COP, IPCC & The SDG’S, a bunch of very important abbreviations. What are they and how are they connected?

In today’s Jargon Buster we will dive into some of the most important, international abbreviations focussed on tackling Climate Action and creating a sustainable, inclusive, safe world for all, now and in the future.

Conference of the Parties (COP)

In 1987, a commission assembled by the United Nations published the Brundtland report, called “Our Common Future”. The Report developed the guiding principles for sustainable development. The publication of the Brundtland report is followed by the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, in which 105 countries gathered and for the first time, collectively, as united nations recognized climate change and its consequences. The summit results in multiple new international agreements focussed on mitigating and taking on climate change. One of the most well-known agreements is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFPCCC). The UNFCCC which officially started in 1994, aims to prevent or slow down humans influence on earth’s climate systems, although this is the aim, the Convention does not hold any of the nations that signed accountable nor gives it any clear targets or a timeline for GHG emission reduction. 

In 1995 Berlin hosts the first Conference of the Parties (COP) and all the signatories of UNFCCC come together for the first time since they signed in 1992. During COP3 in Kyoto, the first legally binding Climate Treaty is adopted. 

Paris Agreement 

In 2015 a huge landmark was finally reached, almost every nation now commits to lowering GHG emissions. It’s 2015 and 196 countries agree to the Paris Agreement, so far the most significant and urgent global climate agreement. 

The mission is to keep global temperature starting at pre-industrial levels below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) and to pursue action to keep it below 1.5 °C (2.7 °F).

The next summit, COP26, will be organised this year (2021) in Glasgow, Scotland. We are waiting eagerly to find out what this summit will bring us, and if nations around the world will commit to climate action goals exceeding the 2015 Paris Agreement.  

António Guterres the Secretary-General of the United Nations, once again, at the State of the Global Climate in 2020 Report presentation, urged world leaders  “to heed the facts contained in this report, unite behind the science and take urgent climate action to set a path towards a safer, more sustainable future for all”.

The State of the Global Climate Reports is yearly published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The annual Climate Reports are a must-read for anybody who is pushing the sustainable transition.

To give you a head start, here are a couple of the main findings of the 2020 Climate Report.

  • Despite setbacks from COVID-19, global greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2020.
  • 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record. 
  • The last decade, 2011-2020, is the warmest on record
  • In 2020, more than 80% of the ocean experienced at least one Marine Heatwave (MHW), causing significant impacts to marine life and the communities that depend on it.
  • Over the past decade (2010–2019), weather-related events triggered an estimated 23.1 million displacements of people on average each year.

Once you finish this blog and you have some time on your hands later today, hop over to the WMO and take a look at the Climate Report yourself.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 

The intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) is the entity within the United Nations focused on assessing climate change-related science. 

“The IPCC was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options. “

The IPCC is created by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 1988. The aim of the IPCC is to provide governmental entities around the globe with scientific information regarding climate change. 

The IPCC reports over the last years have shown us that;

  • Climate Change already has dangerous and deathly impacts across all continents.
  • Human-driven carbon emissions caused an approximate rise of 1.0 degree of global warming compared to pre-industrial levels. 
  • We can still keep Global warming below the two-degree Celsius limit, to which the COP nations agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • Immediate, systemic and global action is needed to secure this safe climate future.
  • Climate Change accelerates.
  • Climate Change is causing extreme weathers around the planet.
  • Climate Change is already, and will increasingly impact agricultural yields.
  • The costs of renewable energy is decreasing and staying below the 2ºC limit is affordable.

“One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” 

Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I.

Jump over to the official IPCC website to learn more.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

17 Goals  – 169 Targets  – 3031 Events  – 1256 Publications  – 5414 Actions 

United Nations

The Sustainable Development Goals, referred to as the SDG’s, were adopted in 2015 by the 193 member states of the United Nations. The Agenda provides a global & shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for all, people & the planet, now and in the future. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the core of the agenda, are an urgent call for action by all member states. 

The Brundtland Report, the recognition of human-caused climate change at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, and the Millenium Goals, signed by 189 countries at the 2000 Millenium Summit in New York were all important milestones in the route towards the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.

What are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. Learn more and take action.

United Nations
End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Learn more!
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Learn more!
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Learn more!
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning. Learn More!
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girl. Learn more!
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Learn more!
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Learn more!
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Learn more!
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive & sustainable industrialization & foster innovation. Learn more!
Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Learn more!
Make cities & human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient & sustainable. Learn more!
 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Learn more!
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Learn more!
 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Learn more!
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Learn more!
 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Learn more!
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. Learn more

The Sustainable Development Goals, are a holistic approach to building an inclusive, equal, sustainable world for all, for this generations and for those to come. The SDG’s are not only a call to action to governments but also to businesses and other organizations. They can be used as a blueprint, a framework that can help organizations tackle urgent challenges

You don’t have to start tackling all 17 goals, and 169 targets at once. Every organization naturally has more affinity with several of the goals. Explore which goals fit your organizations, look into the challenges and integrate them into the vision and roadmap of your organization.

In many cases, to tackle these challenges we need to innovate. And that is exactly what we are doing at The Green Sprint, we take on sustainability challenges and accelerate sustainable business development by using human & life-centered innovation as a force for good.

Happy Sprinting,

Minou & Pamela

SPREAD THE word!

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on email
Share on whatsapp