Go back to normal view
Climate change is an issue that has aroused much discussion and debate. There are now a number of sources which can be accessed allowing personal study and individuals can reach their own conclusions. This page gives some of the many sources that can be explored to help inform your view.
COP24 took place in Katowice in Poland in December 2018. An agreement has been reached aiming at implementing the actions from COP21 in Paris.
In early October 2018 the IPCC released a special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5degress C above pre industrial levels. This report has some significant implications for policymakers across the globe. You can download the summary for policymakers here SR15
COP23 took place in Bonn, Germany from 6th to 17th November 2017.
A key event was COP21 was held in Paris from November 30th to 11th December 2015. It introduced an agreement applicable to all countries on climate change. COP21 - click on this to download the agreement for personal study.
The fifth assessment report from the IPCC has been published (AR5). The first part entiltled "Climate Change 2013 the Physical Science Basis" was released on 27th September 2013. You can download a copy of this report by clicking here. Climate Change 2013 Scientists now assert that they are 95% certain that humans are the dominant cause of global warming since the 1950's and this latest report details the evidence. The IPCC also warns that continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all aspects of the climate system. The second part entitled Summary for Policymakers highlights the fact that the amount of scientific evidence on the impact of global warming has almost doubled since the previous report in 2009. The final part looks at mitigation for climate change and can be viewed by clicking here Mitigation.
The 2012 UN international Conference (COP 18) took place in Qatar from 26 November to 7 December and the next event (COP 19) was held in Warsaw in November 2013. Take a look at the UN website on climate change for more information regarding COP 19. http://unfccc.int/2860.php
In 2011 COP17 took place from 28 November to 9 December in Durban South Africa. Take a look at the key UN site for the final position http://unfccc.int/2860.php or perhaps you might like to sign up to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change bi-monthly e-newsletter at http://unfccc.int/press/news_room/newsletter/items/3642.php
The conference known as COP16 was held in Cancun in Mexico in late 2010. The key conclusions can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11975470 . It is worth exploring the UN Framework on Climate Change website for this conference to see the detailed conclusions for further study. http://unfccc.int/2860.php
A major international conference was held in Copenhagen in Denmark from 7 - 18 December 2009. Known as COP 15 - this was the 15th meeting of the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change and it promised to be a key next step in agreeing actions in respect of global climate change. This resulted in the Copenhagen accord which you can see at http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/cop15/eng/l07.pdf
Perhaps one of the best place to start in a personal quest is with the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This published its first assessment way back in 1970 and issued subsequent reports in 1995 and 2000. The fourth assessment has been completed and moves the discussion on considerably. The synthesis report was published in Valencia in Spain and it is understood to have been fully endorsed by all of the world's major governments (including the USA) and has been distilled from more than 3,000 pages of research. Adam Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has apparently called the report "the most essential reading for every person on the planet who cares about the future." This report can be found at
For even more in depth study the summary reports of the three working groups of the IPCC which have all been publised in 2007 can also be accessed. However note that these are all currently being updated as the fifth assessment report in 2013/2014. The fourth reports are as follows:- The Working Group 1 Summary Report was published in Paris in February 2007 and covers the Physical Sciences Basis. It describes the progress in understanding of the human and natural drivers of climate change, observed climate change, climate processes and attribution and estimates of projected future climate change. It can be viewed at the following web address
Working Group 2 Summary Report delivered in Brussels in April 2007 is an assessment of the current scientific understanding of the impact of climate change on natural, managed and human systems, the capacity of these systems to adapt and their vulnerability. It can be viewed at
Working Group 3 Summary Report published in Bangkok in May 2007 covers the mitigation of climate change. It focuses on new literature on the scientific, technological, environmental, economic and social aspects of the mitigation of climate change. It can be viewed at http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg3.htm
The report by Sir Nicholas Stern for the UK Government is also worth exploring to see the impact of these issues close to home. A summary of the the key aspects of this can be found at:-
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has some interesting reports. One of the latest GEO-4 asseses the current state of the global atmosphere, land, water and biodiversity, describes the changes since 1987 and identifies priorities for action. It can be found at:-
Additionally the UN has published an Assessment of Assessments - which looks at the findings of a group of experts and is aimed at informing decision makers ahead of the Copenhagen summit in December 2009. This document can be found at http://www.unep.org/DEWA/pdf/AoA/AoA+SDM+layout_ENGLISH+LR.pdf
There are also a number on interactive E-Books which are worth exploring on the UN Environment Programme website. These are at http://www.unep.org/publications/