secretariat charged with supporting the operation of the Convention.
The parties to the UNFCCC meet annually in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change.
Climate Action is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2016 to be delivered by 2030. This is a major part of the United Nations activities. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options.