Division of Early Warning and Assessment

Climate Change

Climate change has long-since ceased to be a scientific curiosity, and is no longerjust one of many environmental and regulatory concerns. UNEP/DEWA is involved in the assessment of climate change. The main reports are listed below:

ECCO Metropolitan District of QuitoThe Emissions Gap Report 2013

The Copenhagen Accord called on parties to the UNFCCC to submit voluntary emission reduction pledges for the year 2020. To date, 32 parties have heeded that call. Emission reduction pledges contribute towards meeting the target of the parties to the UNFCCC to limit the increase in global average temperature to 2°C, compared to its pre-industrial levels. The material accessible through this report represents the fourth update of the so-called Emissions Gap report. It highlights that there is a gap and suggests options for bridging it.

Executive Summary   |   Full Report

ECCO Metropolitan District of QuitoThe Emissions Gap Report 2012

The report gives an updated estimate of the 2020 emissions gap of 8 to 13 gigatonnes of equivalent CO2, larger than earlier estimates because of higher than expected economic growth. Current global emissions are around 50 gigatonnes per year of equivalent CO2 which is substantially higher than the emissions level in 2020 consistent with a likely pathway of staying within the two degrees climate target. The report also finds that policy actions such as building codes, appliance standards, and bus rapid transit systems are achieving substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions even though they are largely being implemented because of local and national priorities. If scaled up, these and other policies can make a major contribution to closing the emissions gap.

Executive Summary   |   Full Report

ECCO Metropolitan District of QuitoAvoiding Future Famines: Strengthening the Ecological Basis of Security through Sustainable Food Systems

The report addresses an important aspect of the food security discourse: the ecological foundation of food security. The report argues that while factors such as availability, access, utilization and stability must be given adequate attention for global food security to be achieved, an underlying factor – the ecological dimension is not only largely being overlooked but is also being undermined.

Executive Summary   |   Full Report

ECCO Metropolitan District of QuitoNear-term Climate Protection and Clean Air Benefits: Actions for Controlling Short-Lived Climate Forcers

This report addresses the mitigation of short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) and its key role in air pollution reduction, climate protection and sustainable development. SLCFs are substances in the atmosphere that contribute to global warming and have relatively short lifetimes in the atmosphere. The focus is on three SLCFs – black carbon, tropospheric ozone and methane – because reducing them will provide significant benefits through improved air quality and a slowing of near-term climate change.

Executive Summary   |   Full Report

ECCO Metropolitan District of QuitoBridging the Emissions Gap

Global climate policy has advanced on several fronts over the past few years and this report deals with two developments of particular importance – The readiness of countries to pledge to new emission reductions, and the agreement among countries to an important global climate target. In December, 2009, countries were encouraged to submit pledges for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2020 as part of the Copenhagen Accord. Subsequently, 42 industrialized countries and 44 developing countries submitted pledges. At the climate conference in Cancún one year later, parties formally recognised country pledges and decided “to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels”. They also left open the option for “strengthening the long-term global goal on the basis of best available scientific knowledge including in relation to a global average temperature rise of 1.5°C”. An obvious and basic question is, to what extent will the country pledges help to meet the 2°C and 1.5°C targets?

Executive Summary   |   Full Report

ECCO Metropolitan District of QuitoHFCs: A Critical Link in Protecting Climate and the Ozone Layer

The Montreal Protocol has been an effective instrument for protecting the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer by providing an international framework for phasing out ozone depleting substances (ODSs), including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The phase-out of ODSs has been accomplished by curtailing their production and consumption. The phase-out of ODSs requires either substitute chemicals or other approaches, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have become the major replacements in many ODS applications (Figure ES 1). HFCs, which have no known natural sources, are used because they do not deplete the stratospheric ozone layer and can be used with relative ease (technically) in place of CFCs and HCFCs.

Full Report

ECCO Metropolitan District of QuitoECCO Metropolitan District of Quito

Quito Environment and Climate Change Outlook, is the first comprehensive environmental assessment (physical, biotic and social) of the city, includes an analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change and guides their proposals within the scope of sumak kawsay or "good life". The proposals of the report aim to build a new model of city and society to ensure rights, economic, environmental, social and cultural welfare of the people in harmony with their natural and built environment.

Executive Summary   |   Full Report

Integrated Assessment
of Black Carbon
and Tropospheric OzoneIntegrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone

Scientific evidence and new analyses demonstrate that control of black carbon particles and tropospheric ozone through rapid implementation of proven emission reduction measures would have immediate and multiple benefits for human well-being.Black carbon exists as particles in the atmosphere and is a major component of soot, it has significant human health and climate impacts.

Summary for Decision Makers  |  Full Report  |  Download by Chapter  |  News and outreach of the report

The Emissions Gap ReportThe Emissions Gap Report

Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges but also an inordinate opportunity to catalyze a transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient Green Economy. This report informs governments and the wider community on how far a response to climate change has progressed over the past 12 months, and thus how far the world is on track to meet wider goals

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The Emissions Gap ReportVital Climate Change Graphics for Latin America and the Caribbean 2010

Vital Climate Change Graphics for Latin America and the Caribbean demonstrates both the urgent need to act and the significant benefits that could be gained by taking early action to adapt and reduce the region’s vulnerability to climate change. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) – through its Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division – and GRID-Arendal hereby present Vital Climate Change Graphics for Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Climate Change Science Compendium 2009Climate Change Science Compendium 2009

The Climate Change Science Compendium is a review of some 400 major scientific contributions to our understanding of Earth Systems and climate that have been released through peer-reviewed literature or from research institutions over the last three years, since the close of research for consideration by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

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Global Outlook for Ice and SnowGlobal Outlook for Ice and Snow

Ice, snow and climate change are closely linked. The Global Outlook for Ice and Snow investigates those linkages. It also presents information on the trends in ice and snow, the outlook for this century and beyond and the consequences to ecosystems and human well-being of these changes. It covers all parts of the cryosphere (the world of ice): snow, land ice, sea ice, river and lake ice, and frozen ground. The Global Outlook for Ice and Snow was written by more than 70 scientists from around the world.

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Further Resources: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)