An unforgettable September, a crucial month for climate protection commitments. From the week of the United Nations General Assembly to the last meeting before the COP, the last month was an important time to build momentum ahead of the crucial UN climate change conference COP26 in early November.
UN News has compiled a list of the seven most important climate protection highlights that you should know.
1. Billions planned for clean energy
More than $ 400 billion in new funding and investment was pledged by governments and the private sector during the United Nations High-Level Energy Dialogue, the first leadership-level meeting on energy under the auspices of the UN General Assembly in 40 years.
More than 35 countries, from island states to large emerging and industrialized countries, have made ** significant new energy commitments ** in the form of energy pacts.
For example the No new coal pact includes Sri Lanka, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain and Montenegro.
The countries participating in the coalition have committed to immediately stop issuing new permits for coal-fired power generation projects and the construction of new coal-fired power plants from the end of 2021.
Several new partnership initiatives were announced during the event, aiming to provide and improve access to reliable electricity for over a billion people.
You can find out more about the important commitments here here
2. USA and China have stepped up climate protection
Air pollution from coal-fired power plants is linked to global warming and other harmful effects on the environment and public health.
The world’s two largest economies committed to more ambitious climate action during the high-level week of the General Assembly.
US President Jose Biden announced that his country would significantly increase its international climate finance to around $ 11.4 billion a year.
Chinese President Xi Jinping meanwhile said he would end funding for coal-fired power plants abroad and redirect support to green and low-carbon power generation.
The announcements were very welcome, but the UN Secretary General marked the there is still “a long way to go”“To make the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow a success that will ensure” a turning point in our joint efforts to tackle the climate crisis “.
3. The Africa Climate Week spurred regional measures
Extreme weather such as widespread droughts cause economic losses for farmers in Africa.
People all over Africa met virtually for several days to draw attention to climate protection, explore possibilities and present ambitious solutions.
More than 1,600 participants actively participated in the virtual meeting, with the host government of Uganda bringing together governments from all levels of the region along with private sector leaders, academic experts and other key stakeholders.
Janet Rogan, COP26 Regional Ambassador for Africa and the Middle East, said the meeting had enabled many stakeholders to build new partnerships and strengthen existing ones.
“Only when we work together can we really contribute to the ambitions of the Paris Agreement In doing so, they are aware of the unique opportunities and challenges that this brings with it in the region, ”she said.
UN agencies were involved:
The World Bank has examined macroeconomic approaches to sustainable, green recovery
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) examined how both climate risk and climate solutions are reshaping different sectors
The UN Environment Program (UNEP) reimagined the future, exploring behaviors, technologies, and finance
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its first ever Inventory of Africa’s forests and landscapes This shows that up to 65 percent of the productive land is degraded, while 45 percent of the land area of Africa is affected by desertification.
Africa has contributed little to climate change and caused only a small fraction of global emissions. ** However, it is possibly the most vulnerable region in the world ** suffering from droughts, floods and devastating locust invasions, among others.
4. COP host, UK urged countries to “secure the money”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland speaks at the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called one right at the start of the General Assembly Emergency meeting to push for more climate finance and other measures in the run-up to UN COP26.
World leaders have addressed the remaining gaps in mitigation, funding and adaptation measures required by national governments, particularly the G20 industrialized nations.
The UK Prime Minister warned that “history will judge the world’s richest nations” if they fail to deliver on their pledge to provide $ 100 billion in annual climate aid ahead of COP26. He estimated the chances of securing the money before November at “six out of 10”.
Mr Johnson also assured that his country “will lead by example, keep the environment on the global agenda and serve as the starting point for a global green industrial revolution”. But warned: “No country can turn the tide, it would be like saving a liner with a single bucket.”
5. World leaders are committed to reforming global food systems
Food waste, here in the Lira market in Uganda, is a major challenge for farmers and sellers alike.
Food systems cause up to a third of greenhouse gas emissions, up to 80 percent of the loss of biodiversity and consume up to 70 percent of freshwater reserves.
However, sustainable food production systems should be recognized as an essential solution to these existing challenges.
On September 23, the first UN Food System Summit brought together world leaders to encourage national and regional action to change the way we produce, consume and dispose of our food.
After current IPCC reportwhich raised a “Code Red” for man-made global warming, the US government, one of the largest agricultural producers in the world, $ 10 billion pledged over five years to fight climate change and help feed the most vulnerable without depleting natural resources.
The summit, which in 2019 was called by the UN Secretary-General to accelerate global progress by harnessing the interconnected importance of food systems, included further commitments from more than 85 heads of state from around the world.
Many countries announced national initiatives to ensure that their food systems not only meet the nutritional needs of their populations, but also meet goals related to climate change, biodiversity and decent livelihoods for all. Businesses and civil society organizations also made important promises.
Visit the 231 obligations made.
6. No more “blah, blah, blah”
As part of the Fridays for Future school strikes, young people are protesting for climate protection in Geneva in 2019. (File)
Almost 400 activists between the ages of 15 and 29 from 186 countries met a few days ago in Milan, Italy, to stimulate the call for climate protection. Weeks before COP26, they highlighted youth leadership and pushed for a far more climate-conscious society.
Greta Thunberg and Ugandan environmentalist Vanessa Nakate were among the speakers at the Youth4Climate event organized by Italy and the World Bank group.
“Build better. Bla bla bla. Green economy. bla bla bla. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah. That is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words that sound great but have not yet led to action. Our hopes and ambitions drown in empty promises, ”said Thunberg.
“No more empty conferences, it’s time to show us the money,” added Nakate, 24, referring to the $ 100 billion in annual climate aid promised by the richest economists to help developing countries, those of the Impacts of climate change are affected.
“What do we want? We want climate justice now,” emphasized Thunberg, who has been known since 2018 for inspiring a series of youth climate strikes around the world.
The three day meeting ended with a joint document to be presented at negotiating sessions during the preparatory meeting of COP26, the pre-COP and then during the central conference.
UN chief António Guterres thanked young people Bringing ideas and solutions in the run-up to the UN climate conference.
“Young people have been at the forefront of proposing positive solutions, advocating climate justice and holding leaders accountable. We need young people everywhere who continue to speak out, ”he said in a video message.
7. Next commitments to look at: the pre-COP
UN Secretary General António Guterres attends a virtual briefing to inform member states about preparations for COP26 in Glasgow, UK.
Every UN Climate Change Conference (COP) is preceded by a preparatory meeting called Pre-COP that was held about a month earlier. The meeting is the final formal, multilateral opportunity for ministers to fine-tune the negotiations ahead of the Glasgow meeting in November.
The event, which takes place in Milan this year, brings together climate and energy ministers from a select group of countries to discuss and exchange some key political aspects of the negotiations and to address some of the key issues that will be addressed at COP26.
The meeting comes just weeks after a UN climate change report finds that nations urgently need to redouble their climate efforts to prevent global temperatures from rising above the Paris Agreement target of 2 ° C – ideally 1.5 ° C – by the end of the century.
The following topics are discussed in Milan:
Reducing emissions to ensure the 1.5C target stays within reach
Providing funding and support to developing countries so that they can act against climate change
Improving approaches to averting, minimizing and coping with losses and damage caused by climate extremes
Establish a global target for adaptation to reduce vulnerability
Improving the technical details that countries need to report on their climate protection measures and the support needed or received
Further develop the detailed rules for market and non-market mechanisms through which countries can work together to meet their emission reduction targets
The conference started on September 30th and closed on October 2nd.