United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty -- the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. More recently, a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures. The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the climate change process, particularly the COP, the subsidiary bodies and their Bureau.
International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the leading body for the assessment of climate change, established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences. The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. Differing viewpoints existing within the scientific community are reflected in the IPCC reports. The IPCC is an intergovernmental body, and it is open to all member countries of UN and WMO. Governments are involved in the IPCC work as they can participate in the review process and in the IPCC plenary sessions, where main decisions about the IPCC work program are taken and reports are accepted, adopted and approved. The IPCC Bureau and Chairperson are also elected in the plenary sessions. Because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature, the IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers. By endorsing the IPCC reports, governments acknowledge the authority of their scientific content. The work of the organization is therefore policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.
Climate Progress is a highly regarded blog dedicated to climate science, climate solutions, and climate politics. It is a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.
Climate Interactive is building a community that creates, shares, and uses credible models, accessible simulations, and related media in order to improve the way leaders and citizens around the world think about the climate. Their purpose is to get these sims and insights into the world as accessible products so they can be tweaked, enhanced, translated, distributed and used to power change around the world. One such product is the Climate Scorecard. The Climate Scoreboard uses the C-ROADS simulation to calculate the long-term climate impacts of proposals under consideration in the negotiations to produce a global climate treaty. Embedded Scoreboards automatically update as the deal improves. C-ROADS is being used within international climate negotiations. The United States Department of State has used the C-ROADS simulator to understand the climate impacts of various country-level proposals and to share that understanding with other parties to the UNFCCC (for example, Deputy Special Envoy Jonathan Pershing presented C-ROADS analysis at UNFCCC meetings in Bonn and Copenhagen).
Environment and Human Security
Yale Environment 360
Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University.
Earth Institute (Columbia University)
The Earth Institute’s overarching goal is to help achieve sustainable development primarily by expanding the world’s understanding of Earth as one integrated system. We work toward this goal through scientific research, education and the practical application of research for solving real-world challenges. With 850 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, staff and students working in and across more than 30 Columbia University research centers, the Earth Institute is helping to advance nine interconnected global issues: climate and society, water, energy, poverty, ecosystems, public health, food and nutrition, hazards and urbanization. With Columbia University as its foundation, the Earth Institute draws upon the scientific rigor, technological innovation and academic leadership for which the University is known.
Biodiversity and Mass Extinction
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. Conceived as a practical tool for translating the principles of Agenda 21 into reality, the Convention recognizes that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and micro organisms and their ecosystems – it is about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network - a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by more than 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The Union’s headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, Switzerland.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
The IUCN Species Programme working with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) has for more than four decades been assessing the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties, and even selected subpopulations on a global scale in order to highlight taxa threatened with extinction, and therefore promote their conservation. Although today they are operating in a very different political, economic, social and ecological world from that when the first IUCN Red Data Book was produced, the IUCN Species Programme, working with the Species Survival Commission and many partners, remains firmly committed to providing the world with the most objective, scientifically-based information on the current status of globally threatened biodiversity. The plants and animals assessed for the IUCN Red List are the bearers of genetic diversity and the building blocks of ecosystems, and information on their conservation status and distribution provides the foundation for making informed decisions about conserving biodiversity from local to global levels.
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. FAO helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since its founding in 1945, FAO has focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people.
UN-Water strengthens coordination and coherence among UN entities dealing with issues related to all aspects of freshwater and sanitation. This includes surface and groundwater resources, the interface between freshwater and seawater and water-related disasters. Providing information policy briefs and other communication materials for policy- makers and managers who work directly with water issues, other decision-makers that have an influence on how water is used, as well as the general public. Building the knowledge base on water issues through efficient monitoring and reporting systems and facilitating easy access to this knowledge through regular reports and the Internet. Providing a platform for system-wide discussions to identify challenges in global water management, analyse options for meeting these challenges and ensuring that reliable information and sound analysis informs the global policy debate on water.
World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)
A programme of UN-Water. WWAP synthesizes data and information gathered from UN-Water members and other prominent stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, universities, research centers and countries. It presents its findings through the triennial World Water Development Reports. The Programme examines the nature of water crises around the world and reviews countries' ability to address them. It aims to enhance assessment capacity at a national level; informs the decision-making process by indicating how well water policies and management strategies are working; and suggests indicators that are needed to monitor progress. WWAP is hosted and led by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Joint Monitoring Programme on Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP)
The JMP, which operates under the aegis of UN-Water, is an autonomous programme implemented and supervised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Established in 1990, the JMP continues monitoring activities that WHO has been undertaking since the 1960s. It is the official mechanism of the UN System mandated to monitor global progress towards the MDGs targets for drinking-water and sanitation. The JMP’s regular global reports on water and sanitation coverage facilitate sector planning and management. By supporting countries’ efforts to monitor this sector, the JMP contributes to better planning and management at the national level.
Oil and Energy
Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO)
ASPO is a network of scientists, affiliated with institutions and universities, having an interest in determining the date and impact of the peak and decline of the world's production of oil and gas, due to resource constraints.
National ASPO Groups
(in various languages)
APSO has a vast and comprehensive listing of various peak oil-related publications, reports, and books.
EnergyBulletin.net is a clearinghouse for information, news, research and analysis regarding the peak in global energy supply. Energy Bulletin was adopted as a core program by the Post Carbon Institute. Except for the Post Carbon Institute, Energy Bulletin is unaffiliated with any private, government, or institutional body. EnergyBulletin.net is a tremendous resource for people looking to gain deeper insight into our energy dilemma and related sustainability issues. A great forum for new voices and new ideas, EnergyBulletin.net explores energy-related impacts on food, population, culture, and more through original articles and multimedia.
The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC)
ODAC is an independent, UK-registered educational charity working to raise international public awareness and promote better understanding of the world's oil-depletion problem.
ODAC Peak Oil Primer
Post Carbon Institute
Post Carbon Institute (PCI) provides individuals, communities, businesses, and governments with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy, and environmental crises that define the 21st century. PCI envisions a world of resilient communities and re-localized economies that thrive within ecological bounds. PCI has developed a number of programs and initiatives that further its mission. PCI also publishes a variety of reports and papers.
Tipping Point: Near-Term Systemic Implications of a Peak in Global Oil Production (download)
David Korowicz, 2010
Feasta and The Risk/Resilience Network
Joint Operating Environment 2010 (download)
U.S. Joint Forces Command, 2010
New Zealand parliament report: The next oil shock? (access)
New Zealand Parliament, 2010
The Oil Crunch - a wake-up call for the UK economy (access)
UK Industry Task Force on Peak Oil and Energy Security, 2010
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606), which called for "a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.
Preparing for Peak Oil: Local Authorities and the Energy Crisis (download)
The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC) and Post Carbon Institute, 2008
ODAC's report provides an introduction to peak oil with a focus on the impacts for Local Government. The report sets out steps for Local Authorities to begin to address the issues.
Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management (download)
(a.k.a., The Hirsch Report)
Robert L. Hirsch, Roger Bezdek, Robert Wendling, 2005
U.S. Department of Energy