UN Climate Summit to Address New Initiatives for Climate Change
On September 23rd, 2014, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon will host a major climate summit in New York to bring together world leaders from government, finance, business, and civil society to galvanize and catalyze climate action. Specifically, it will seek for solutions that accelerate progress in addressing the challenges of climate change.
The 2014 Climate Summit is expected to serve as a public platform to promote ambitious action to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience. Given the urgency for action to address climate change, the summit was conceived to join the efforts of the public and private sector and civil society with the political engagement of leaders across the world in a way that will drive economic competitiveness, sustainable development, and prosperity for all.
Even though the summit is not part of the negotiation process around the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the goal is also that this event will motivate political engagement for the 2015 global climate agreement, that is expected to limit the world to less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature. On September 4th, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC published an article (co-authored with Mario Molina) in The Guardian to discuss the implications and relevance of the New York summit.
As Figueres mentioned, these processes represent an unprecedented opportunity. The Climate Summit will bring action in areas such as agriculture, cities, energy, financing, forests, pollutants, resilience and transportation, as well as an “ambitious, scientifically credible and clear vision on where the world needs to aim over the long haul”. This vision will lead to ‘climate neutrality’, understood as not putting in more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than those generated by natural processes. Achieving this goal “will require charting the path from the high emission society we have today to a deep, decarbonisation of the global economy before arriving finally at a climate neutral family of nations.”
The goal of climate neutrality is undoubtedly long-term and ambitious, but actions are being taken at different levels where public, private and social actors are improving energy efficiencies and developing strategies towards a more sustainable economic development system. The Climate Summit will help to raise “ambition en route to the UN climate talks meeting in Peru this December and in advance of a crucial conference in Paris at the end of 2015” Figueres wrote.
For more information on the Climate Summit click here