The Earth’s climate system affects the health of oceans and our most precious natural areas. It maintains our food supply, contains the spread of diseases like malaria and West Nile virus, and helps our lives and economies flourish. A healthy climate is essential to eradicating poverty and hunger, protecting public health, and creating economic opportunity. That’s why now is the time for citizens around the world to become climate champions and let their leaders know that we can’t afford to wait any longer for concrete, substantial action. Everyone has a role to play, and everyone has something to gain.
Climate change is a top priority for the United Nations, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls it “the moral challenge of our generation.” In December 2015 world leaders gathered in Paris to achieve a new global climate agreement. The Climate Changes 21st Conference of the Parties meeting in Paris (COP21) delivered a new universal agreement. The new agenda is aimed at putting the world firmly on track to a low-carbon, sustainable future that keeps a global temperature rise under 2o Celsius. With an incredible 193 countries ratifying the contract, the implementation of the Paris Agreement confirms a promising sustainable future.
How the UN is creating solutions
Sustainable Development Goal 13 focuses taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts on our planet. Global Goal 13 targets include strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries, to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning and to improve education and awareness on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning. It also aims to implement the commitment to mobilize jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible. To do this policy makers will 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.
Two dozen other UN agencies, including the UN Development Programme, the UN Environment Programme, and the UN Industrial Development Organization, as well as the UN’s sister organization, the World Bank, have prioritized the fight against climate change and are working to encourage a global transition to clean energy.