Climate change is one of the greatest challenges faced by societies and an issue that has significant implication on energy, food and water security as well as health and safety for countries and people around the world. Scientific evidence indicates that the warming of the climate system is linked to hu
man activities that emit greenhouse gases (GHGs). These gases trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to rising temperatures. This warming trend has already affected all continents and oceans.
Asia-Pacific is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change and impacts are likely to become more intense in the future. Rising temperatures and extreme weather events have contributed to loss of crop yield in many countries. Crop yields are projected to decline by a further 10 percent by 2020.
Sea-level rise is likely to result in significant losses of coastal ecosystems and put nearly a million people along the coasts of South and Southeast Asia at risk. Diarrhoeal disease primarily associated with climatic changes will also put many lives at risk in South and Southeast Asia.
In addition, GHG emissions of a number of Asia-Pacific countries is large and will grow significantly in future if actions are not taken to curb emissions. While many countries are taking measures to do so, more needs to be done and challenges remain. To address these challenges, the region needs better science-based information for policy-making and improved skills and knowledge to deal with the impacts of climate change and reduce emission of greenhouse gases.
In Asia Pacific, UNEP focuses on:
- Adaptation to provide scientific information, enhance capacity for integrated climate impact assessments, support policy planning, and ecosystem-based adaptation;
- Mitigation to help countries to make sound policy, technology, and investment choices including public and private sectors for clean and renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and energy conservation;
- Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) to help establish national and global REDD infrastructures by generating the capacity to develop standards, methodologies, institutions and processes; and increasing awareness of climate change and facilitating science-policy dialogue.
For information on UNEP's approach to climate change worldwide, visit the global website here