The UN Tackles Climate Change


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The UN Tackles Climate Change

The United Nations system has a three-f0ld role in supporting ambitious climate action.

  • Gathering and disseminating climate science research through Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Advancing an international legal framewok on climate change called the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  The 21st Conference of Paris to the UNFCCC (COP 21) met in Paris in December, 2015 and is also known as the “Climate Summit.”
  • Working with governments and civil society to halt a reverse the warming of the planet, adapt to climate change, and promote fair and sustainable development for all people.

Climate Action is one of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly for the period 2015-2030.

Iowa UNA and the other UNA chapters in Iowa inform, motivate, and advocate in support of this work.

During 2015 the Iowa UNA hosted eight community forums to expand climate action and advocacy to build a groundswell encouraging significant international action in Paris and beyond.

  • Johnson County Forum – Saturday, April 18th, 9:30 AM, at the University Athletic Club, 1360 Melrose Ave, Iowa City, IA
  • Pella Forum – Saturday, April 25th, 9:00 AM – 3:15 PM, Central College, Pella, IA
  • Cedar Valley Forum – Monday, May 18th, 5:30 – 8:00 PM, Cedar Falls Public Library
  • Cedar Rapids Forum – Thursday, September 17th, 7:00 PM, First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
  • Dubuque Forum – Tuesday, September 22nd, 7:00 PM, Blades Chapel, University of Dubuque
  • Ames Forum — Thursday, October 15th, 6:00 PM, Sun Room, ISU Memorial Union
  • Fairfield Forum – Thursday, October 22nd, 7:00 PM – Festival Hall, Maharishi University of Management
  • Des Moines Forum – Friday, October 23rd, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM,  Reading Room, Cowles Library,  Drake University.

A video from the Cedar Rapids Forum is available here.

The Iowa UNA and the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research had a team of five people taking part in civil society activities in Paris at the time of COP21.  They blogged from Paris (see, and they are sharing information, insights, and impressions from the conference.  In 2016, Iowa UNA will be continuing its education and advocacy activities to engage Iowans in learning about international efforts to curb climate change and to encourage actions here in the Hawkeye State in support of these efforts.

During the first half of 2016, Iowa UNA and the other UNA chapters in Iowa hosted a series of “Paris to Iowa” events to bring home the message from the Paris Climate Summit.  A video of UI Professor Jerald Schnoor (who attended the Summit) speaking at one of these events is available here.

The Iowa UNA is continuing to build awareness and action in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.

  • We are encouraging Iowa mayors to join the mayors of Des Moines, Dubuque, and Iowa City in joining the Global Compact of Mayors, an initiative at the municipal level to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • We are meeting with member of the Iowa congressional delegation to help them understand the importance of the Paris Agreement.
  • We are linking our two priority issues — climate and refugees — since climate change causes coastal flooding, agricultural disruption, and civil strife, all of which directly or indirectly force people to move.