Background Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate impacts

In order to attain the global climate and development goals, what is needed above all is a transition to a largely decarbonised economy.

Wind turbine at sunrise
Wind turbine at sunrise

In particular, this is a task for the energy sector, which accounts for the majority of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. If the energy transition is to become reality, there needs to be a global transformation of transport systems. The agricultural and forestry sectors are also significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions, for instance when forests are converted into farmland. Just like forests, land and oceans act as “carbon sinks”. They need to be protected so they can store carbon dioxide.

In addition to focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is becoming increasingly more important to effectively address the risks and consequences of climate change. Climate change is already affecting many people on a major scale, especially in the least developed countries.

However, there is often a lack of capacity and money for a preparedness-based approach to climate change and extreme weather events and for things such as sustainable water supply systems. Moreover, many people's livelihoods greatly depend on agriculture. Yet agricultural yields could decrease dramatically or harvests be completely destroyed as a consequence of climate change.