Displaying 1-20 of 28 key documents
Source: World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) | 2010
This document examines ethical and human rights-based approaches to climate change and climate-related vulnerability. It was published by the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), an independent expert advisory committee tasked with guiding the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in its implementation of ethical frameworks in science, technology and development.
In particular, the report focuses on ethical issues brought about by climate change, and discusses both general and specific principles that could be adopted to respond to these issues.
These include protecting human rights; providing equitable access to medical, scientific and technological developments, including the rapid sharing of knowledge about such developments and the sharing of benefits, with particular attention to the needs of developing countries; holding polluters accountable for the cost of their pollution; and ensuring that development is sustainable.
Source: International Council on Human Rights Policy | 2011
This report, published by the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) outlines how technology transfer, climate change, and human rights-based approaches explicitly come together. It focuses on how human rights-based approaches to technology transfer bear on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Twenty years' after the signing of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Rio in 1992, technology transfer is still a contentious term and an unclear goal for policy. The report aims to address this by examining the human rights issues that emerge — at both the theoretical and political level — in relation to technology transfer. It also examines how technology transfer can be used to secure basic human rights and set rights-based standards that can improve the living conditions of those most vulnerable to climate change.
The report suggests that human rights can provide a platform for agreement that can inform technology policy and help move it forward by prioritising needs and objectives. It concludes with relevant recommendations for governments, civil society organisations and UN bodies.
Source: IISD | June 2012
This paper gives an overview of the financing needs of smallholder farmers, their current sources of financing, and ways to deliver these funds to help them achieve the triple dividends of enhanced food security, increased resilience to climate change, and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. It offers recommendations for mobilising investment to enable further progress towards this goal.
The authors argue that there is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution, and suggest that adaptation funds and the private sector could be a source of additional support, in the absence of public sector financing for agriculture or a carbon market for smallholders. They conclude with recommendations for policymakers, such as building on prior experience and knowledge, and creating an enabling environment for climate-smart agricultural investment.
This report presents the results of a study of six African agricultural carbon projects and identifies institutional innovations — such as financial management and carbon monitoring systems — that have helped make them successful. It also puts forward emerging research questions and discusses the future of the project.
The study found that direct carbon payments to farmers were low, but non-cash benefits were received after careful management. The projects successfully established systems for financial management, agricultural extension, and carbon monitoring, using a complex set of partnerships. They also found that mechanisms for settling conflict over land and benefits were crucial, as were methods for managing power dynamics to ensure equitable decision-making and participation.
Source: UNFCCC | June 2012
This report provides a summary of key financing and support opportunities — excluding multilateral and domestic sources — available to Climate Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in Africa and other underrepresented regions. Funding sources covered include the KfW Carbon Fund, World Bank group carbon funds and initiatives, the carbon facility of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the African Biofuels and Renewable Energy Fund (ABREF), and the Africa Carbon Asset Development Initiative (ACAD).
Source: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) | July 2012
These country fact sheets aim to provide updated information on the status of national climate policy and market mechanisms — including the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), greenhouse gas emissions, and nationally appropriate mitigation actions — in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The goal is to provide countries with guidance on how to make progress towards low-carbon development.
Each report includes an overview of national climate change risks and policy responses for adaptation and mitigation. It outlines recent policy actions and activities, as well as the structure of designated national authorities, the approval process for CDM projects, and information on climate mitigation options and mechanisms. All reports are available in English, and the reports from Indonesia and Malaysia are also available in their national languages.
Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | June 2012
This report examines how refugees and displaced people from several countries in the East and Horn of Africa have perceived, experienced and responded to climatic variability and the negative impacts of climate change. Through interviews and focus groups, and supported by a literature review, the report assesses how people manage the impact of climate change and environmental stress, how these factors affect livelihoods and vulnerability, and to what extent they influence people's decisions to move from their homes.
Key findings include that climate change had negatively impacted farming and livestock husbandry, and triggered conflict by further exacerbating existing resource scarcity. However, people tended to employ a wide range of adaptive strategies, only moving home as a last resort. The report also states that migration was often viewed as temporary, and very rarely occurred across national borders. It concludes that political conditions, civil disorder and state oppression inhibited people's coping strategies.
Source: Forest and Climate Change Programme of FAO | May 2012
This report presents the results of the survey of forest stakeholders, soliciting their views, opinions and observations on issues that influence the ability of forest managers to respond to climate change. It is aimed at forest managers, policymakers, researchers, communications specialists and those interested in forests and climate change.
The survey was conducted to develop guidelines to help forest managers respond effectively to climate change challenges through actions consistent with sustainable forest management. Survey questions covered a range of areas including climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation measures, laws and regulations, and relevance of existing guidelines. The respondents indicated how much support they receive, and how much they need, in order to implement adaptation and mitigation measures. A complete set of the results are available on the FAO Forests and Climate Change Programme website.
Source: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency | April 2012
This report analyses pledge on emissions reductions put forward by Parties in the Cancún Agreements, including information emerging since the negotiations took place in 2010.
It focuses on the uncertainties and risks of achieving the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, and provides a detailed overview what the pledges and actions of the 12 countries and regions with the largest emissions could mean for reduction targets.
The report highlights that since the Cancún negotiations, developing countries have published new information about their emission projections which have led to higher than expected emission levels, and have increased the emission gap.
It suggests that a selected set of mitigation options in addition to existing pledges could result in emission reduction which would narrow the gap towards achieving the two degrees Celsius goal. It also concludes that uncertainties in accounting rules and projections could mean that global emissions remain at business-as-usual projections for 2020.
Source: UNEP | February 2012
This report presents important environmental events and developments of 2012, and provides an overview of the status of key environmental indicators. It highlights the benefits of carbon storage in soil and the decommissioning of nuclear power plants as issues of emerging significance, and aims to strengthen science policy in these areas.
According to UNEP's executive director, although these may seem like separate issues, they go to the heart of questions about ensuring enough food and fuel while combating climate change and handling hazardous waste.
The report points out that the draining of peatlands is producing carbon dioxide emissions that amount to around six per cent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions; and their degradation is occurring 20 times faster than peat is accumulated. It also suggests that the nuclear industry needs to develop safer, faster and cheaper decommissioning of nuclear power plants.
Source: UNESCO/IOC | November 2011
This report, produced by several UN agencies and programmes, presents tangible recommendations to prioritise and improve the management of the ocean ahead of the Rio+20 conference in June. It aims to provide context for discussions to take place at the conference, and to ensure that ocean and coastal management strategies are incorporated in the new sustainable development approaches that will emerge from Rio+20.
They include plans to mitigate and adapt to ocean acidification; create a 'blue carbon' market for carbon dioxide captured in the ocean; establish institutional mechanisms for protecting habitats and biodiversity not covered by national regulations; adopt a plan to help small island developing states transition towards a green economy; and improve the governance of ocean resources.
The report suggests that there is a strong case for the UN to lead by encouraging improved dialogue, coordination and cooperation among UN agencies, funds and programmes. This could lead to a proposal for a new mechanism for ocean coordination to be put forward at Rio+20.
Source: European Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate (MedSeA) | November 2011
This report explains how acidification, warming and de-oxygenation are affecting the oceans, and encourages policymakers to mitigate these stressors and prepare appropriate policy statements ahead of Rio+20. It was written with the aim of raising awareness of ocean issues at the COP17 in Durban, South Africa.
The report provides definitions of ocean acidification, warming and de-oxygenation. It includes a guide to ocean impacts predicted to occur this century unless greenhouse gas emissions are substantially reduced, and how these impacts will, in turn, affect the climate via feedback mechanisms. It also outlines recommendations for mitigation, adaptation and research to improve understanding of these stressors.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization | December 2011
This report examines the challenges of managing water resources for agricultural use — specifically in the context of food production — in the face of a changing climate. It provides an overview of climate change impacts in different parts of the world, details options for adaptation and mitigation, and offers practical recommendations on how developing countries can cope with these impacts.
The report outlines methods to assess impacts on water and agriculture, and stresses that water and agricultural policies must be more closely aligned. It concludes with suggestions for action to help countries in carrying out such assessments and adapting agricultural water management. These include using methods such as decision analysis to improve predictions; developing and applying downscaling techniques to build capacity for better analyses and climate adaptation; and coordinating analyses of the level of investment required for different solutions.
Source: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This report, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, examines the role of renewable energy sources and technologies in the mitigation of climate change and provides policy relevant information. The authors evaluate the scientific literature on six renewable energy sources — bioenergy, direct solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy and wind energy — and their current deployment. The report describes how each of these power sources can be integrated into future energy systems, and outlines future research needs in the context of sustainable development. It puts forward strategies to overcome environmental and social consequences associated with the deployment of such technologies, and compares the cost of energy from renewable sources to non-renewable sources.
Source: The Royal Society
This report, published by the UK's Royal Society, reviews evidence about solar radiation management (SRM), a 'geoengineering' technique that involves deliberate intervention in the climate to counteract global warming, which was gathered during a year-long project — Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative. It also summarises issues raised during the project by 27 experts from 17 countries and other stakeholders.
The report explores the scientific, ethical, political, social and technological challenges raised by proposals for research into SRM, as well as perspectives on how to address these challenges. It offers no recommendations, but states that the uncertainty about the risks and benefits of SRM can be resolved with the successful governance of research, and concludes with a number of 'messages' that provide a foundation for greater dialogue.
Source: AdaptAfrica | June 2011
This report documents the proceedings of the AfricaAdapt 2011 Climate Change Symposium that include research, experiences and knowledge about how to coordinate efforts to address climate change in Africa in anticipation of negotiations at COP-17 to be held in Durban, South Africa.
It includes summaries of and links to presentations, experience notes and comments offered by participants, as well as photos, videos and reports from the symposium's interactive plenary sessions. The topics covered include community-led responses to climate change and the role of media in translating and sharing information about climate change.
The report highlights ten overarching conclusions and lessons learned from the research presented. These include the need for improved research into indigenous knowledge and deeper links between adaptation, mitigation and low-carbon development; creating more African forums for knowledge sharing; and strengthening the availability of non-Anglophone researchers and practitioners.
AfricaAdapt is a network dedicated to promoting and facilitating the sharing of knowledge on climate change adaptation in Africa.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institution | June 2011
This report aims to identify strategies that the agricultural sector can adopt to mitigate and adapt to climate change, ensure food security, and improve the livelihoods of poor smallholder producers.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for poor people in developing countries, and improving agricultural productivity is key to achieving food security and meeting most targets set as part of the Millennium Development Goals. In Sub-Saharan Africa, climate change is adding to existing development challenges, making it essential that mitigation, adaptation and rural development strategies are developed together.
By focusing on the example of smallholder farmers in Kenya, the authors suggest "triple win" agricultural practices that promise the greatest payoff in terms of increased resilience of the agriculture sector to climate change mitigation, adaptation, productivity and profitability. They include irrigation, soil and water conservation, integrated soil fertility management and improved livestock feeding.
Source: STEPS Centre | 2010
This report considers whether biochar — a charcoal-like substance made by burning biomass in oxygen-deprived conditions — is a silver bullet for meeting the global challenges of climate change mitigation, soil fertility and sustainable energy production. Biochar buried in soil can capture and store atmospheric carbon.
The report assesses the prospects of biochar becoming part of sustainability measures, and whether it can meet the livelihood priorities of small-scale farmers in rural Africa, for example.
It provides an overview of current arguments and interested parties in the polarised debate about whether biochar could contribute significantly to climate change mitigation. The authors argue that there is a "politics of promise" around its potential, and although this is driving research and investment, biochar has yet to make significant impact on the ground.
Source: UNDP | November 2010
This report provides guidance to developers of forest carbon projects. It outlines the requirements for analysing and documenting carbon benefits, as well as legal, business, and community relations issues. The document also includes a guide to creating carbon benefits through reforestation, forest and land management activities.
It proposes steps for projects aiming to produce marketable emissions reductions under the most widely utilised carbon standards: the Voluntary Carbon Standard, the Clean Development Mechanism, and, as co-certification to verify additional benefits, the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.
The report states that although the future of projects in REDD+ forest-protection schemes is unclear, the approaches currently used will continue to be relevant to afforestation and reforestation activities that aim to generate and quantify carbon benefits effectively.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This report from the IPCC, provides a complete and comprehensive overview of the current knowledge and understanding of climate change. The report includes four separate documents that cover the physical science basis for climate change, projected impacts, adaptation and vulnerability of different populations, mitigation strategies, and a synthesis report for policymakers.