by: Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Climate change is widely recognized as the most fundamental and defining challenge of our generation. The average temperature of the earth's surface has risen by 0.74°C since the late 1800s and it is projected to increase by up to 4° C by the year 2100 in absence of an internationally agreed comprehensive set of obligations for climate change mitigation and adaptation and mechanism of their implementation. Even if the minimum predicted increase takes place, it will be larger than any century-long trend in the last 10,000 years. Consequences for environment and sustainable development would be immense, with heavy impact on human habitat, economic and social growth and achievement of the UN’s Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally agreed development objectives.