Climate Change Governance

Throughout the past few decades increasing attention has been given to cross boundary environmental protection and resource efficiency, with the acknowledgement that environmental impact know no boundaries and that resources are scarce.

A number of multilateral environmental agreements (MEA) have been adopted and reinforced in the period from 1970 up to today. These agreements include both legal obligations and political aspirations in the areas of climate change, biodiversity, and cross sectoral agreements on right to information on environmental impacts.

The United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) constitutes the global framework for cooperation on climate change. Most recent developments include a new global agreement on climate change under the UNFCCC, setting out to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.

The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015, and entered into force less than one year later, at a historic pace. The quick entry into force demonstrates the increasing political attention given to the issue of climate change.

The Agreements’s aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement further aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

There will be a global stocktake every 5 years to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and to inform further individual actions by Parties.

SDG Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. 

The SDGs Goal 13 on climate change and 11 on sustainable cities reinforces the urgency in the need for action to combat climate change.

SDG 13 on Climate Action:

  • “Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
  • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.
  • Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
  • Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible.
  • Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities.”