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How does the rest of the world view the issue of climate change, and what unified efforts have been put forth? We’ll learn the importance of global action and how impactful international organizations can be.

International Climate Agreements

Timeline of International Conference of Parties (COP) Events

“Key Milestones in the Evolution of International Climate Policy…” 

Accessed August 2020 • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 

Comparing Kyoto (and Paris) with the Montreal Protocol

“Many observers and commentators have used the case of ozone science and politics as a role model for climate science and politics. Two crucial assumptions underpin this view: (1) that science drives policymaking, and (2) that a unified, international science assessment is essential to provide “one voice” of science that speaks to policymakers…” 

Read sections 1-5

October 9, 2018 • Comptes Rendus Geoscience 

Progress on Paris

“Beyond US President Donald Trump’s decision in June to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, a more profound challenge to the global climate pact is emerging. No major advanced industrialized country is on track to meet its pledges to control the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change…” 

August 1, 2017 • Nature 

COVID-19 & the delay of COP26

“The UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, has been postponed by one full year to November 2021. SEI’s Richard Klein explains what the consequences are for international climate policy – and whether countries can seize opportunities in their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to make their NDCs more ambitious…” 

May 29, 2020 • Stockholm Environment Institute  

UN-Habitat worldwide: New Urban Agenda Whiteboard Video

Kyoto Protocol

“After 8 days of fractious negotiating, delegates at the 1997 climate conference in Kyoto, Japan, were running out of time to deliver a treaty aimed at slowing global warming. The leader of the talks, Michael Zammit Cutajar of Malta, took the unusual step of invoking Zen Buddhism, telling everyone that they must break through mental barriers to achieve enlightenment. Two days later, after a marathon all-night session, the negotiators finally hammered out the climate agreement known as the Kyoto Protocol…” 

November 28, 2012 • Nature 

Paris Agreement

“More than 190 nations meeting in Paris in December 2015 reached a landmark agreement to strengthen the global climate effort. The Paris Agreement commits countries to undertake “nationally determined contributions” and establishes mechanisms to hold them accountable and to strengthen ambition in the years ahead…”  

Accessed August 2020 • Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

The Paris climate agreement is at risk of falling apart in the 2020s

“On Monday, the US filed paperwork that will begin the process of leaving the Paris climate agreement. Withdrawal will take final effect on November 4, 2020, one day after the next US presidential election. To a great extent, the future of the agreement depends on the outcome of that election. Even now, negotiators are scrambling to make a plan for the possibility of a second Trump term…”  

November 5, 2019 • Vox

Five facts on the coherence of international policies

“If you have followed the international policy processes in recent years you may have noticed that governments are simultaneously working towards different agendas, all designed to make the world a better place. There are seventeen Sustainable Development Goals spanning a wide variety of topics from zero hunger to gender equality to life below water. There are the goals of the Paris Agreement that, among other things, seek to limit global warming and to provide financial assistance to developing countries affected by a changing climate…”  

May 4, 2020 • United Nations University

Key Issues & Institutions

Rethinking Sustainable Development

“Over a quarter of a century ago, the World Commission on Environment and Development (known as the Brundtland Commission) released a report entitled ‘Our Common Future,’ which brought the term ‘sus-tainable development’ to the center stage of the development discourse…”

November 2013 • Current History

Carbon offsets, the CDM, and sustainable development

Carbon offsets comprise one of the international climate regime’s core strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the developing world. Carbon offsetting involves purchasing ‘credits’ from projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By investing in such projects, emitters can compensate for emissions that an indi- vidual, organization or country is unwilling or unable to reduce domestically...” 

Read Ch. 11 (start on pg. 236)

2010 • Cambridge University Press

100 Resilient Cities Interview

Michael Berkowitz, President of the 100 Resilient Cities network, met with Tom Teodorczuk, at their of ces in New York to talk about the new 10 percent resilience pledge and the selection of the nal 33 cities that will join the network in April…” 

Read pages 22-24

February 2016 • CitiesToday

Mapped: The world’s largest CO2 importers and exporters

“Around 22% of global CO2 emissions stem from the production of goods that are, ultimately, consumed in a different country. However, traditional inventories do not include emissions associated with imported goods…”

May 7, 2017 • Carbon Brief

The Green Climate Fund

Rights of Nature

In 2008, Ecuador became the world’s first country to include rights of Nature (RoN) in its constitution. The constitution presents RoN as a tool for building a new form of sustainable development based on the Andean Indigenous concept sumak kawsay (buen vivir in Spanish), which is rooted in the idea of living in harmony with Nature…”

Read sections 1-4 + 9

April 2017 • World Development

Country Profiles

Read one nation’s Climate Risk Profile on Climatelinks. If there’s no national profile, read the regional profile for the region that the country is located in. Then read a profile about what the nation is committing to do. Some are listed on the Climate Action Tracker. Others are listed under UNDP’s profiles.

Regional & Country Risk Profiles and GHG Emissions Fact Sheets

“Climate risk profiles summarize key climate stressors and risks most relevant to a mission’s objectives. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fact sheets provide information that may be useful in identifying climate change mitigation opportunities, while a user guide explains the information presented in the GHG emissions factsheets…” 

Pick one country or region

Accessed August 2020 • Climatelinks

NDC Profiles

Cities are both at risk and the cause of risk. The interconnectedness of urban features and systems increases the likelihood of complex disasters and a cascade or ‘domino’ effect from related impacts. However, the lack of research means that our knowledge of urban risk is both scarce and fragmented...”

Pick one country

Accessed August 2020 • Climate Action Tracker

Additional NDC Profiles

“On the country level, we currently focus on 39 countries in Africa, the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. By the end of 2020, our dedicated country support will be expanding to 41+ countries. Additional technical support is provided with our partners the NDC Partnership and the IKI NDC Support Cluster…”

Pick one country

Accessed August 2020 • United Nations Development Programme

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Optional Resources

Governments still showing little sign of acting on climate crisis

“Under current pledges, the world will warm by 2.8°C by the end of the century, close to twice the limit they agreed in Paris. Governments are even further from the Paris temperature limit in terms of their real-world action, which would see the temperature rise by 3°C. An ‘optimistic’ take on real-world action including additional action that governments are planning still only limits warming to 2.8°C…” 

December 10, 2019 • Climate Action Tracker

Agenda 2030: The Sustainable Development Goals

“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests…” 

Accessed August 2020 • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

New Urban Agenda

“The New Urban Agenda was adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, on 20 October 2016. It was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly at its sixty-eighth plenary meeting of the seventy-first session on 23 December 2016…” 

Accessed August 2020 • The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development

List of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

“186 Parties have submitted their first NDCs. 4 Parties have submitted their second NDCs…”

Accessed August 2020 • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Sendai Framework

“The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) was the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda and provides Member States with concrete actions to protect development gains from the risk of disaster…”

Accessed August 2020 • United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

Rights of Nature Articles in Ecuador’s Constitution

“Persons and people have the fundamental rights guaranteed in this Constitution and in the international human rights instruments. Nature is subject to those rights given by this Constitution and Law…”

2008 • Republic of Ecuador

Changing climates, moving people: framing migration, displacement and planned relocation

“Different policies are required for different types of human mobility related to climatic changes. Hence, it is necessary to distinguish between migration, displacement and planned relocation in climate policy and operations. The purpose of this Policy Brief is to help distinguish between human migration, displacement and planned relocation and present state-of-the-art thinking about some of the key issues related to addressing these in the context of climate policy…”

June 2013 • United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security