In response to a changing climate, organizations across the globe have urged all of us to acknowledge the reality of our capacities to respond.  As you will see below, these organizations have played an instrumental role in recognizing larger climatic patterns through their collaborative analyses of localized climate events.

This section looks at organized, international responses to our changing climate. As you navigate this section, it may be helpful to keep a couple of questions in mind:

What does international collaboration look like at its best?

In specific ways, what are these international organizations telling us about our world, our responsibilities, and our future?  Finally, how is this information useful to you, and in fact to all of us, wherever we are on the Earth?


Explore: UN Climate Summit Documents

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Kyoto: 1997, COP 3

  • Adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change United Nations
  • The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
  • Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."
    (Description taken from: unfccc.int)

Marrakech: 2001, COP 7

  • Third Assessment Report: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis United Nations
  • Documents trends in climate change, including the rise in temperatures, rising sea levels, and decreased ice pack. Explains human responsibility for climate change. Details possible consequences of climate change and articulates areas for further action.

Nairobi: 2006, COP 12

Copenhagen: 2009, COP 15

Cancun: 2010, COP 16

Durban: 2011

Doha: 2012, COP 18

Warsaw: 2013, COP 19

Lima: 2014, COP 20

Paris: 2015, COP 21

Marrakech: 2016, COP 22

Bonn: 2017, COP 23

Katowice: 2018, COP 24


1. In what ways do these international responses reaffirm or challenge  your perceptions of a changing climate?
2. The United Nations is intended to represent the interests of peoples and countries.  All of us are located somewhere in this mix. What responsibilities do you believe we have to engage with all of this material above?
3. Map it Out! (30 Minutes)
Draw a visual timeline -- be as creative as you like -- that highlights five main features of the United Nations work above.


Podcasts allow us to experience the values and stories of neighbors from around the world. We encourage you to Take a Listen: