How countries can reduce their impact on climate change – and why it matters to you
Climate change is something everyone is accountable for, and it needs the actions of countries across the world to limit the damage done through preventing further change and adapting to change that has already happened.
The UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is an international treaty which was signed by 154 states at what is known as the ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. There are now 197 parties involved, and representatives meet once a year to discuss what progress has been made in addressing climate change.
What has the UNFCCC done?
The Convention has achieved a number of things since 1992:
- Recognition of the problem of climate change
- Set an ambition to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations so that human actions don’t have a detrimental impact on the environment
- Set an expectation for developed countries to lead the way
- Encouraged support for developed countries to carry out climate change activities
- Monitored the ongoing situation
- Set up an Adaptation Committee to acknowledge and react to the consequences of climate change.
In more recent times, talks have focused on the need for developing countries to increase their emissions in order to increase their economic development, while developed countries reduce their emissions and support developing countries to adapt more environmentally aware practices.
How has this worked in practice?
Countries such as Barbados are at particular risk of being affected by the impact of climate change, and – as signatories to the UNFCCC – they are obliged to create reports about their environmental activities.
Engain were commissioned by the Government of Barbados to create their report, including information and activities such as:
- Stakeholder facilitation from within and beyond the Caribbean
- Geographical, climate and socio-economic studies
- Full assessment of greenhouse gases
- Long-term energy planning
- Assessment of climate change risks, adaptations, and mitigations
- Update reports every two years
As well as this, developed countries at lesser immediate risk due to climate change are being encouraged to monitor the environmental, social and economic impact of their activities in order to allow a better assessment of what activities are most effective in reducing the impact of climate change.
What does this mean for me?
While climate change is a worldwide issue, it is something that needs to be addressed at every level including countries and down to individual developers.
The UNFCCC has created regional collaboration centres to allow people to share best practice and work together to come up with new solutions to overcome problems in a more sustainable way.
This means there is now a wealth of resources to draw upon, whether it’s tackling the consequences of climate change for communities at or near sea-level, to more environmentally aware development procedures.
To discuss your project requirements, please contact our experienced team