Global Civil Society & the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Climate Action

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, weather events are becoming more extreme and greenhouse gas emissions are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is likely to surpass 3 degrees centigrade this century. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.

Affordable, scalable solutions are now available to enable countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies. The pace of change is quickening as more people are turning to renewable energy and a range of other measures that will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts. Climate change, however, is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. It is an issue that requires solutions that need to be coordinated at the international level to help developing countries move toward a low-carbon economy.

To strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at the COP21 in Paris, which went into force in November of 2016. In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees centigrade. As of April 2018, 175 parties had ratified the Paris Agreement and 10 developing countries had submitted their first iteration of their national adaptation plans for responding to climate change.

Name Acronym Founded City HQ Country/Territory HQ Type I Type II

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development


United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

UNCCD 1994 Bonn Germany T g

United Nations Development Programme

UNDP 1965 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Economic and Social Council

ECOSOC 1945 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

UNECE 1947 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNESCO 1945 Paris France B g

United Nations Environment Programme

UNEP 1972 Nairobi Kenya E g

United Nations Foundation

UNF 1998 New York NY USA F f

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

UNFCCC 1992 Bonn Germany T g

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - Secretariat

UNFCCC Climate Change Secretariat 1995 Bonn Germany E g

United Nations Global Compact

2000 New York NY USA F y

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR 1951 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Institute for Training and Research

UNITAR 1963 Geneva GE Switzerland E gj

United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara

MINURSO 1991 New York NY USA F g

United Nations Office at Geneva

UNOG Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

UNDRR 1999 Geneva GE Switzerland E g

United Nations Office for Project Services

UNOPS 1973 Copenhagen Denmark E g

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OCHA 1992 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

UNPFII 2000 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response

UN-SPIDER 2006 Vienna Austria F g

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

UNRISD 1963 Geneva GE Switzerland E gjv

United Nations Sustainable Development Group

UNSDG 1997 New York NY USA E g

United Nations Volunteers

UNV 1971 Bonn Germany F g

United World Wrestling

UWW 1912 Corsier-sur-Vevey VD Switzerland B

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UDHR 1948 New York NY USA T g

Universala Medicina Esperanto-Asocio

UMEA 1908 Trier Germany C v

Urban Climate Change Research Network


Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights

UAF 1997 Oakland CA USA G f

US Global Change Research Information Office

GCRIO 1990 Washington DC USA G g

US Travel Association

1939 Washington DC USA G

Vétérinaires Sans Frontières International

VSF International 1989 Brussels Belgium F

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer

Ozone treaty 1985 Nairobi Kenya T g

Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies

VOICE 1992 Brussels Belgium E y

Walking Tree Travel

Denver CO USA G e

Waste Free Oceans

WFO Brussels Belgium F


1949 La Rippe VD Switzerland F

Water and Development Information for Arid Lands Global Network

G-WADI 2004 Paris France F y

Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean

1992 Panama Panama Panama E g

We Mean Business

Washington DC USA J y

Weather Risk Management Association

WRMA 1999 Washington DC USA C


2008 Overijse Belgium F

Weltnotwerk der KAB

Cologne Germany G

West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use

WASCAL Accra Ghana D g

West African Women's Association

WAWA 1984 Dakar Senegal E

West Asia Regional Network on Climate Change

WARN-CC 2010 J

Wetlands International

1995 Wageningen Netherlands B

WHO Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance Network

WHO/REMPAN Geneva GE Switzerland F

Wildlife Alliance

1994 New York NY USA F


1982 Brussels Belgium D

Winds of Hope Foundation

1999 Lausanne VD Switzerland G f