* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international,
intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.
Planetary warming continued in 2016, setting a new record of about 1.1 degrees Centigrade above the preindustrial period, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2016. Drought conditions predominated across much of the globe, aggravated by the El Niņo phenomenon In the Statement, WMO also noted that the extent of global sea ice fell to a minimum of 4.14 million km2 in 2016, the second lowest extent on record. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels also reached a record high of 400 parts per million that year. Mitigating climate change and its impacts will require building on the momentum achieved by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which entered into force on 4 November 2016. Stronger efforts are needed to build resilience and limit climate-related hazards and natural disasters.
- Parties to the Paris Agreement are expected to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions. The nationally determined contributions reflect official country responses to climate change and contributions to global climate action. As of 20 April 2017, 143 parties ratified the Paris Agreement, of which 137 parties (136 countries and the European Commission) communicated their first nationally determined contributions to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- As of 20 April 2017, seven developing countries successfully completed and submitted the first iteration of their national adaptation plans, in response to climate change.
- Developed countries have committed to jointly mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020 to address the climate-related needs of developing countries and to continue that level of support through 2025. Initial efforts to mobilize resources for the Green Climate Fund raised $10.3 billion and developed - country parties are strongly urged to scale up their financial support.
- The number of deaths attributed to natural disasters continues to rise, despite progress in implementing disaster risk reduction strategies. From 1990 to 2015, more than 1.6 million people died in internationally reported natural disasters.
- Many countries have begun implementing national and local disaster risk reduction strategies. In 2014-2015, most reporting countries indicated that environmental impact assessments, legislation on protected areas, climate change adaptation projects and programmes, and integrated planning played a major role in reducing underlying risk factors.
Source: Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", E/2017/66
- Climate change presents the single biggest threat to development, and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable. Urgent action to combat climate change and minimize its disruptions is integral to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- The global nature of climate change calls for broad international cooperation in building resilience and adaptive capacity to its adverse effects, developing sustainable low-carbon pathways to the future, and accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions. On 22 April 2016, 175 Member States signed the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The new agreement aims to reduce the pace of climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future.
- Climate change often exacerbates disasters. Between 1990 and 2013, more than 1.6 million people died in internationally reported disasters, with annual deaths trending upwards. As a result, more countries are acting on the imperative to implement national and local disaster risk reduction strategies. In 2015, 83 countries had legislative and/or regulatory provisions in place for managing disaster risk.
- Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are responsible for providing a range of national reports on their efforts to implement the agreement. As of 4 April 2016, 161 intended nationally determined contributions, from 189 of the 197 Parties to the Framework Convention (the European Commission submitted one joint intended determined contribution) had been recorded by the secretariat of the Framework Convention, providing insights into the efforts many countries are taking to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning. Among those countries, 137 parties included an adaptation component in their intended nationally determined contributions. Some countries stressed that adaptation was their main climate change priority, with strong linkages to other aspects of national development, sustainability and security. In order to help countries move forward on climate action, a global stocktaking was established, in the context of the Paris Agreement, to assess collective progress every five years. The process will begin in 2018, with a facilitative dialogue to review the efforts of parties towards emissions reductions and to inform the preparation of final nationally determined contributions.
- As parties scale up climate change action, enhanced cooperation, capacity-building and access to financial and technical support will be needed to help many countries realize their priorities, including those identified in intended nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans. Developed countries have committed to mobilizing, by 2020, $100 billion a year in climate financing from a wide variety of sources to help address the needs of developing countries. By 2025, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will set a new collective goal of at least $100 billion per year. The Green Climate Fund, a mechanism within the Framework Convention created to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices, is an important delivery vehicle for this financing. As of May 2016, the Green Climate Fund had mobilized $10.3 billion.
- Climate change is already affecting the most vulnerable countries and populations, in particular the least developed countries and the small island developing States. The preparation of national adaptation programmes of action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is helping the least developed countries address urgent and immediate needs, with support from the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Least Developed Countries Expert Group. In addition, the implementation of national adaptation programmes of action will help the least developed countries prepare and seek funding for comprehensive national adaptation plans, thereby reducing their risk of being left behind.