Glacier Climate Summit, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Week NYC: what to expect from this month’s climate agendaWe Mean Business
With less than 90 days left until the beginning of the 21st annual UN climate change negotiations, the low-carbon agenda is getting busier, with a series of events aimed at getting world leaders to ramp up their climate actions and deliver a strong climate deal in Paris.
This month opened with two crucial events: the Glacier Climate Summit in the Arctic and the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn.
The Glacier summit was particularly symbolic at this crucial moment because, as President Obama noted in his speech; “the Arctic is the leading edge of climate change – our leading indicator of what the entire planet faces. With representatives from the world’s major polluters – the United States, China, Russia and the European countries among others – it was the perfect occasion to raise the stakes on the urgency of climate actions.
Following the recent decision to permit some exploratory drilling in the Arctic, the Summit has stirred an emotional response. However – important progress has been made. One of the main points that came out of the final joint statement was the importance of tackling both greenhouse gas emissions and short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), such as black carbon soot, to slow down the pace of the Arctic melting.
The We Mean Business coalition has acknowledged the relevance of tackling both issues by including in its campaign two commitments to which companies can sign up: slashing SLCP emissions and joining the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and adopting emission reduction targets in line with the science.
As three big countries – China, Russia and Canada – did not sign the Glacier statement, it is clear that there is still a lot to be done in the remaining weeks between now and COP21.
UNFCCC negotiations continue
This week also sees the end of the additional UNFCCC working session in Bonn. These sessions aim to narrow down and clarify the negotiating text to be considered in Paris. Four countries – the Democratic Republic of Congo, New Zealand, Australia and Marshall Islands – presented their climate action plans during the week, showing that countries can set and meet climate targets through different actions and policies, adapting them to their specific needs and conditions.
From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals
On September 25, world leaders are expected to commit to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 167 targets, which cover a wide range of global issues, from poverty and inequality to climate change. The SDGs will provide a series of new global commitments to replace the Millennium Development Goals (whose target year was 2015), and will be officially adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York.
Climate Week NYC 2015
The seventh edition of Climate Week NYC, the high-profile international platform for climate-related events, will take place on September 21-28. This year, Climate Week will support the work of the United Nations for a Paris Agreement by being an “official, collaborative space” for climate related discussions. So far more than 50 events have been confirmed, focusing on low-carbon leadership, environmental finance and sustainable development.
All of these events will help to involve more actors, from different backgrounds, in the climate challenge and ensure that the road through Paris leads to a global low-carbon economy.