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In its work on combating climate change,
UNEP focuses on three areas:

Supporting countries in using ecosystem-based approaches to adapt and build resilience to climate change.

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Supporting countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adopt renewable energy, increase energy efficiency measures and reduce air pollution.

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Enabling countries to seize investment opportunities that reduce greenhouse emissions from deforestation and forest degradation with adequate social and environmental safeguards.

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UNEP exceeded its climate targets in the last reporting period due to additional income and effective global partnerships – highlighting the importance of the organization to the coming efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goal on Climate Change.

IN PICTURES

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Climate Resilience

Over the last two years, UNEP enabled 20 countries to implement ecosystem-based and other adaptation approaches...

Climate Resilience

Over the last two years, UNEP enabled 20 countries to implement ecosystem-based and other adaptation approaches. Of these countries, ten incorporated ecosystem-based (EbA) and other supporting adaptation approaches in key sectoral and development plans, bringing the total to 19 – including Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Tanzania.

However, the implementation of such plans requires financing, which is currently lagging behind needs. According to advance findings from UNEP’s second Global Adaptation Gap Report, adaptation costs are likely to be up to three times higher than current estimates. UNEP encourages further sources of adaptation funding and helps countries access existing finance. UNEP supported 10 countries with their accreditation process to the Adaptation Fund, of which four (Costa Rica, Mexico, Namibia and Peru) became accredited and can access finance directly. In addition, UNEP helped countries increase the availability of microfinance for adaptation. See In Focus Page

The 2015 Global Adaptation Report

Total bilateral and multilateral financing targeting climate change adaptation in developing countries in 2014 was estimated at $18.4 billion, representing an 8-9 per cent increase over the past five years – but still far short of what will be needed by 2030.

$18.4 billion

Total bilateral and multilateral financing targeting climate change adaptation in developing countries

Global trends in renewable energy investment 2015 (billions of dollars)

Global trends
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Global trends
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Low emission growth

UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2015, a key document in negotiations at the Paris climate meeting...

Low emission growth

UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2015, a key document in negotiations at the Paris climate meeting, assessed 119 Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. These pledges, combined with existing measures, could cut up to 10 gigatonnes of emissions (GtCO2e) per year by 2030. However, this is half what is needed to have a likely chance of limiting global warming to 2°C target this century, beyond which serious climate impacts can be expected.

The report notes that enhanced energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport, and increased renewable energy, are critical to closing the gap. As these sectors account for around 40 per cent of global energy use, UNEP works closely with its partners and governments to accelerate action in these areas. In the last two years, UNEP provided assistance to 31 countries to implement initiatives to improve energy efficiency or invest in renewables, far exceeding the target of 20 countries set for December 2015. UNEP complements these efforts with major partnerships to enable a broader reach than would be possible on its own.

Including the 25 members of the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, a total of 67 finance institutions have committed to clean technology investments, exceeding UNEP’s 2015 target of 55 such institutions. In addition, at the Paris climate meeting the international community pledged over $10 billion to the UNEP-supported Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, an African-led plan to add 10,000 MW of additional renewable energy on the continent by 2020.

UNEP-supported achievements in energy efficiency

24 countries completed their national efficient lighting strategies, with the support of the en.lighten initiative, bringing the total to 38.

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13 countries are adopting efficient appliances strategies under the Efficient Appliances and Equipment Partnership, which targets a global shift that could cut 1.25 billion tonnes of emissions and save $350 billion each year.

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Chile, Kenya, Mauritius and Viet Nam, with the support of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, adopted fuel efficiency policies, bringing the total number of countries with cleaner vehicle and fuel efficiency policies to 10.

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Four major partnership initiatives on climate change

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)

The 110 partners of the CCAC are implementing high-impact measures to reduce black carbon, methane and hydrofluorocarbon in agriculture, brick production, cooking, heating, diesel vehicles, oil and gas production, and municipal solid waste. Members pledged tens of millions of dollars to a new five-year plan at the Paris climate meeting.

110 partners
5 year plan

The 1 Gigaton Coalition

A coalition of 25 countries and 40 organizations that supports nations to report on savings from renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. The first report, released in Paris, found potential savings of 1.7 gigatonnes a year by 2020.

250 countries
40 organizations

Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC)

25 institutional investors have joined the coalition of investors committed to fighting climate change through green investment, run by the UNEP Finance Initiative. Two of the world’s biggest institutional investors – Allianz and ABP – joined in December 2015. Some $600 billion of assets under management will be decarbonized.

25 institutional investors
$600 billion assets under management will be decarbonized

The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)

The CTCN, which UNEP manages in partnership with the UN Industrial Development Organization, assists 10 countries on their climate technology challenges – including waste and energy efficiency in Colombia, refrigerant technologies in Namibia and Mauritius, and efficient lighting in the Dominican Republic.

10 countries assisted
Icons of snow bulb and recycle

REDD+

Global momentum on conserving forests increased with the adoption of the New York Declaration on Forests, which aims to halve the rate of loss of natural forests by 2020 and end it by 2030...

REDD+

Global momentum on conserving forests increased with the adoption of the New York Declaration on Forests, which aims to halve the rate of loss of natural forests by 2020 and end it by 2030. The UN Collaborative Initiative on Reducing Emissions from Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) – jointly implemented by UNEP, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Development Programme – scaled up support to 64 countries to help them become ready for the expanded REDD+ approach, up from 48 in December 2013. Twenty-six of these countries had national programmes; half of those went on to develop or adopt national REDD+ strategies in 2014-2015. A total of 20 countries have begun the process of developing, adopting or implementing national REDD+ strategies, exceeding UNEP’s target of 15 countries by December 2015.

REDD+

Global momentum on conserving forests increased with the adoption of the New York Declaration on Forests, which aims to halve the rate of loss of natural forests by 2020 and end it by 2030. The UN Collaborative Initiative on Reducing Emissions from Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) – jointly implemented by UNEP, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Development Programme – scaled up support to 64 countries to help them become ready for the expanded REDD+ approach, up from 48 in December 2013. Twenty-six of these countries had national programmes; half of those went on to develop or adopt national REDD+ strategies in 2014-2015. A total of 20 countries have begun the process of developing, adopting or implementing national REDD+ strategies, exceeding UNEP’s target of 15 countries by December 2015.

For more information on UNEP's work on climate change, please visit our Climate Change page or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

For more details on performance indicators and finances, please download UNEP's Programme Performance Report for 2014-2015