Some of the many highlights, and a few positive news, from the UN Climate Action Summit that took place in New York on September 21st to September 23rd, 2019:
- 2015-2019 have been the five hottest years ever. According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, nature is angry, and nature is striking back: “Seas are rising, and oceans are acidifying. Glaciers are melting, and corals are bleaching. Droughts are spreading, and wildfires are burning. Deserts are expanding, and access to water is dwindling. Heatwaves are scorching, and natural disasters are multiplying. Storms everywhere are more intense, more frequent, more deadly. I ́ve seen it with my own eyes.”
- New Zealand ́s gross emissions peaked in 2006. Over 80% of New Zealand’s electricity already comes from renewable hydro and wind. New Zealand has begun an ambitious agenda according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Furthermore, New Zealand is strengthening its ETS (emissions trading scheme) and aims to plant one billion (1.000.000.000) trees by 2028, and has a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2023 along with many other ambitious actions.
- The Marshall Islands is one of the world ́s most ambitious countries in the world when it comes to fighting the climate crisis. The Marshall Islands has declared a national climate crisis. President of the Marshall Islands, Hilda Heine, wants to empower girls and women in the fight for climate justice.
- Iceland already runs 100% on renewable energy.
- Finland targets at becoming carbon neutral by 2033, and carbon negative by 2035. The climate program of Finland ́s new government (2019-2023) is one of the most ambitious in the world.
- Pakistan has planted 1 BILLION trees within a short time period and is about to plant another 10 BILLION trees in the near future, although the country is responsible for “only” 1% of total global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.
- The businesses, states, and cities that are targeting net zero emissions and combating climate change in the United States together form the 4th largest economy in the world. According to Michael Bloomberg, since Beyond Coal was launched in 2011, more than half of coal plants in the U.S. have been closed: 297 out of 530. Net-zero emissions is an ambitious but achievable goal, states Bloomberg. Bloomberg Philanthropies targets at phasing out coal in the whole world for instance by working together with countries around the world to accelerate new clean energy projects and by bringing together public and private sector leaders.
- The Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, states that the city targets net-zero emissions through ambitious climate action, for instance by reducing emissions by 55% by 2030. Montreal has also launched a project called “Zero Carbon Building”. Furthermore, when combating climate change it is important to keep in mind the interconnection between climate change and social injustice, and problems that need to be taken care of.
- Germany announces new climate protection package: “Germany’s coalition government plans to invest 54 BILLION euros to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The new climate protection package includes incentives for buying electric cars and measures to help households transition from using heating oil”. Currently, Germany alone accounts for 2% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
Watch the whole UN Climate Action Summit 2019 here: