United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development
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Atmosphere

Description

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through paragraph 31 “calls for the widest possible international cooperation aimed at accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions and addressing adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change”.

Both paragraph 31 of Agenda 2030 and paragraph 91 of the Future We Want note “the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C or 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels”.

Prior to the 2030 Agenda and the Future We Want, paragraph 38 under Chapter IV- “Protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development” of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation expresses the concern of Member States for the changes occurred in the Earth’s climate and the adverse effects that these changes have on humankind. In this context, Member States also reaffirm the importance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and their commitment in the achievement of the “ultimate objective of stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner, in accordance with our common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”.

In this context, actions identified by the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation are the promotion of the “systematic observation of the Earth’s atmosphere, land and oceans by improving monitoring stations, increasing the use of satellites and appropriate integration of these observations to produce high -quality data” as well as the “enhancement of the implementation of national, regional and international strategies to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere, land and oceans, including, as appropriate, strategies for integrated global observations, inter alia, with the cooperation of relevant international organizations, especially the specialized agencies, in cooperation with the Convention”.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) fourth session in 1996 held substantive discussions on protection of the atmosphere. CSD fourteenth session in 2006 and fifteenth session in 2007 focused on a cluster of thematic issues, including atmosphere and air pollution.

Protection of the atmosphere is a broad and multidimensional endeavour involving various sectors of economic activity. Many of the issues discussed in Chapter 9 of Agenda 21, on "Protection of the Atmosphere," are also addressed in such international agreements as the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer as amended, the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other international, including regional, instruments.

Agenda 21 notes, however, that activities that may be undertaken in pursuit of the objectives of this chapter should be co-ordinated with social and economic development in an integrated manner with a view to avoiding adverse impacts on the latter, taking into full account the legitimate priority needs of developing countries for the achievement of sustained economic growth and the eradication of poverty.

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Displaying 1 - 91 of 91
Title Category Sort descending Date
European Union Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Major Group: Farmers Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Japan Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Major Group: Children & Youth Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Major Group: Children & Youth Atmosphere 4-May-2006
Republic of Korea Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Costa Rica Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Venezuela Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Germany Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Australia Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Major Group: Women Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Kenya Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
WHO Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
WMO Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Saudi Arabia Atmosphere 1-May-2007
European Commission Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Major Group: Business & Industry Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Jamaica Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Egypt Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Major Group: Workers & Trade Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Mexico Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Australia Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Major Group: Women Atmosphere 4-May-2006
South Africa Atmosphere 1-May-2007
European Union Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Major Group: NGOs Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Pakistan Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Group of 77 & China Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Nigeria Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Azerbaijan Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Colombia Atmosphere 4-May-2006
Turkey Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Group of 77 & China Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Major Group: Science & Technology Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Sweden Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Indonesia Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Norway Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Ecuador Atmosphere 3-May-2006
UN-HABITAT Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Iran Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Major Group: Women Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Venezuela Atmosphere 4-May-2006
Jamaica Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Australia Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Saudi Arabia Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
European Commission Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Major Group: Business & Industry Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Israel Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Major Group: Workers & Trade Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
Major Group: Business & Industry Atmosphere 4-May-2006
Jordan Atmosphere 1-May-2007
Cape Verde Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
South Africa Atmosphere 28-Feb-2007
South Africa Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Indonesia Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Major Group: Women Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
France Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Major Group: Business & Industry Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Switzerland Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Sweden Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Japan Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Major Group: Workers & Trade Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
India Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Major Group: Children & Youth Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Thailand Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Major Group: Children & Youth Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Netherlands Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Japan Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Major Group: Indigenous Peoples Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
United Kingdom Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Indigenous Peoples Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Norway Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Australia (Part 1) Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Kuwait Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Major Group: Science & Technology Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Major Group: Business & Industry Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Major Group: Workers & Trade Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Sri Lanka Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Australia (Part 2) Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Netherlands Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Canada Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Major Group: Women Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Major Group: NGOs Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
United Kingdom Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Japan Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
Senegal Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
European Union Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
European Union Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 9-May-2006
Major Group: Science & Technology Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006
International Cooperation through a Strong Partnership between ICLEI and Strategies for… Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 5-May-2006
Senegal Energy, Climate Change, Industry and Atmosphere 3-May-2006

Milestones

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through paragraph 31 “calls for the widest possible international cooperation aimed at accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions and addressing adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change”.
  • In the Future We Want, Member States express their profound alarm about the continuous rising, at global level, of greenhouse emission and the "significant gap between the aggregate effect of mitigation pledges by parties in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2° C, or 1.5° C above pre- industrial levels".
  • The Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol became the first treaties in the history of the United Nations to achieve universal ratification on 16th September 2009.
  • January 2002 JPOI (Chap. 4 and 9)
    In the JPOI, Member States - express their concern for the changes occurred in the Earth’s climate and the adverse effects that these changes have on humankind, - reaffirm the importance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and - recommit in the achievement of the “ultimate objective of stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropocentric interference with the climate system”. Atmosphere is also mentioned in Chapter 9 under the other Regional Initiatives. in particular under the section devoted to Sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.
  • By proclaiming in 1994, 16 September, the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, the UN GA wanted to commemorate the date the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987. In this context, Member States were invited to devote the Day to promote activities in accordance with the objectives of the Protocol and its amendments.
  • January 1992 Agenda 21 (Chap.9)
    Protection of the atmosphere is a broad and multidimensional endeavor involving various sectors of economic activity. Agenda 21 notes that activities that may be undertaken in pursuit of the objectives of Chapter 9 "Protection of the Atmosphere" should be co-ordinated with social and economic development in an integrated manner with a view to avoiding adverse impacts on the latter, taking into full account the legitimate priority needs of developing countries for the achievement of sustained economic growth and the eradication of poverty.
  • Created in1990 by a decision of the Second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, the Multilateral Fund became operational in 1991 in order to assist developing countries, parties to the Montreal Protocol, whose annual level of consumption of the ozone depleting substances (ODS) chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons is less than 0.3 kilograms per capita, to comply with the control measures of the Protocol.
  • January 1989 Montreal Protocol
    Aimed at reducing production and consumption of ozone depleting substances, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer contains an adjustment provision enabling Parties to the Protocol to quickly respond to new scientific information and accelerate the reductions required on chemicals already covered by the Protocol. These adjustments were then automatically applicable to all countries that ratified the Protocol. Since its initial adoption, the Montreal Protocol has been adjusted six times.
  • January 1988 Vienna Convention
    Adopted in 1985 and entered into force in 1988, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer became the first Convention of any kind to achieve universal ratification in 2009. The Convention aimed at promoting cooperation by means of systematic observations, research and information exchange on the effects of human activities on the ozone layer and at adopting legislative or administrative measures against activities likely to have adverse effects on the ozone layer.
  • In the early 1970s, scientists raised their first concerns on the release, into the atmosphere, of substances which could deplete the ozone layer, hindering its ability to prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth. This would adversely affect ocean ecosystems, agricultural productivity and animal populations, and harm humans through higher rates of skin cancers, cataracts and weakened immune systems. In response to this growing concern, UNEP convened a conference, in March 1977, which adopted a World Plan of Action on the Ozone Layer and established a Coordinating Committee of the Ozone Layer (CCOL) to guide future international action on ozone and periodically assess ozone depletion.