External Press Release / 23 Sep, 2019
UN Summit Delivers New Pathways to Shift Climate Action into Higher Gear

New York, 23 September—Leaders from government, business and civil society have announced potentially far-reaching steps to confront climate change at the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York.

As carbon pollution, temperatures and climate destruction continue to rise, and public backlash mounts, the Summit has offered a turning point from inertia into momentum, action and global impact – if everyone gets on board.

The UN estimates that the world would need to increase its efforts between three- and five-fold to contain climate change to the levels dictated by science – a 1.5°C rise at most – and avoid escalating climate damage already taking place around the world.

However, the Paris Agreement provides an open-door framework for countries to continuously ratchet up their positive actions, and today’s Summit demonstrates how governments, businesses and civilians around the world are rising to the challenge.

“The best science, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, tells us that any temperature rise above 1.5 degrees will lead to major and irreversible damage to the ecosystems that support us,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “Science tells us that on our current path, we face at least 3-degrees Celsius of global heating by the end of the century.”

“The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.”

“This is not a climate talk summit. We have had enough talk,” he added. “This is not a climate negotiation summit. You don’t negotiate with nature. This is a climate action summit.”

He said, “Governments are here to show you are serious about enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. Cities and businesses are here showing what leadership looks like, investing in a green future. Financial actors are here to scale-up action and deploy resources in fundamentally new and meaningful ways. Coalitions are here with partnerships and initiatives to move us closer to a resilient, carbon-neutral world by 2050.”

“And young people are here providing solutions, insisting on accountability, demanding urgent action.”

Concrete Announcements Made in New York

  • Read the UN press release with announcements here
     
  • The 28 new initiatives that are being presented today to United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres at the Climate Action Summit can seen here on the Global Climate Action Portal
     
  • See the outcomes of the Climate Ambition Alliance led by Chile, with support of UNFCCC and UNDP (Annex 1 captures action by countries to improve their national climate aciton plans, and Annex 2 captures the 2050 net-zero CO2 emission goals of countries, regions, cities and businesses) here.
     
  • A number of countries made new financial commitments to Green Climate Fund at the Summit. See the details here.