San Francisco’s Global Climate Action Summit ended on 14 September with non-state actors sending a call to action to governments ahead of the crucial COP24 in December, while highlighting their pivotal role in reducing emissions and reaching climate targets.
From 12-14 September, over 4,500 local, regional and business leaders gathered on the east coast of the US for the Global Climate Action Summit convened by California Governor Jerry Brown.
The aim of the summit was to foster bold climate action among non-state actors against the backdrop of national plans that are currently unable to meet the Paris Agreement target of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees. “The climate crisis calls for urgent action. We have seen the human impact on health, disease, famine, conflict, refugee crises, and livelihoods,” the declaration reads. “We have seen thousands of people die each year from worsening storms and floods, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires. These impacts disproportionately affect the poor, disadvantaged, and vulnerable.”
“We dedicate our actions, commitments and determination to give national leaders the confidence and assurance needed to increase their ambition and accelerate climate action by 2020 for the security of our planet, now and for generations to come,” it adds. More than 500 announcements were made at the summit itself, among which six are mentioned in the one-page document:
The summit also included UN special envoy for climate action and former mayor of New-York City Michael Bloomberg and Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate and Energy, launching a new partnership to boost Europe’s clean energy ambitions. The partnership will build on the Commission’s platform for coal regions that find themselves in transition. Launched in December 2017, the tool provides economic and technological support for 41 coal-dependent regions located in 12 European countries. With this new partnership, the Bloomberg Foundation will fund research projects aim to improve the platform’s database and enable more targeted actions.
Regional, local and business leaders, referred to as ‘non-state actors’ in UN jargon, are proving crucial to climate action as UN talks between countries over the definition of a rulebook to apply the Paris Agreement are currently embroiled in technical struggles. They also show that they can overtake unambitious, if not opposing, national governments in meeting the Paris Agreement target as a report presented 13 September by Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg finds. It finds that US cities, states, businesses and market forces are poised to trim carbon emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2025. That compares with the 26% to 28% US commitment under the Paris deal. These stakeholders are part of America’s Pledge, a climate action group with more than 3,000 US cities, states, businesses and other groups attempting to deliver on America’s Paris goal, despite president Donald Trump’s announcement to withdraw the US from the agreement. America’s Pledge now claims it is within “striking distance” of fulfilling the US climate commitment. The group is optimistic to gather enough momentum at every level of society to hinder federal efforts to stop progress on reducing emissions.
The call to action will be handed over to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during climate week, which will take place in New York from 24 to 30 September. On Friday, it was handed over to Executive Secretary of UNFCCC Patricia Espinosa.
[This article originally appeared on euractiv.com]
The best resource for all of our 21st Century Diplomacy: Foreign Policy Is Climate Policy content is the official website, hosted by the Wilson Center and adelphi. But the ECC editors are also collecting the topics here for eager readers.
What exactly triggers food riots? At which point does climate change come in? And what can we learn from analyzing the lack and impotence of government action in conflict areas? In our Editor’s Pick, we share 10 case studies from the interactive ECC Factbook that address the connections between food, the environment and conflict. They show how agriculture and rural livelihoods can affect stability in a country, which parties are involved in food conflicts and what possible solutions are on the table.
Tensions in the South China Sea increased last April when a Chinese coast guard ship sank a Vietnamese fishing boat near the Paracel Islands—a fiercely disputed territory in the South China Sea. Disputes over island territories in the region have endured for decades, with China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei all making overlapping territorial claims. The region is rich in natural resources and biodiversity, holding vast fish stocks and an estimated 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 cubic feet of natural gas.
Without a coordinated strategy to tackle flooding disasters beyond the traditional infrastructural measures and river water sharing agreements, South Asia’s woes will continue in the future.