UN climate summit in New York 2023 – climate ambitions

Szczyt klimatyczny ONZ

Representatives from governments, local governments, business, social and financial organizations will meet at UN headquarters in New York on September 20, 2023 to discuss the worsening environmental crisis. The meeting is in response to disturbing reports by the International Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Is there a chance that the next UN climate summit will bring a breakthrough?

Climate ambitions – keynote of the assembly

December 2022. UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced an international meeting to accelerate changes to save the world from disaster. It was called the Climate Ambition Summit to reflect the proactive approach of the participants. According to the organizers, the first visionaries and activists will report on how they are responding to the challenges set before them.

The September UN Climate Summit is being held in parallel with the second Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit and precedes the highly anticipated COP28 Climate Conference, which will take place from November 30 to December 12, 2023. Dubai. Optimistic analysts believe the New York meeting will be a catalyst for further talks.

UN climate summit
UN climate summit in New York 2023 - climate ambitions 1

Three directions, or how September’s UN climate summit will go

In order to streamline deliberations, participants will work under three separate but related “acceleration tracks.” The working names are: Ambition, Credibility and Implementation. The first is exclusively for government representatives, especially from the countries responsible for the largest greenhouse gas emissions. Their representatives will present new, more ambitious proposals for contributions (set at the national level, the so-called NDCs) to a zero-carbon economy and energy transition. In particular, declarations are expected on reducing coal, gas and oil consumption.

As part of the Credibility track, representatives from the business sphere, local governments and financial institutions will present transformation plans aligned with the standards set forth in the 2022 UN Integrity Matters document. In particular, it calls for realistic targets for 2025 and 2030 for Scope 3 emissions (i.e., those generated by product use, travel, transportation, etc.) and fossil fuel extinction. Participants are also expected to publicly declare support for pro-climate measures based on scientific facts.

The New York UN Climate Summit, under the Implementation track, will invite a wide range of institutions and organizations from the public and private sectors. The goal will be to present existing and planned partnerships to implement ambitious intentions on two key issues: decarbonizing high-emission sectors and implementing climate justice. The latter concept refers to the reform of the international financial system, the development of early warning systems, adaptation, and reimbursement for losses and damages.

UN climate summit – what is the need for action?

The UN climate summit, which is beginning, appears to be a much-needed response to the IPCC’s “Climate Change 2023” report. Current environmental data does not inspire optimism.

Global greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic sources have not stopped growing. According to the report’s authors, in 2019. were 12% higher than 2010. and up to 54% higher than in 1990. Carbon dioxide from combustion and industrial processes was the largest contributor. Human activity has unequivocally contributed to a 1.1°C warming of the Earth’s surface between the period 1850-1900 and 2011-2020. This caused the sea level to rise by 20 cm compared to 1901.

Up to 3.3-3.6 billion people live in an environment vulnerable to climate change. In these regions, mortality, due to floods, storms and drought, was 15 times higher than in other areas in the past decade. The incidence of waterborne and foodborne diseases associated with a warming climate has also increased.

UN experts blame human activity for rising pH levels in the upper layers of the oceans and extreme temperatures. The latter have already caused the extinction of hundreds of local species on land and in water. Glaciers are constantly melting, and meteorologists are seeing an increase in heavy precipitation.

What can be expected from Climate Ambition?

Secretary Guterres openly stipulated that the planned UN climate summit would not tolerate derogation, greenwashing and blame-shifting, or rewriting of past declarations. The overarching goal is to oblige world leaders to step forward to increase the pace of change. Pro-climate actions are to become serious, credible and tangible, according to Guterres.

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