Promoting action on climate change features high on the agenda of Member States as well as the Secretary-General. The United Nations system, through the High-level Committee on Programmes Working Group on Climate Change, intensified its work in 2013 to facilitate United Nations system-wide coordination and coherence on climate change-related activities.

Sharing information on and lessons learned from action undertaken by the United Nations system in support of Member States’ efforts in the implementation of climate change commitments was an important activity pursued by CEB in 2013. At the nineteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Warsaw from 11 to 22 November, the United Nations system held a CEB high-level event, under the Secretary-General’s leadership, and coordinated a series of joint United Nations-system side events. The CEB high-level side event entitled “The United Nations system as a catalyst for climate action: promoting sustainable low-carbon development” sought to add impetus to the Secretary-General’s leadership efforts by providing evidence that sustainable, low-carbon development can yield impressive economic, social and environmental benefits domestically while contributing to climate action globally.

The High-level Committee on Programmes, through the Working Group on Climate Change, also advanced collaboration on climate change activities in a number of programmatic areas in 2013. Several ongoing joint United Nations system climate initiatives have been deepened or expanded over the course of the year, including activities of the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), Climate-Smart Agriculture, the Climate Finance Options Platform, the Global Framework for Climate Services and the One United Nations Training Service Platform on Climate Change (CC:Learn). Two new initiatives have also been developed within the context of the Working Group: the Task Team on Urban Risk Management and Climate-Smart Cities to promote joint programming of inter-agency climate projects and initiatives in cities; and Integrated spatial data for climate adaptation planning, an inter-agency initiative that seeks to inform vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning through a common spatial data framework for climate-related data.