The CEB initiative launched early in 2007 in response to the global challenge of climate change took more concrete shape during the reporting period, with the identification of focus and cross-cutting areas for coordination and action. The United Nations system increasingly spoke with one voice on this issue, for example, through the statement delivered by the Secretary-General at the fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Poznan, Poland, in December 2008. The system has also increasingly delivered as one, as demonstrated in the joint publication entitled Acting on Climate Change: The United Nations Delivering as One (available online at http://www.un.org/climatechange), which was launched by the Secretary-General and other United Nations system leaders at a side event in Poznan.

Given the urgency of achieving a major global deal at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in December 2009, the Secretary-General declared 2009 a crucial year for climate change. In view of this, the United Nations system has intensified its efforts at more coordinated and effective delivery in all areas related to climate change. With the original programmatic work at the headquarters level now completed, emphasis has shifted to delivering results at the regional and country levels. The hope is that determined efforts to bridge the current implementation gap will contribute to long-term cooperative action at all levels, thereby helping to support the implementation of a successful outcome in the Framework Convention negotiations. The United Nations system has, through these efforts, demonstrated its readiness and ability to also assist with the implementation of new mandates that will result from the Copenhagen conference.

Organizations of the United Nations system continued their efforts towards achieving the goal of a climate neutral United Nations. Good progress was made during the reporting period, with the majority of organizations having designated climate-neutral focal points and several organizations also having established internal task forces and designated senior-level champions. The system’s main sources of greenhouse gas emissions were identified and an inventory of data to estimate greenhouse gas footprints was begun in over one half of the organizations of the system. In addition, several organizations have developed strategies outlining how they intend to move towards climate neutrality and have begun to implement some of those measures.