Investing in People and Learning to Foster a Climate Resilient and Green Transition

#ClimateIQ Answers

This week's quiz on Twitter and Facebook.

21 March

Q. Strategically placed trees in urban areas can cool the air by:

  1. 2 - 8 ºC
  2. 10 - 16 ºC

The answer is... 2 - 8 ºC! Strategically placed trees in urban areas can cool the air by between 2 – 8 degrees C, as wood and trees can be used to optimize urban living and lower energy bills. In this way forests can be an essential component for countries when designing well-balanced adaptation and mitigation strategies against climate change in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). 

Forests are more than trees and are fundamental for food security and improved livelihoods. When managed sustainably, forests can increase the resilience of communities by providing fundamental economic, social and environmental services such as food, wood energy, shelter, fodder and fibre, as well as income and employment, and the conservation of biodiversity.  

More information available in FAO's Forests and Climate Change document.

14 March

Q. Approximately, what percentage of participants to COP20 of UNFCCC were women?

  1. 6%
  2. 26%
  3. 36%
  4. 46%

The answer is... 36%! UNFCCC COP20 has an average of 36% of women’s participation rate.

Government Delegates, Bureau Members, and NGO Representatives to the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) of the conventions have the opportunity to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through actions against climate change. While there is no one solution to ensuring that gender considerations are addressed comprehensively, achieving equal gender representation at the COPs would elevate the potential impact women can have on inclusive, sustainable environmental policy.

Through their experiences and traditional knowledge as stewards of many natural resources, women can offer valuable insights into better managing the climate and its risks. They also have a right to all capacities needed to protect themselves, and to participate in decisions with profound implications for people and the planet.

More information here.

7 March 

Q. Each year, about how many hectares of forest are lost or converted to other land uses?

  1. 30 thousand hectares 
  2. 300 thousand hectares 
  3. 3 million hectares 
  4. 13 million hectares  

The answer is... 13 million hectares! Deforestation and forest degradation are among the main causes of climate change. The degradation of the world’s forests is proceeding at an alarming rate. Each year about 13 million hectares of forest are lost or converted to other land uses. Deforestation and forest degradation has a considerable impact on the climate, accounting for 10-11% of global GHG emissions. Deforestation also has a significant effect on poor populations who earn income from forestry activity. 

For example, Central Africa is home to the second largest tropical rainforest area in the world with over 240 million hectares. In this region, an annual loss of about 3.1 million hectares of natural forest in the last five years, has been reported.  

More at FAO publication on Climate is Changing, Food and Agriculture Must Too.

28 February

Q. Which of the following is not a climate change related impact on wildlife?  

  1. Ecosystem changes  
  2. Human–wildlife conflicts  
  3. Natural disasters  
  4. Health and diseases

The answer is... natural disasters!  Natural disasters are not among the climate change related impacts on wildlife.

Biodiversity extinction is likely to be made worse by climate change. The impacts of climate change will include permanent changes in physical conditions, such as snow cover, permafrost and sea level along with increases in both the irregularity and severity of extreme weather events like droughts, floods and storms, which will lead to changes in ecosystems and ecosystem functioning. Degraded ecosystems are expected to be less resistant to climate change than intact ones.

The main consequences for wildlife, including:

  • Ecosystem changes: These include geographical shifts, changes in seasonality, changes in species composition and a rapid increase in invasive species.
  • Species interactions: species distribution and abundance.
  • Human–wildlife conflicts: These are likely to increase as humans and wild species compete for the same dwindling resources.
  • Wildland fires: Increased drought and the drying out of previously wet forests lead to more frequent and disastrous fires.
  • Health and diseases: Wildlife, humans and livestock will be affected by the emergence and increased spread of pathogens.

More information available on FAO Wildlife in a Changing Climate Report.

21 February

Radio based technologies monitored the collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf (2000km2, almost as big Mauritius) in Antarctica. It melted in: 

  1. 2 days 
  2. 2 weeks 
  3. 2 months 
  4. 2 years 

The answer is... 2 months! The breakups of major ice sheets in the Antarctic , if not attributed to global warming, have been accelerated by it. These breakups have been observed from space, as ice sheets can be easily monitored by space-borne instrumentation.  The collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica in 2002 – captured only because of frequent coverage by satellite imagery – dramatically illustrated the dynamics of ice sheets on astonishingly short time-scales. These revelations carry weighty implications: the rapid transfer of ice from the continental ice sheets to the sea could result in a significant rise of sea level. This is one example of how radio based technologies and systems can monitor the various manifestations of climate change and their impact.  At the same time, the application of ICTs and radiocommunications can provide solutions to contribute to a global reduction in energy consumption. 

More information at Radio Based Technologies in Support of Understanding, Assessing and Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change.

14 February

Q. What percentage of diseases is attributed to the environment?

  1. 11.8%  
  2. 21.8%  
  3. 31.8%  
  4. 41.8%  

The answer is… 21.8%!  It has been estimated that 21.8% of diseases (23% in men and 20.6% in women) are attributable to the environment. Environmental factors have a significant influence on the global burden of disease.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 2030 Agenda address human rights and well-being through a common understanding that a healthy environment is integral to the full enjoyment of basic human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, and quality of life. Interwoven into this is the concept that by directly addressing the interlinkages between gender and the environment, new opportunities will open up to help achieve the SDGs in a more effective, sustainable and beneficial manner. 

The interconnections among drivers, pressures and impacts on gender equality and environmental sustainability are complex. Population and economic development are two major drivers of environmental changes and impacts, while a range of economic activities and natural resource exploitation are considered to put pressures on the environment. Besides demographic changes and economic development, this includes the social, political-structure and gender norms of a society. Gender norms and environmental changes affect each other, and their roles as drivers/pressures and effects/impacts could be interchanged.

More information available in the Global Gender and Environment Outlook.  

7 February

Q. Compared to a CO2 molecule, what is the global warming potential of hydrofluorocarbons over a 100-year lifespan?

  1. Up to 12-fold
  2. Up to 170-fold
  3. Up to 650-fold
  4. Up to 14,800-fold

The answer is... up to 14,800-fold!

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were widely adopted as an alternative to products that were damaging the ozone layer, particularly those used in refrigeration and air conditioning. However, science has revealed that, while HFCs have greatly reduced the threat to the ozone layer, they are an extremely potent greenhouse gas and trap thousands of times more heat in the Earth's atmosphere than carbon dioxide. HFCs are a powerful greenhouse gas that contribute to climate change.

As HFCs are also the fastest-growing of all greenhouse gases, their emissions increasing by up to 10 per cent each year. On October 2016, delegates from around the world gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, to amend the Montreal Protocol to cut the production and usage of HCFs. Curbing HFCs use will help limit near-term warming of the planet, providing a major boost for the Paris Agreement, and it could also significantly improve the energy efficiency of some alternative refrigerants and technologies.

More information:

31 January 2017

Q. If the Paris Agreement were implemented and global warming halted below 2ºC, the Arctic would have:   

  1. warmed by 2ºC 
  2. cooled by 1.5ºC 
  3. warmed by 5ºC 
  4. remain the same  

The answer is... warmed by 5ºC!  

If the Paris Climate Agreement reached during the Conference of the Parties session 21 (COP21) in December 2015 were implemented and average global warming were halted at a level well below 2˚C, preferably at 1.5˚C, the Arctic would have warmed by 3.75˚C to nearly 5˚C. It is because of this amplification of global climate change that the Arctic is under a higher degree of pressure. Major system change is already under way, and we have only years to take action to turn the trajectory around.

To learn more about the Arctic, check the #TrueValueArctic initiative

24 January 2017

Q. Which of the following statements on pulses (dry beans/dry peas/chickpeas/lentils) is true? Pulses: 

  1. Adapt to climate change
  2. Damage the soil 
  3. Increase fertilizer use 
  4. Increase GHG emissions 

The answer is... adapt to climate change! Food production, food security and climate change are closely linked. Pulses are particularly climate-smart as they simultaneously adapt to climate change and contribute towards mitigating its effects. 

Pulses (such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas) can fix atmospheric nitrogen and provide it to the soil. This reduces the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and contributes in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For example, 85 million hectares of pulses have contributed globally to fixating 3 - 6 million tonnes of nitrogen in soils.  

Pulses can also increase resilience against climate change in different ways:   

  • Pulse-based cropping systems: including pulses in crop rotations exploits symbiotic microbes to fix nitrogen, partly transferring it to next crops, increasing their yields.  
  • Pulses and agroforestry systems: growing pulses such as pigeon peas together with other crops improves farmers’ food security, by helping them to diversify their nutrition and sources of income.  
  • Pulses in animal nutrition: when included in livestock feed, pulse by-products contribute to improve feed conversion ratio while, reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.  

For more information on pulses and climate change, visit: http://www.fao.org/resources/infographics/infographics-details/en/c/454530/

17 January 2017

Q. What is the approximate share of tourism sector to global CO2 emissions? 

  1. Less than 1%  
  2. Between 1 to 6%  
  3. Between 6 to 10%  
  4. More than 10%  

The answer is... between 1 to 6%! Tourism, including transport, accommodation and activities (such as museums, theme parks, events or shopping) is responsible of about 5% of global CO2 emissions. Climate is a key resource for tourism and the sector is highly sensitive to the impacts of climate change and global warming, many elements of which are already being felt.;   

  • given tourism’s importance in the global challenges of climate change and poverty reduction, there is a need to urgently adopt a range of policies which encourages truly sustainable tourism that reflects a ‘quadruple bottom line’ of environmental, social, economic and climate responsiveness;   
  • the tourism sector must rapidly respond to climate change, within the evolving UN framework and progressively reduce its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) contribution if it is to grow in a sustainable manner; this will require action to: – mitigate its GHG emissions, derived especially from transport and accommodation activities; – adapt tourism businesses and destinations to changing climate conditions; – apply existing and new technology to improve energy efficiency; and – secure financial resources to help poor regions and countries.  

You can find detailed information in the Climate Change and Tourism analytical document.  

27 December 2016

Q. Buying a real #Christmas tree, rather than a plastic #tree, has a bigger impact on #climatechange:

  • True
  • False

The answer is... false! Real fir trees take in carbon dioxide, release oxygen, provide habitat, and can be recycled. 

Farmers grow trees especially for the holidays, which may take 8 to 12 years to grow. During that time, the tree is taking in carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, and providing habitat for birds and animals; it is cleaning the air and helping slow climate change. Real trees can be recycled, there are many programs that pick up holiday trees and grind them up into mulch, which is then it is spread back onto the land to help grow something else—or more trees.

An artificial tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years to be greener than buying a fresh-cut tree annually. These calculations include greenhouse gas emissions, use of resources and human health impacts.

The annual carbon emissions associated with using a real tree every year are just one-third of those created by an artificial tree over a typical six-year lifespan. Most fake trees also contain polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which produces carcinogens during manufacturing and disposal. For more information, visit: 

NASA Climate Kids: http://climatekids.nasa.gov/christmas-tree/

NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/18/business/energy-environment/18tree.html

20 December 2016

Q. In 2008, how many people were displaced by extreme weather compared to 4.6 million people by conflict?

  1. 1 million persons
  2. 10 million persons
  3. 20 million persons
  4. 30 million persons

The answer is... 20 million persons! In 2008, 20 million persons have been displaced by extreme weather events, compared to 4.6 million internally displaced by conflict and violence over the same period.

Gradual and sudden environmental changes are resulting in substantial population movements. The number of storms, droughts and floods has increased threefold over the last 30 years with devastating effects on communities. Over the last thirty years, twice as many people have been affected by droughts as by storms (1.6 billion compared with approx 718m).

Future forecasts vary from 25 million to 1 billion environmental migrants by 2050, moving either within their countries or across borders, on a permanent or temporary basis, with 200 million being the most widely cited estimate. This figure equals the current estimate of international migrants worldwide. Refer to Migration, Climate Change and the Environment for further information.

13 December 2016

Which percentage of plant/animal species will face extinction if global temperature increase exceeds 1.5 - 2.5°C?   

  1. 1 - 10% 
  2. 20 - 30% 
  3. 40 - 50% 
  4. 60 - 70% 

The answer is... 20 - 30%! Climate change is a huge driver of biodiversity loss. Species have been disappearing at up to 1,000 times the natural rate, and this is predicted to rise dramatically. Current trends suggest that an estimated 34,000 plant and 5,200 animal species - including one in eight of the world's bird species - face extinction.  

Combinations of drivers could push some systems beyond tipping points at regional scales. On of the best understood examples is the loss of summer Arctic sea ice due to climate change. This relatively rapid and large shift in ecosystem structure and function at regional scale is projected to have large negative impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being if it is not averted. Ultimately all societies and economies would be affected. 

Direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss are often embedded deep within our systems of policymaking, financial accounting and patterns of production and consumption. More information here:

6 December 2016

Q. Health is affected by climate change through different ways. Which are examples of direct or primary exposure pathways? 

  1. flood, storms 
  2. allergens, diseases 
  3. water/air pollution 
  4. food production, stress 

The answer is… flood, storms! Human health is affected by the weather, climate variability and climate change. There are three exposure pathways by which climate change affects health:

  • Directly through extreme weather and climate events, such as heat, flood, and storms. These are primary pathways;
  • Indirectly through changes in natural systems that then affect disease vectors and disease transmission pathways, such as allergens and increased water/air pollution. These are secondary pathways; and
  • Pathways heavily mediated through human systems such as under-nutrition, food production, and mental stress. These are tertiary pathways.

To learn more about Climate Change and Human Health, take the free online course here.

29 November 2016

Q. Transport sector aims to reach “0 net emission” between 2060-2080. By 2050 the goal is to move from 7.7Gt emissions/year to: 

  1. 7 or 6Gt/year 
  2. 5 or 4Gt/year 
  3. 3 or 2Gt/year 
  4. 1Gt/year 

The answer is... 3 or 2Gt/year! During COP22, in Marakech, countries accelerated global climate action as they fast-tracked the political and practical aims of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. For the Transport sector, the goal is to move from 7.7Gt emissions/year down to 3 or 2Gt by 2050, and aim to “zero net emission” between 2060 (most advanced areas) and 2080 (other parts of the world). All modes of transport (road, railway, aircraft, maritime, rivers, transport for people and goods) will need to be part of a global systemic transformation involving consumption pattern and behavioral changes, major technological innovations, the emergence of new mobility ecosystems, and the creation of new business models.

The facilitators of the Global Climate Action transport activities will bring together all relevant stakeholders (public and private sector, think tanks) around a Global Macro-Road Map on Decarbonizing Transport, a reference or compass to set the course towards the long-term direction set in Paris. For more information, please read the COP22 Transport Report.

22 November 2016

Q. Which stage of the life-cycle of a pair of jeans has the most impact on the environment?

  1. Growing the cotton
  2. Manufacturing of jeans
  3. Use, wash, and dry jeans
  4. Disposal of jeans

The answer is... use, wash, and dry jeans! Consumer care is responsible for the most significant energy use and climate impact, representing 37% of the 33.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide emitted during the lifecycle of a jean. This stage, in which consumers wash and dry jeans, is driven by high use of non-renewable energy. Consumer jeans-washing habits vary by region; by washing every 10 times instead of every 2 times after use, consumers can reduce energy/climate change and water consumption impacts by up to 80%. To know more about Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG 12), please click here.

For more information on the life cycle assessment study, please click here.

15 November 2016

Q. Which of the following climate change related events took place this past November 4 - 6, in connection to COP22?

  1. WSSD
  2. CMA2
  3. CMP11
  4. COY12

The answer is... Conference of Youth 12 (COY12)! This Conference is an international event where youth around the world gather on the theme of climate change in connection with the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC. The COY12 was held in Marrakesh for three days from November 4th to November 6th, right before the COP22. This year it focused on the role of education and capacity building in empowering young people to take action on climate change and to bring about positive change in society. More information here.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from August 26th to September 4th, 2002. The WSSD discussed direct actions toward meeting difficult challenges, including improving people's lives and conserving our natural resources in a world that is growing in population, with ever-increasing demands for food, water, shelter, sanitation, energy, health services and economic security.

The Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement 2 (CMA2) will take place during COP23, which is expected to be held from November 6th to 17th, 2017. The CMA oversees the implementation of the Paris Agreement and takes decisions to promote its effective implementation.

The Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol 11 (CMP11) took place in Paris le Bourget, France, from November 30th to December 11th, 2015. The CMP oversees the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and takes decisions to promote its effective implementation.

8 November 2016

Q. Which of the following group of parties first ratified the Paris Agreement?

  1. Fiji, Palau 
  2. Canada, European Union 
  3. Bahamas, Costa Rica 
  4. Paraguay, Uruguay 

The answer is... Fiji and Palau!

Fiji and Palau were among the 15 overall parties that submitted their ratification during the special Paris Agreement signing ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on April 22nd, 2016. The other parties included: Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Somalia, State of Palestine, and Tuvalu. 

For more information, please refer to the Paris Agreement Status of Ratification.

1 November 2016

Q. Which percent of global GHG emissions are deforestation and forest degradation accountable for?

  1. 7%
  2. 17%
  3. 27%
  4. 37%

The answer is... 17%! 

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that the forest sector and other sectors that impact land use – through deforestation, forest degradation and other changes in forests – contributes approximately 17 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, or approximately 5.8 Gt of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e), per year. These emissions are mainly taking place in tropical developing countries. Therefore, abatement of forest-based emissions is critical to limiting global warming. For more information, please refer to The UN-REDD Programme Strategy 2011-2015

Graph source: IPCC Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report.

25 October 2016

Q. In the absence of economic growth, how many people could be driven into extreme poverty by climate change by 2030? 

  1. Up to 42 million 
  2. Up to 82 million 
  3. Up to 122 million 
  4. Up to 162 million 

The answer is... up to 122 million! 

While climate change is but one driver shaping poverty and food insecurity, its impacts are expected to be substantial. Those two trends, and the severity of climate change impacts on them, will be determined largely by future socio-economic development. In the absence of climate change, and with continuing economic progress, most regions are projected to see a decline in the number of people at risk of hunger by 2050. With climate change, however, the population living in poverty could increase, largely due to its negative impacts on incomes in the agricultural sector. A recent World Bank study estimated that, a scenario with high impact climate change, rapid population growth and a stagnant economy indicated that an additional 122 million people would be living in extreme poverty by 2030.  

Reduced income in the agricultural sector explains the largest share of increased poverty as a result of climate change. This is because the most severe reductions in food production and increases in food prices occur in Africa and India, which account for a large share of the world’s poor.  

For more information, please refer to FAO's report on The State of Food and Agriculture-Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

18 October 2016

Q. Which of the following are examples of initiatives initiated by cities to address climate change?

  1. Cities’ Compact
  2. Green Climate Fund
  3. Kyoto Protocol
  4. C40

The answer is ...C40! 

C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of the world’s megacities, is committed to addressing climate change. Bus rapid transit, municipal building efficiency, green growth and climate risk assessment are examples of some of their networks that connect cities on specific topics. C40 is a founding partner of the Compact of Mayors, partner to the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories and to the carbonn® Climate Registry. Learn more at http://www.c40.org/cities and check if your city forms part of this network.

Another example of initiatives is the Compact of Mayors, which was launched in September 2014 at the Climate Summit by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg. The Compact is the world’s largest coalition of city leaders. Cities will take action by registering their mitigation and adaptation commitments, taking inventories, setting reduction targets and creating action plans. The data on commitments and actions will be available to the public. Learn more about the Compact of Mayors at http://www.compactofmayors.org/.

11 October 2016 

Q. Test your #ClimateIQ! Which of the following animals produces the most CH4 (methane)? 

  1. Camels
  2. Sheep
  3. Buffaloes
  4. Horses

The answer is... buffaloes! They produce 11% of CH4 emissions! 

Greenhouse gas emissions from enteric fermentation consist of methane, CH4, produced in digestive systems of ruminants and to a lesser extent of non-ruminants. In 2011, world total annual GHG emissions from enteric fermentation were 2,071 Mt CO2 eq, about 40% of total emissions!

With respect to average 2000’s levels, global emissions from enteric fermentation are projected to increase by 19% and 32% in 2030 and 2050, respectively, reaching more than 2,500 Mt CO2 eq in 2050.

To know more about this topic, please read the report by FAO: http://www.uncclearn.org/sites/default/files/inventory/fao198.pdf