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Highlights of United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 in US

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The 74th edition of United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit 2019 was held in the General Assembly Hall of the UN Headquarters in New York, United States on September 23, 2019. It was hosted/convened by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres in order to meet the urgent need to address climate change; to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and to galvanize action that can limit climate change to 2°C and even to 1.5°C. Luis Alfonso de Alba was the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit.

The theme of this summit was “Climate Action Summit 2019: A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win”.

climate-action-summit-2019Key Points:

  • The Climate Investment Platform (CIP) was officially announced which will seek to directly mobilize US$ 1 trillion in clean energy investment by 2025 in 20 Least Developed Countries in its first year.
  • The leaders across the globe were invited to the summit with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.
  • The Summit brought together governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities and other international organizations to develop ambitious solutions.
  • Indian delegation: Indian Prime Minister (PM) Mr Narendra Modi, Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar were among the participants of the Indian delegation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Climate Action Summit 2019
Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi addressed the Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York, United States. Following are the highlightsNarendra Modi addresses the Climate Action Summit 2019
i. Success of the clean cooking gas initiative which positively impacted the lives of 150 million families, particularly women and children was pointed.

PM launched Global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

  • PM launched a global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) which aims to achieve the objectives of expanding universal access to basic services and enable prosperity as enshrined in the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
  • He urged the member states to join it.
  • It will uphold the UN Agenda 2030 principle.

PM’s address at 1st UNGA
Prime Minister Modi addressed the first-ever United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) high-level meeting on universal health coverage which was held under the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World” which is aimed to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC).

  • PM spoke on the various initiatives taken by the government in India to improve the health sector.
  • “Water Conservation Campaign” is targeted to solve the water crisis situation and approximately $50 billion will be spent to ensure water security.
  • India has aimed to eradicate Tuberculosis (TB) by 2025, ahead of the UN deadline of 2030 in its SDGs.

Vaccine Hero Award 2019

  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was conferred with the prestigious ‘Vaccine Hero’ award 2019 in recognition of the country’s outstanding success in vaccination, especially for her role in eliminating polio, cholera and various communicable diseases at a ceremony at the UN Headquarters in New York on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
  • She received the award from Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisations (GAVI) Board Chair Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Other highlights

  • Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old climate crusader, delivered a very powerful speech at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019.
  • The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25 in Santiago, Chile from December 2-13, 2019.

Advisory committees
There were 3 key advisory committees namely Steering Committee, Climate Science Advisory Group and Ambition Advisory Group.

  • Steering Committee consisted of 25 members and it was chaired by the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for the 2019 Climate Action Summit Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba.
  • The Climate Science Advisory Group was co-chaired by Mr. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Ms. Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) School of Advanced Studies (SAS), New Delhi.
  • The Ambition Advisory Group was co-chaired by Ms. Laurence Tubiana, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the European Climate Foundation and Mr. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of the Global Climate & Energy Practice at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Paris Agreement

  • It is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed on 22 April 2016. It was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the UNFCCC in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.
  • The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise in this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

New Leadership Group for Industry Transition

  • A new Leadership Group for Industry Transition was launched at the summit to guide the world’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitting industries towards low-carbon economy.
  • It is led by India and Sweden together with Argentina, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Korea and the United Kingdom (UK), as well as a group of companies.
  • It is supported by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), Mission Innovation, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and the European Climate Foundation (ECF) among many others.
  • It focuses on 3 central pillars- Public private collaboration, Industry commitment and Innovation & technology exchange.

UN 77 countries vow carbon neutrality by 2050: UN

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres notified that 77 countries vowed to achieve net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050. 70 countries announced they will either boost their national action plans by 2020 or have started the process of doing so.
  • The UN estimates that the world needs to increase its current efforts five-fold to contain climate change to the levels dictated by science – a rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100 to avoid escalating climate damage.

About United Nations:
Founded: 1945
Headquarters: New York City, US