Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the Climate Summit 2014 starting this week at UN headquarters in NYC. The purpose of the Summit is to engage leaders and advance climate action. The UN's ultimate objective is to rally international support for an ambitious global agreement by 2015 that limits the world to less than a 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature. The Summit will serve as a public platform for leaders at the highest level—all UN Member States, as well as finance, business, civil society, and local leaders from public and private sectors—to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement.
On Sunday, climate change advocates, frustrated with international inaction on global warming, marched through the streets of Manhattan. An estimated 311,000 people marched the 2.2 mile route in NYC, making the event the largest climate-related event in history. Many other rallies around the world called on governments for change.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry provided opening remarks to launch a week of climate change talks in NYC yesterday, saying he's hopeful the discussions will set the tone for upcoming negotiations on an international agreement. Some 125 countries will attend the Summit, according to the Climate Group, which is organizing the event.
According to the UN and the International Energy Agency, governments must agree to emission cuts to foster development of renewable energy and low-carbon energy sources. Green energy will require investments of an estimated $1 trillion annually to limit warming to 2 degrees and minimize the climate change worst case scenarios. Clean energy investments over the past year are estimated at $254 billion.
Another critical issue to be addressed this week among public and private sector representatives is carbon pricing. The World Bank reports that about 40 countris and 20 cities have carbon pricing policies or plan to put them in place soon. On a related note, an estimated 30 companies are expected to commit to business leadership criteria on carbon pricing developed by several UN entities in cooperation with The Climate Group and the CDP.
More information about the Summit and related news can be viewed at http://www.climateweeknyc.org.