TOPIC 2: Global “state of the art” in climate change

TOPIC 2: Global “state of the art” in climate change

In this module you will get information about the present situation, referring to relevant studies and official (global) reports.

Strangely enough, the COVID-19 pandemic had one very positive outcome for our combat against global climate change. With a brief dip in CO2 emissions connected to the various restrictions during that period, we thought that the previous trends can change for the better. Even though a “green pandemic recovery” could have cut around 25 % off the greenhouse emissions predicted in 2030, leading the world close to the 2°C pathway, by now we had to sober up.

The COVID-19 pandemic offered governments an opportunity to target their support towards a green recovery to build a more resilient, healthy, and equitable community and reduce the vulnerability of its economy, society, and environment to climate change and human health crises.

Current Status and Trends

From scientific essays through data-based analyses to dystopic scenarios plenty of information is available related to climate change. For evidence-based, authentic information suggested to turn to organizations operating in relevant (or affiliated) research fields or to that are supposed to have access to up-to-date, credible data and information.

E.g. summarization of the 6th Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) aims to introduce the related factual results and effects of the global activities in the field of climate mitigation and adaptation. It concludes that:

+ Adaptation planning and implementation have progressed across all sectors and regions.

+ Policies and laws addressing mitigation have consistently expanded since former Assessment Report

Despite progress, adaptation gaps exist and will continue to grow at current rates of implementation.

Hard and soft limits to adaptation have been reached in some ecosystems and regions.

Maladaptation is happening in some sectors and regions.

Current global financial flows for climate adaptation are insufficient, especially in developing countries

Global GHG emissions make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century and make it harder to limit warming below 2°C.

For any given future warming level, many climate-related risks are higher than assessed before, and projected long-term impacts are up to multiple times higher than currently observed.

UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change

World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories.

NASA Global Climate Change – is a website with the aim to engage the world with accurate, accessible, and actionable information about our rapidly changing climate, from the global perspective of NASA.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United National (FAO)Sustainable food and agriculture (SFA) contributes to all four pillars of food security – availability, access, utilization and stability – and the dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social and economic). FAO promotes SFA to help countries worldwide achieve Zero Hunger and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

International Energy Agency (IEA) – The IEA works with governments and industry to shape a secure and sustainable energy future for all

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – As the world’s leading conservation organization, WWF has been working in nearly 100 countries for 60 years.

Greenpeacethe World’s biggest independent global environmental organisation.

European Environment Agency (EEA) – is an agency of the European Union that delivers knowledge and data to support Europe’s environment and climate goals.

The European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT) – is a partnership between the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA). Climate-ADAPT is maintained by the EEA with the support of the European Topic Centre on Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation (ETC/CCA).

European Space Agency (ESA) Climate InitiativeThe programme comprises 27 parallel projects geared to ECV data production, plus a dedicated climate modelling user project for assessment of the products, a portal providing all products under one roof, a toolbox to facilitate the combining and analysis of the products, and a visualisation tool supporting outreach.