Climate change continues to be among the key challenges facing the international community. Responding to the relevant provision in the Cancun Agreements (FCCC/CP/2010/7/Add.1, decision 1/CP.16), CEB, under the leadership of the Secretary-General, has been working actively to enhance inter-agency collaboration on climate change. The issue continued to feature high on the agenda of the High-level Committee on Programmes in 2012.

The High-level Committee on Programmes Working Group on Climate Change intensified its work to ensure United Nations system-wide coordination and coherence on climate change-related activities in the context of the CEB Climate Change Action Framework. In 2012, CEB renewed the mandate of the Working Group for another two-year term to carry forward its work in strengthening strategic, programmatic and operational coherence of the United Nations system in support of efforts by Member States to address climate change issues.

In 2012, the High-level Committee on Programmes, under the auspices of the Working Group on Climate Change, advanced collaboration on climate change activities through a number of joint programmatic inter-agency initiatives, including the Global Framework for Climate Services, the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), the One United Nations Training Service Platform on Climate Change and climate-smart agriculture. In addition, a new initiative was launched on integrated spatial data for climate adaptation planning, which seeks to establish a common spatial data framework for vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning by linking a wide range of relevant data using geographic information systems.

The sharing of technical and operational information, knowledge and expertise is an important activity of the United Nations system in support of country implementation of climate commitments and for maximizing impact at the national, regional and global levels. The United Nations system contributed to the eighteenth session of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Doha, in November and December 2012, by holding a high-level CEB side event co-hosted by the Secretary-General and the Government of Qatar. The event, which focused on the topic “Sustainable solutions for climate action: food security in dry lands under a changing climate”, fostered a dialogue among the host country, parties to the Convention, civil society and United Nations system leaders in demonstrating the collective capacity of the United Nations system to support countries in the implementation of climate action. In addition, United Nations system organizations prepared 24 joint side events on a broad range of topics, which showcased the combined expertise and complementary experience of the United Nations system by highlighting operational synergies and institutional partnerships in implementing intergovernmental climate mandates.