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4.1.1 What is climate change?

Human activities rely on fossil fuels, and the resulting GHG emissions cause the phenomenon known as climate change, which describes the rise of the average global temperatures above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC defines climate change as a shift in climate conditions attributed directly or indirectly to human activities. These activities cause modifications to the makeup of the Earth's atmosphere and go beyond the natural fluctuations in climate observed over similar periods (UN, 1992). Further, these changes will make living conditions less benign for humans and other species and challenge the production and transportation of goods and services under complex and uncertain conditions, including raising costs across the economy (Cho, 2019; IPCC, 2023).


Cho, R. (2019, June 20). How climate change impacts the economy. State of the Planet. https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2019/06/20/climate-change-economy-impacts/

IPCC (2023). Overarching Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: How will nature and the benefits it provides to people be affected by higher levels of warming? Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/downloads/faqs/IPCC_AR6_WGII_Overaching_OutreachFAQ2.pdf

UN (1992). United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. United Nations. https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/conveng.pdf

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