SEP 02, 2019 5:27 PM PDT

What to expect from the Climate Action Summit

The climate summit is just around the corner and Greta Thunberg isn’t the only one gearing up for the event. Since Thunberg’s arrival on the zero-emissions boat which brought her from Europe to New York to attend the summit while also avoiding the carbon emissions of an airplane flight, youth from around the country have been rallying together in New York to bring attention to the climate crisis.

Some are calling the young Swede the face of the movement, and the “Greta effect” has certainly taken up amongst America’s young people who want political leaders to take fast and serious steps to save us from climate doomsday. Thunberg is here to attend the Climate Action Summit, which will take place on September 23. Hosted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the summit’s goal is to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, states the UN Environment’s website.

Greta Thunberg joins the rally at the UN headquarters in New York. Photograph: Alba Vigaray/EPA via The Guardian

According to the website, “The Summit will showcase a leap in collective national political ambition and it will demonstrate massive movements in the real economy in support of the agenda. Together, these developments will send strong market and political signals and inject momentum in the “race to the top” among countries, companies, cities and civil society that is needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

So, what else can we expect from the summit, more specifically? The Secretary-General has asked that world leaders coming to the Summit be ready to present the actions that their countries are doing to fulfill their commitments made previously in the Paris Agreement. In terms of actions and initiatives, which will hopefully include collaboration from Governments, the private sector, and civil society, the ICCP report from earlier this year made it clear the stakes with which we are dealing. The largest global commitment will be the total transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

Other topics that will be discussed at the summit include improving the resilience of the finance sector during the decarbonization process; transforming industries such as oil and gas, steel, cement, chemicals, aviation, shipping and information technology; investing in nature-based solutions such as increasing sink capacity; and the mobilization of youth organizers. In addition to these topics, the summit will also focus on, “how to ensure that all climate plans include concrete steps to ensure that transition fair and just and that people have access to the tangible benefits of climate action, including in health and in decent jobs.”

Finally, the summit will also discuss what it will take to make sure that the largest emitters are significantly cutting emissions in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

So to summarize, what the summit aims to achieve is, as Greta would say “a concrete plan, not just nice words.”

Sources: Planeta, UN Environment, The Guardian

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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