From Open Sustainability
Climate change is the long-term alteration in global weather patterns, especially increases in temperature and storm activity. It is largely regarded as a consequence of an enhanced greenhouse effect due to human induced  global warming.
The definitive resource for information on climate change is the Nobel Prize winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A 2007 report  from the IPCC concludes that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation are responsible for most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century.
Climate change has been termed the 'biggest issue of our generation' due to the major global impact on the environment and people the change in weather patterns will have. An example of the impact is due to the rise in temperature and the consequent melting of the polar ice, sea levels are expected to rise from 90 to 880 mm (3.5 to 35 inches)  causing disastrous floods in low lying areas such as Bangladesh.
All organizations no matter what their purpose need to have a strategy to address climate change, the causes and the impacts. We all need to play a part in reducing carbon emissions and building a sustainable environment to manage climate change.
Mapping to the Overall Sustainability Governance Framework
open-sustainability's Sustainability Governance Framework has been written obviously with sustainability in mind but can also be used applying a Climate change focus. Where there are activities that should be repeated for a Climate change Program they are listed below. Specific subject issues for Climate change will be explained in more detail following. An important thing to remember is that the Climate change program falls under the overall Sustainability program. Key items such as Executive Sponsorship and the development of performance indicators will be completed by the Sustainability Governance Committee.
- Activity 1.1 Strategic Mobilization
- To achieve major reductions of current and future emissions climate change must be at the forefront of all business decisions.
- Activity 1.6 Governance Sponsorship and Scope
- Role and responsibilities for Climate change need to be developed. This may fall under the Sustainability Governance team.
- Activity 1.8 Return on Investment
- The ROI on climate change projects also needs to be determined. Energy efficeny projects demonstrate some quick wins.
- Activity 2.7 Sustainability Standards
- This is about defining what and how an issue is linked to climate change within the company. Setting the correct terminology.
- Activity 3.4 Root Cause Analysis of Climate change Issues
The driving policy instrument behind climate change has been the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The Kyoto Protocol establishes legally binding commitments for the reduction of greenhouse gases produced by industrialized nations, as well as general commitments for all member countries.
Many different pieces of climate legislation have been introduced and are being considered by legislatures around the world.
- United States Federal Climate Legislation - the United States is the only industrialized county to have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. A number of states have initiated climate legislation and the Federal Government has the following bills on the table:
- American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009
- Safe Climate Act
- Climate in Security Act
- United Kingdom
- Climate Change Act 2008
- Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006
- National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007
There is currenly not a single globally accepted standard for climate change, there are however standards for the various management components. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has seperate standards for climate change covering:
- ISO 14064 and ISO 14065 - Quantifying and validating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions
- ISO 14067 - Carbon footprint of products - Under Development
- ISO 14020 Environmental labels and declarations, ISO 14063 Environmental communication and ISO 21930 - Sustainability in building construction
- ISO 14004 and ISO 14040 - Environmental management and Life cycle assessment
- Monitoring climate change and Energy efficient technologies - Standards in development
Another key standard used for greenhouse gas accounting is the well known, and freely available Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard provides standards and guidance for organizations preparing a GHG emissions inventory. It covers the accounting and reporting of the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol — carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). 
As it has been highlighted carbon management really is information management. Having the ability to track carbon emissions up and down the supply chain helps organizations have a better handle on their sources and how to reduce. There is not a simple fix for reducing emissions but requires the steady reduction across all areas - transport, energy and electricity.
Tracking performance through reductions in carbon emissions requires looking at a range of sources. The essential figures to track are utility bills for electricity and heating, and fuel bills for company related vehicles. This gives an indicator of your 'direct carbon footprint'. Indicators can be reported as a ratio such as emissions per kilowatt-hour generated, ton of material production, or sales. Also the six green house gases emissions will need to be tracked separately in metric tons and then normalized to tons of CO2 equivalent to give a total comparable footprint.
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropogenic
- ↑ http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_SPM.pdf
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise
- ↑ http://www.iso.org/iso/hot_topics_climate_change
- ↑ http://www.ghgprotocol.org/standards