According to a report launched by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.50C above pre Industrial Levels, it is an urgent matter that the industry limits the global warming to 1.50C by the end of this century to avoid irreversible and catastrophic impacts.
Yet, Mr Guterres launched a report focusing on the future and forward of 2020 highlighting that the “initial national climate pledges made under the Paris Agreement are inadequate.”
Thus, responding to the urgency of acting against this backdrop, the UN Secretary General, during the Climate Action Summit, paid attention to the possibility of worsening climate crisis and to forge new pathways ahead to support the achievement of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
# 9 key action areas
Consequently, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the participants of the Summit focused on nine key action areas:
- youth and public mobilization;
- social and political drivers;
- energy transition;
- finance and carbon pricing;
- resilience and adaptation;
- nature-based solutions;
- industry transition;
- mitigation strategy;
- cities infrastructure and local action.
Moreover, for additional guidance and oversight of the Summit, the Sec-Gen issued a Steering Committee, consisting of heads of United Nations agencies and international organizations, and business, as well as academia and civil society representatives, a Science Advisory Group, and an Ambition Advisory Group, composed of eminent leaders and experts in the field of climate change.
These groups met to discuss key issues in the preparation of the Summit and provided advice to the Secretary-General and coalitions to support development of ambitious initiatives for climate action.
In addition, the Summit issued 12 goals that must be achieved to save the environment and the people.
- Plans for a carbon neutral world
- Climate finance
- Powering the future from coal to clean
- Unlocking the potential of nature in climate action
- Towards a resilient future
- Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
- Live, Work and Move Green
- Cutting GHG emissions now with cooling and energy efficient
- Adapting now: making people safer
- Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
- People-Centered Action Now
- The economy, moving from grey to green
In the meantime, the UN issued its Emissions Gap Report for 2019 highlighting that the world is heading for a 3.2 degrees Celsius global temperature rise over pre-industrial levels, leading to even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts, even if countries meet commitments in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement.
#Priorities for 2020
Therefore, following the discussions around the environment and steps to be taken to enhance shipping’s and the world’s actions in favour of the environment, the Sec-Gen’s report presented the priority areas for actions in 2020:
- Securing commitments of the main emitters to increase ambition of their NDCs by 2020 with the view of cutting CO2 emissions by at least 45%.
- Reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
- Deepening the ambition of NDCs with sectors that were not fully part of the picture in 2015 such as NatureBased Solutions, cutting hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) emissions (cooling); and sub-national action.
- Addressing the social dimension of climate change: ensuring that the policies and measures under NDCs design a just transition for those whose jobs and livelihoods will be impacted by the transition towards a carbon neutral world.
- Curtailing current coal capacity and ensuring no more new coal power plants are built after 2020. It will be important to organize a collective support system to help developing countries to find viable alternatives to coal.
- Accelerating the transition to 100% renewable energy not only though the phasing-out of coal but also with a focus on the urgent needs: the improvement of energy efficiency; the expansion of renewable energy for electrification; and the deep decarbonization of the transport sector.
- Accelerating the shift of the financial flows, keep pushing on carbon pricing and ensure access to sustainable finance.
- Stepping-up support for people affected by climate change and making the shift towards a resilient future.
- Delivering on commitments made at the Summit to SIDS and LDCs. For AOSIS, this means receiving the support needed to produce new more ambitious NDCs by 2020 and have access to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 and find a resolution to the issue of debt swaps. For LDCs, this entails to have access to finance for investments in infrastructure and the necessary support to produce plans to 2050 net zero strategies.
- Implementing the Summit’s initiatives aiming at the deep decarbonization of key economic sectors.
Concluding, to learn more on the Sec-Gen's views throughout what it was agreed on during the Climate Action Summit click herebelow