S- Z

DKK Climate Glossary - Terms S to Z


Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs are key elemets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which were adopted by world leaders in September 2015. SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind:

  • no poverty
  • zero hunger
  • good health and well-being
  • quality eduaction
  • gender equality
  • clean water and sanitation
  • affordable and clean energy
  • decent work and economic growth
  • industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • reduced inequalities
  • sustainable cities and communities
  • responsible consumption and production
  • climate action
  • life below water
  • life on land
  • peace, justice and strong institutions
  • partnerships for the goals

Numerous subgoals are assigned to each goal resulting in a overall catalogue of 186 goals.





Sources and Sinks

A variety of human activities lead to the emission (sources) and removal (sinks) of carbon dioxide (CO2):
•    The largest source of CO2 emissions globally is the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas in power plants, automobiles, industrial facilities and other sources.
•    A number of specialized industrial production processes and product uses such as mineral production, metal production and the use of petroleum-based products can also lead to CO2 emissions.
•    Carbon sequestration is the process by which growing trees and plants absorb or remove CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into biomass (e.g., wood, leaves, etc.). Deforestation, conversely, can lead to significant levels of CO2 emissions in some countries.
•    Carbon dioxide can be captured from power plants and industrial facilities before it is released into the atmosphere, and then injected deep underground.

Source: Federal Environment Ministry http://www.bmu.bund.de/klimaschutz/aktuell/aktuell/1675.php


United Nations Conference on the Human Environment

The first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) was held in Stockholm, Sweden from June 5 to June 16, 1972. Representatives from 113 countries were present, as well as representatives from many international non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, and many other specialized agencies. This was the first United Nations conference on the environment as well as the first major international gathering focused on human activities in relationship to the environment, and it laid the foundation for environmental action at an international level.

The conference acknowledged that the goal of reducing human impact on the environment would require extensive international cooperation, as many of the problems affecting the environment are global in nature. Following this conference, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) was launched in order to encourage United Nations agencies to integrate environmental measures into their programs.

Source: The Encyclopedia of the Earth




United Nations Environmental Programme

Website: http://www.unep.org/

UNEP was established after the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm, Sweden, proposed the creation of a global body to act as the environmental conscience of the UN system.

UNEP is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

UNEP has five priority areas: Environmental assessment and early warning. Development of policy instruments. Enhanced coordination with environmental conventions. Technology transfer. Support to Africa.

UNEP is one of three implementing agencies of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), alongside the World Bank and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The GEF helps developing countries and those with economies in transition to meet the agreed incremental costs of measures designed to achieve global environmental benefits in six focal areas: biological diversity, climate change, international waters, ozone layer depletion, land degradation and persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Source: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development http://www.bmz.de/en/what_we_do/approaches/multilateral_cooperation/players/UnitedNations/UNEP/index.html?follow=adword



United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Document: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Website: http://unfccc.int/2860.php

The Convention on Climate Change sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.  It recognizes that the climate system is a shared resource whose stability can be affected by industrial and other emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The Convention was adopted at the United Nations Headquarters, New York in 1992. 

Under the Convention, governments:

• gather and share information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practice

• launch national strategies for addressing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to expected impacts, including the provision of financial and technological support to developing countries

• cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change

The Convention entered into force on 21 March 1994. Currently, there are 195 Parties (194 States and 1 regional economic integration organization) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention enjoys near universal membership. Latest information on ratifications of the Convention can be found here.

Source: UNFCCC



World Climate Conference

Website: World Meteorological Organization (WMO) WCC3 www.wmo.int/wcc3

The First World Climate Conference organized in 1979 influenced the establishment of a number of important international scientific initiatives such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-sponsored by WMO and the United Nations Environment Programme), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007; the WMO World Climate Programme and the World Climate Research Programme (co-sponsored by WMO, the International Council for Science and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

The Second World Climate Conference called for the establishment of a climate convention, adding momentum to international efforts that resulted in the development of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. It also led to the establishment of the Global Climate Observing System and to recommendations for future activities of the World Climate Programme. The World Climate Conference-3 took place 2009 in Geneva.

The Conference responded to the need of users and sectors worldwide to reduce natural disasters enhance food security and adapt to climate variability and change as spelled out in the Bali Action Plan, the Nairobi Work Programme and the Hyogo Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction.



World Climate Research Programme

WCRP www.wcrp-climate.org
ICSU www.icsu.org
IOC www.unesco.de/ioc.html

The World Climate Research Programme is sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.

WCRP organizes meetings, workshops and conferences to coordinate and facilitate climate research. The research itself is done by individual scientists working in national and regional institutes, laboratories and universities. WCRP committees, working groups and projects, assisted by the Joint Planning Staff (JPS), are the main vehicles for setting the research agenda and mobilizing the broader research community on specific activities.

The Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) for WCRP, composed of 18 members who are appointed by the WCRP sponsors, formulates the overall scientific goals and concepts of the Programme. The work of the JSC is supported by the JPS, which is hosted by WMO in Geneva, Switzerland.

Understanding and predicting climate variability and change requires comprehensive investigation of all major components of the climate system (the atmosphere, hydrosphere, oceans, land and cryosphere). WCRP studies these components and their interactions through the activities of its Core Projects.

The two overarching objectives of the WCRP are:
1) to determine the predictability of climate; and
2) to determine the effect of human activities on climate

The main foci of WCRP research are:
- Observing changes in the components of the Earth system (atmosphere, oceans, land and cryosphere) and in the interfaces among these components;
- Improving our knowledge and understanding of global and regional climate variability and change, and of the mechanisms responsible for this change;
- Assessing and attributing significant trends in global and regional climates;
- Developing and improving numerical models that are capable of simulating and assessing the climate system for a wide range of space and time scales;
- Investigating the sensitivity of the climate system to natural and human-induced forcing and estimating the changes resulting from specific disturbing influences.


World Meteorological Organization

Website: www.wmo.int

The Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate and the resulting distribution of water resources are the topics of the WMO.  The WMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations with 189 states and territories as Members, each of which maintain their own Meteorological Service.

The purposes of WMO are among others to facilitate international co-operation in the establishment of station networks for making meteorological observations and to support the setting up and operation of central meteorological services. Each Member State nominates a "Permanent Representative" with WMO, who is generally the Director of the National Meteorological Service.

The WMO, with headquarters in Geneva was founded 1947 by a convention of 42 states which met in Washington. The WMO was to succeed the nongovernmental International Meteorological Organization (IMO) established in Vienna in 1873.

Source: German Weather Service http://www.dwd.de/bvbw/appmanager/bvbw/dwdwwwDesktop?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=dwdwww_start&_nfls=false



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