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United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 - Europa Newswire

Sep 25, 2019 News, Secretary General, United Nations , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Climate Action Summit 2019 at United Nations. Photo: Lev Radin/EuropaNewswire


by Kunzang Lhamo

Last Monday marked the conclusion of United Nation Climate Action Summit 2019, which took
place in New York City. The Summit was attended by numerous heads of state, business
leaders, young activists, people representatives and philanthropists. The theme of this year’s
summit was “A Race We can Win. A Race We Must Win”. UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres hosted the summit to mobilize different states, companies, investors and citizens to
take actions that can help mitigate the negative effects of climate change around the world. He
stated “I want to hear about how we are going to stop the increase in emissions by 2020, and
dramatically reduce emissions to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century”. Secretary-General
in his concluding remarks at the summit stated that 77 countries have announced plans to
achieve net zero emissions by 2050. He also mentioned that 70 other countries announced their
plans to either develop or boost their efforts to green action plans.
The summit aimed at challenging the different world leaders, companies and individuals to
transition to clean energy with much greater agency, create more sustainable cities and
agricultural practices, and greater management of the forest and oceans. The summit on the
23rd of September started with the opening remarks of the UN Secretary-General followed by
testimonials from three youth activists, including the 16 year old Swedish activist, Greta
Thunberg. Ms. Thunberg warned the state and business leaders, “You are failing us, but the
young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are
upon you. If you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you”. Following the testimonials,
various heads of state, mayors, business leaders, people representatives, and philanthropists
announced their ambitious action plans to fight climate change. 30 countries, 22 states, and 21
companies announced their commitment to stop their reliance on coal by 2050. Over 100
business leaders of major corporations have announced concrete actions to abide by the Paris
Agreement, and end investments in carbon-intensive industries by 2050. Prominent
philanthropist, Bill Gates, announced $790 Million in funds to help small farmers around the
world adapt to the changes brought about by climate change. Among the 77 countries which
announced to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the biggest pledges were made by many
small developing island nations and underdeveloped countries, such as the Marshall Islands,
Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Bhutan. Over 100 different cities also announced concrete and
significant steps to fight climate change.
Among the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, India announced to increase renewable energy
capacity to 175 GigaWatts by 2022 and committed to further increasing to 450 GigaWatts.
China announced to cut annual emissions by over 12 billion tons. United States of America did
not announce any new commitment or action plans. The US President, Donald Trump,
unexpectedly and briefly showed up at the Climate Action Summit, but did not request to speak
at the summit. Mr. Micheal R. Bloomberg, United Nations Special Envoy for Climate, in his
welcome remarks, addressed the U.S. president by saying “Hopefully our discussions here will
be useful for you when you formulate climate policy”. This statement was immediately followed
by applause from the audience.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his concluding remarks addressed the
assembly by saying, “You have delivered a boost in momentum, cooperation and ambition. But
we have a long way to go.” He also added, “We need more concrete plans, more ambition from
more countries and more businesses. We need all financial institutions, public and private, to
choose, once and for all, the green economy”.

Source: EuropaNewswire

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