The Climate Action Summit is over. Some 70 Heads of Government, along with local and city leaders, and heads of major businesses, have delivered a series of new measures, policies and plans, aimed at making a big hollow in greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring that the warming of the planet is limited to 1.5°C.
The number of states coming frontward with reinforced national climate plans (NDCs) grew remarkably today, with commitments covering some of the global main emitters on display.
The UK, which is organizing next year’s UN Climate Conference, declared that it aims to cut emissions by 68%, compared to 1990 levels, within the next five years, and the European Union bloc committed to a 55% cut over the same time dated.
At least 24 states announced new pledges, strategies or plans to reach carbon neutrality, and several states set out how they are going even more, with resolute dates to reach net-zero: Finland by 2035, Austria by 2040 and Sweden by 2045.
Pakistan declared that its sparring plans for new coal power plants, India will soon more than double its renewable energy target, and China committed to increasing the share of non-fossil fuel in primary energy consumption to around 25% by 2030.
This link will take you to the Summit press release, with full details of the commitments made today.
These statements are a sign that there is real momentum as we head towards the next big step on the road to carbon neutrality, the COP26 UN Climate Conference, in November 2021. UN News will continue to report on the fight against the climate crisis, up to and beyond COP26 and, for more features, news stories, interviews and more, you can look through our archive, which you will find here.
What comes next?
The Summit is categorized as the preliminary gun for the “The sprint to Glasgow”, referring to the deferred UN Climate Conference (COP26) which will hold in the Scottish city in November 2021. The year-long sprint is a push for states to declare even more striving and widespread plans to curb emissions and make their economies “Greener” and more sustainable.
The virus shaped economic havoc on the world but, with the release of COVID-19 vaccines expected in 2021, economies will begin opening up, and the UN is fronting attempts to ensure that the world will “Build back better”, rather than returning to a fossil-fuel based business as usual.
To know more on UN’s vision for a cleaner future, check out the climate change website, which outlines some of the ways that the world should remake, with six climate-positive actions, including investments in sustainable jobs and businesses, ending bailouts for infecting industries and fossil-fuel grants, including climate risks and opportunities in all financial and policy decisions.
Saving the coral
Over the year, we have been searching for how people are reacting to climate change. In June, we heard from the head of a team of researchers in Hawaii, ground-breaking new techniques to preserve living coral, and eventually save the biodiversity and genetic variety of coral reefs across the world.
Mary Hagedorn told UN News that one of the key threats to coral reefs is the warming of the oceans, which causes them more acidic, and averts the coral from captivating the calcium carbonate that they need to grow.
You can go through the full story here.
Champions of the Earth
The six champions of the UN’s highest ecological award, the Champions of the Earth, were declared on Friday, glorifying some of the world’s most active environmental leaders, from pioneering scientists and captains of industry to heads of state and community activists.
These inspirational individuals include Robert Bullard, the “Father of Environmental Justice”, who has been promoting for racial equality and fair ecological and urban planning for over four decades; aboriginal rights activist and environmental activist, Nemonte Nenquimo, of the Waorani people of Pastaza in Ecuador, who took the Ecuadorian government to court, for offering huge areas of the Amazonian rainforest to oil companies; and veterinarian Dr Fabian Leendertz, a zoonotic disease specialist, whose ground-breaking investigations into pathogens like Anthrax and Ebola have explored how the contagions jump between animals and humans.
About Zulker Naeen
- Cutting trees and public consultations in Kenya during COVID-19
- When a ‘Climate Emergency’ is not enough
- Regional Energy Trends: A comparison of the five countries analysed
- Future of Venice lies among the fragile habitats of its Lagoon, threatened by man and climate change.
- Egypt’s air pollution is making my daughter sick
To Read, Japan’s threatened fields of green.
Tea farmers in the Asian country have long enjoyed a very stable and predictable climate, but as global warming and Covid-19 upends that equilibrium, they respond with new ways to farm and sell their products.
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