Theme: ‘Climate Action Summit 2019: A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win.’
The summit will be convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to mobilize political and economic energy at the highest levels to advance climate action that will enable implementation of many of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It will seek to challenge states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens to step up action in the areas of:
- Energy Transition,
- Climate Finance and Carbon Pricing,
- Industry Transition,
- Nature-Based Solutions,
- Cities and Local Action, and
To discuss in the Summit and to putforth the objectives in front of the world, nine coalitions have been established to ensure transformative outcomes. The coalitions focus on the following action areas:
1) Social and political drivers of change;
2) Transition to renewable energy;
4) Infrastructure, cities and local action;
5) Nature-based solutions;
6) Resilience and adaptation;
8) Finance and carbon pricing; and
9) Youth and citizen mobilization.
Global emissions are continuing to reach high levels. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.
Worldwide the impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing everybody dearly today and becoming more threatening for tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.
The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and even, as asked by the latest science, to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Each and every country must contribute whole heartedly to bring down the emission levels. Thankfully, we have the Paris Agreement – a visionary, viable, forward-looking policy framework that sets out exactly what needs to be done to stop climate disruption and reverse its impact. But the agreement itself is meaningless without ambitious action.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.
It will be a win win situation for all. Accelerated climate solutions can strengthen our economies and create jobs, while bringing cleaner air, preserving natural habitats and biodiversity, and protecting our environment.
New technologies and engineering solutions are already delivering energy at a lower cost than the fossil-fuel driven economy. Solar and wind energy are now the cheapest sources of new bulk power in virtually all major economies. But we must set radical change in motion.
We must be determined to attain these objectives by ending subsidies for fossil fuels and high-emitting agriculture and shifting towards renewable energy, electric vehicles and climate-smart practices. It means carbon pricing that reflects the true cost of emissions, from climate risk to the health hazards of air pollution. And it means accelerating the closure of coal plants and halting the construction of new ones and replacing jobs with healthier alternatives so that the transformation is just, inclusive and profitable for all.