UN Climate Summit 2019: Will it make a difference?

Friday, 27 September 20193 minute read

Last weekend the biggest climate conference ever took place in New York. But will it change anything?

In 2015 the Paris Climate Accord saw 186 participating countries agree to continually decrease their emissions year on year. It’s just not happening fast enough to meet the targets set 4 years ago.

The climate summit aimed to mobilise countries at a faster rate to commit to stabilise the temperature of our planet.

Global warming is having a far quicker effect than scientists predicted with most of us seeing the impact within our everyday lives right now. The urgency is immediate and the planet can’t wait another 5 years to halt the damage being done to it.

In response the UN Climate Summit 2019 was born.

60 world leaders had the opportunity to speak and put forward increased goals to cut global emissions.

Everything discussed was based on 9 streams of work set out by the 2015 Paris Accord Agreement. They are:

  1. Mitigation — To help the plans and actions of major emitting countries.
  2. Social and Political Drivers — Cross cutting issues, health, gender, security etc
  3. Youth and Public Mobilisation — Mobilising youth and civil society.
  4. Energy Transition — Accelerating energy transition, efficiency. Storage and access.
  5. Industry Transition — Looking at steel, cement, shipping.
  6. Infrastructure, Cities and Local Action — Low emission and resilient infrastructure.
  7. Nature Based Solutions — Forests, land based ecosystems, agriculture, food chains, rivers, lakes, oceans.
  8. Resilience and Adaptation — climate risks to public and private sectors and assure sustainability for food, water, jobs, prevent disasters and aid quick recovery in vulnerable groups.
  9. Climate finance and Carbon Pricing — Finance flows, pathways to low greenhouse emissions and climate resilient development.

You can read more about them and the countries participating at the UN official website here.

Highlights from the summit

  • Greta Thunberg’s speech was by far the most moving as the normally stoic influencer was near to tears as she held leaders to account. See her speech on YouTube.
  • Over 100 business leaders delivered concrete actions to align with the accelerated Paris Agreement targets.
  • 77 countries committed to cut greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050.
  • Over 100 cities announced significant plans to combat the climate crisis.
  • £11.6 billion was pledged by the UK for the period from 2020 to 2025 by the prime minister.

Have a look at all the outcomes from all the work streams in the summary press release.

Was this summit a success? Let’s look at what the experts say.

The Guardian speaks of Greta’s scepticism around previous promises made and the delivery of new promises from the Climate Summit conference. Ultimately time will tell although it seems time has run out.

Business Green highlight the scathing attack on the summit Leaders by the Green Groups.

The UN obviously remain optimistic and upbeat about the commitments made at their conference.

Tell us what you think in our Community.

These are big targets at a national level, but everyone can do their part to help reduce carbon emissions and help get the world to a stable place. By going green with your energy you can cut your footprint by up to half. With Pure Planet it takes just 2 minutes so there’s no excuse is there?

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