The world is at a pivotal moment in the fight to protect our planet, and the momentum is about to reach new heights. Leaders, industry giants, and experts from around the globe gathered for the Climate Ambition Summit on September 20. The stakes couldn’t be higher, as nearly all environmental indicators are off-course or worsening. The consequences of climate change, from extreme weather displacing millions to escalating global temperatures and devastating wildfires, demand urgent action.
CLIMATE AMBITION SUMMIT; HOPE FOR CHANGE
Despite these challenges, there is hope for change. A significant aspect that sets this summit apart is its exclusive focus on ‘first movers and doers.’ These are the leaders who have heeded the call of the Secretary-General to accelerate efforts to combat the climate crisis. The attendees include national and local governments, business leaders, financial institutions, and representatives of civil society, all bringing forth credible and ambitious actions, plans, and policies. The aim of this summit is clear: to champion solutions and inspire more leaders to join this league of ‘first movers and doers.’
CLIMATE AMBITION SUMMIT; FIVE KEY TAKEAWAYS
- Time’s Up; the climate crisis knows no borders, affecting people and nations worldwide. Shockingly, half of the world’s population already resides in danger zones, where they are 15 times more likely to succumb to climate-related impacts, according to the UN. Over the past five decades, nearly 70 percent of deaths resulting from climate-driven disasters occurred in the world’s 46 least developed countries.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasizes that we have transitioned from an era of global warming to one of global boiling, with unbearable heat and unbreathable air. The urgent need for leaders to take action is undeniable. No more hesitations, excuses, or waiting for others to act – there’s simply no time left for that.
- A No-Nonsense Summit
The UN chief made it clear when he announced this global event that it would be a ‘no-nonsense summit’ with no room for exceptions or compromises. Backed by a growing coalition of nations, influencers, and leaders, progress is evident. Since 2015, the number of countries with national disaster risk reduction strategies has more than doubled. Initiatives like the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Acceleration Agenda are gaining traction.
This agenda, launched earlier this year, outlines the tasks for governments, businesses, and finance leaders in 2023. It calls for accelerated efforts, an end to new coal commitments, and a commitment to achieving net-zero emissions – the balance between carbon emissions and removal from the atmosphere.
Limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is essential to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.
- Cleaner Ambitions
Government leaders, especially major emitters, are expected to provide updates on their commitments to landmark treaties like the Paris Agreement. Action plans, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), will be crucial. These plans will include net-zero targets and pledges to support developing countries through the Green Climate Fund.
All major emitters, especially G20 nations, will be urged to commit to presenting more ambitious NDCs with absolute emissions cuts across all gases by 2025.
- Goodbye Greenwashing
Leaders in the business world, cities, regions, and financial institutions will be under scrutiny to align their transition plans with UN-backed credibility standards, as outlined in the Integrity Matters report. These standards for voluntary net-zero pledges are fully aligned with the goal of limiting global heating to 1.5°C. The report calls for strategies to phase out fossil fuels, emissions reductions, and public advocacy for science-based climate action.
- Climate Justice Now!
The ultimate goal is climate justice, which involves addressing the disparity between the world’s smallest polluters and the largest emitters, especially the G20 countries. Summit participants will discuss the challenges and opportunities in decarbonising high-emitting sectors such as energy, shipping, aviation, steel, and cement industries.
CLIMATE AMBITION SUMMIT; ACTIONS
Concrete actions will be unveiled to ensure climate justice, including protecting more people from climate disasters by 2027 and doubling adaptation finance by 2025. Discussions will also centre on operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund, a groundbreaking financing arrangement to aid vulnerable nations in the face of climate change.”