About us

The 2.6 billion poorest people in the world suffer the most from climate change and are least responsible for the problem. UNDP's mission is to improve the lives of these people; this is why we work on climate change.

As the leading global organization in the fight against poverty, on the ground in 166 countries, UNDP is responding on the front lines of climate change - where it hits the poorest people the hardest.

UNDP focuses on three things:

  • We help developing countries put in place what people need for a decent life because reducing poverty and fighting climate change go hand-in-hand.
  • We help poor people to adapt to climate change - from the poor farmer who wants to grow more resilient crops to the family whose home has just been destroyed by a flood.
  • We strengthen the capacity of developing countries to change their path towards a low-carbon future, because climate change demands that we grow in a different way.

Find out more about UNDP’s work on climate change

In countries

Through its country offices, UNDP implements programmes and develops the capacity of partners such as national and local governments, non-governmental organizations and community groups to address climate change and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. With its widespread country offices, UNDP has established a unique position as a long-term, trusted partner to developing countries and is well-placed to share its sustainable development expertise and provide assistance to national governments in addressing climate change in ways that are compatible with their own particular domestic development and poverty reduction agendas.

In the regions

Regional centres serve as knowledge hubs linking Country Offices in the region, as well as Regional Bureaux and the Bureau for Development Policy in UNDP Headquarters. The main functions of UNDP's regional centres are to:

  • Provide advisory services to developing countries through UNDP's Country Offices in the region, manage UNDP's regional programmes and provide knowledge services;
  • Provide management and operational advisory services to Country Offices;
  • Directly manage national programmes in countries where UNDP has no Country Office (e.g. new European Union Member States);
  • Strengthen UN coordination and manage regional development partnerships.

Globally

The Climate Change team within the Environment and Energy Group in Bureau of Development Policy is situated at UNDP Headquarters in New York. It conducts research, provides policy advice and advocates for development policies. The team works together with partners in the Environment and Energy Group, as well as the Poverty Group, Capacity Development Group, Gender Team, Private Sector Division, the Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery, and others to support action on climate change and reach the MDGs.

As an implementing agency of the GEF, UNDP supports projects in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, ozone-depleting substances, and persistent organic pollutants. UNDP's GEF-funded climate change project portfolio aims at transforming energy markets through public infrastructure projects standards and labeling and promoting renewable energy technologies, particularly for rural applications.

The Climate Change Team also facilitates partnerships with other development agencies. As the co-chair of the United Nations Development Group Task Team on Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, UNDP works with its fellow UN Agencies to support climate action at the country level. UNDP also has a longstanding partnership with the World Bank to enhance synergies with a view toward ensuring that the best efforts of the UN and its partners are brought to bear.