A last ditch effort is underway to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. On September 23, the UN convened an urgent meeting to increase climate action. In addition to showcasing new initiatives, this event was also an opportunity to tell the world that we must do more to combat climate change. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for action from government, business and civil society.
To have a chance of keeping temperatures from rising beyond safe limits we will have to see 45 percent emissions reductions by 2030 and emissions will have to zero-out by mid-century.
Political leaders and CEOs are among those who were present. However, the person capturing most of the headlines was Greta Thunberg. She was also in attendance at the Climate Strike and the Youth Summit which took place on Saturday, September 21.
“The [Climate Action] Summit will present practical and new measures to, one: speed up the transition from coal to clean energy and to cut the pollution that is harming our health,” Amina J. Mohammed, the UN Deputy Secretary-General said, adding that we not only need to “protect nature but also unlock the potential of nature to deliver on climate solutions” and “create cleaner, greener ways to work and move; speed up transition in key sectors from grey to green economies, safeguard people from the impacts of climate change already being felt right now, and help make sure that we leave no one behind.”
We are making progress in clean energy and many places around the world are greening their economies but we need to move much faster and go much further to keep temperatures from surpassing critical thresholds. There is still time but only if we make a consorted global effort.