Climate Change Policy & Advocacy Library
Intergovernmental Documents | Governmental Documents | NGO & Private Sector Documents
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The UNFCCC was published in 1992 and entered into force in 1994, laying the groundwork for all subsequent intergovernmental action. It has been ratified by 197 countries. Also see the U.N.’s Climate Change Annual Report 2020, plus an overview and reports for previous years available here.
Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005. It operationalizes the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Paris Agreement was adopted at COP21 in Paris, in 2015, and entered into force in 2016. Background information here.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
From the U.N. body responsible for assessing the science related to climate change, links to all published IPCC reports, including the latest working group report, AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, and special reports, such as Global Warming of 1.5℃. Also find links to works in progress, such as the AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2022.
UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2020
A downloadable version of the U.N. Environment Programme’s annual review of the difference between where greenhouse gas emissions are predicted to be in 2030 and where they should be to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Plus links to UNEP emissions gap reports from previous years.
State of the Global Climate 2020
Report from the World Meteorological Organization examining global climate indicators, high-impact events, and risks and impacts. Plus, links to report overviews and related WMO pages: World Weather and Climate Extremes; El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO); Global Seasonal Climate Update; and Regional Climate Outlook Forums.
United Nations Convention To Combat Desertification
An overview of the convention, with links to the convention text, strategic framework and annexes, plus a discussion of the connection between land and climate change.
United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
As part of the U.N. treaty, explore extensive material on how climate change and biodiversity interact.
European Green Deal
A set of proposals to make the EU's climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Also see “Delivering the European Green Deal,” a set of fact sheets on the European Green Deal.
Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States
The second of two volumes of the national climate assessment mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. Volume II (published in 2018; revised March 2021) draws on the foundational science described in the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume I: Climate Science Special Report. Also see Report-in-Brief and Summary Findings.
Our Changing Planet
The U.S. Global Change Research Program’s fiscal year 2021 report to Congress on the state of the national global change research plan.
Federal Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans
An Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer page with downloadable versions of all federal agency climate adaptation and resilience plans.
Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the United States: A Focus on Six Impacts
A report on projected climate change impacts on socially vulnerable populations (defined on the basis of income, educational attainment, race and ethnicity, and age) through the EPA’s Climate Change Impacts and Risk Analysis project.
2021 Governors’ Climate Resilience Playbook
A report published by the U.S. Climate Alliance. Other USCA reports include: Building Decarbonization Roadmap and Jobs in the Clean Energy Economy.
State Climate Summaries
Prepared by the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. The original summaries were released in 2017. A rolling update began in 2019. Click on a state for key messages, narrative and downloads.
Solving the Climate Crisis
The majority staff report from the Congressional Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, with a congressional action plan for a clean energy economy, with a focus on health, resilience and equity.
Trends and Projections in Europe 2021
A European Environment Agency report tracking progress towards meeting EU climate and energy targets for climate change mitigation, renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency gains.
Nationally Determined Contributions
Nationally determined contributions, or NDCs, under the Paris Agreement, embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. See the NDC synthesis report, as well as latest submissions for individual country reports.
NGO & Private Sector Documents
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Climate Change Collection
A library of climate change reports, briefs and other publications from these private, nonprofit institutions. Recent reports include Global Change Research Needs and Opportunities for 2022-2031 and Motivating Local Climate Adaptation and Strengthening Resilience.
Climate Action Network Annual Policy Document – Glasgow: Time for Solidarity and Ambition
A November 2021 pre-COP26 report from Climate Action Network, a global network of more than 1,500 civil society organizations in over 130 countries.
Toward Climate Resilience: A Framework and Principles for Science-Based Adaptation
A report from the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists that focuses on adaptation, and which highlights 15 principles for decision makers to use to prioritize investments in climate change adaptation. Plus, a report summary and related resources.
Agriculture and Climate Change: Policy Imperatives and Opportunities To Help Producers Meet the Challenge
A report from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources and rural communities. Also from the NSAC, see Climate Solutions for Farmers: Invest in Proven Federal Programs, Not Carbon Markets.
Policy Options To Enable an Equitable Energy Transition
Published by Resources for the Future, a research nonprofit, 15 scholars from across the United States share insights on policy proposals to support an equitable energy transition for all communities.
Risky Business Project
Founded by co-chairs Michael R. Bloomberg, Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Thomas F. Steyer, the project examined the economic risks presented by climate change and opportunities to reduce them. See its inaugural report, “From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy,” and its second report, “The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States.”
The Playbook for Climate Finance
Published by nonprofit The Nature Conservancy, a report on innovative strategies to help fund the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptive measures, including carbon pricing, impact investment, blue bonds for conservation, insurance for natural infrastructure and multilateral funding sources.
Climate Science in the Courts
A report from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Environmental Law Institute examining judicial pronouncements in different climate-related proceedings since 2015, including in civil, administrative, constitutional and criminal law matters, in the United States and in a dozen foreign jurisdictions.
Climate Justice: State Courts and the Fight for Equity
A report from the nonprofit Center for Progressive Reform examining how tort litigation and damages might be used in the climate change realm, with case studies and a look at barriers in the insurance industry.
Global Climate Litigation Report: 2020 Status Review
Published by the United Nations Environment Programme, with support from Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. Additional Sabin Center publications listed on its Climate Law Blog.
Climate Insights 2020: Synthesis Report
The synthesis report of the Climate Insights 2020 survey, a joint effort to examine American attitudes on climate change by researchers at Stanford University, Resources for the Future and ReconMR, provides insight into what Americans think about climate, electric vehicles, natural disasters and more.