Next Monday September 23, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, is hosting the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York to address the global climate emergency.
Mr. Guterres is calling on all countries to come ready to announce the plans they will set next year to reduce their GHG emissions by 45% by 2030 and to net zero emissions by 2050. He is also calling on countries to end fossil fuel subsidies and ban new coal plants after 2020.
The Summit will bring together governments, business, civil society, youth, local authorities and international organizations to develop solutions across various areas including renewable energy, infrastructure and cities, agriculture, forests and oceans.
The timing of the summit is crucial as global emissions continue to rise. Despite countries committing to limit global heating to well below 2 degrees Celsius of the Paris Agreement, the current round of emission reduction pledges puts us on a track for roughly 3 degrees of warming this century.
The last few years have been the hottest on record and we are increasingly witnessing the devastating impacts of climate change. The category 5 Hurricane Dorian, which recently slammed into The Bahamas, shows that one degree of warming is already making extreme weather events more intense and that warming must be limited to 1.5 degrees.
There is still time to achieve this goal, but the window is closing rapidly, and we need a massive effort from all economic sectors.
Various LAC heads of state will be participating
Around sixty heads of states, including various leaders from LAC countries such as Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama are expected to attend. There will also be a Youth Climate Summit on September 21 where more than 500 young people will attend including Greta Thunberg.
Many countries including Chile, Peru, Jamaica, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico and Santa Lucia are actively supporting the preparations for the Summit, which will focus on nine tracks with support from international organizations, business and NGOs.
For example, Chile as the incoming president of COP25, is working with international organizations to enhance efforts to reduce emissions of major emitting countries. Jamaica, France and Qatar are working on climate finance and carbon pricing to showcase how aligning public and private finance with low emission and climate-resilient development is possible.
How is the IDB is supporting LAC countries deliver on the Paris Agreement and SDGs
The IDB is working proactively with LAC countries to support a just transition towards low carbon and climate resilient economies.
Through the NDC Invest platform, which offers countries a comprehensive package to support the implementation of their national climate plans, the bank is working in 25 LAC countries on 153 projects. In Costa Rica, for example, it supported the drafting process of the 2050 decarbonization plan, which aims to achieve a net zero emission economy by 2050.
This year, the bank also worked with Chile on the launch of the first sovereign green bond in the Americas for USD 1.4 billion. It is also supporting countries, especially in the Caribbean, to increase their resilience to climate impacts and rebuild after extreme weather events.
There are growing signs that LAC countries view climate action as a powerful way to boost innovation, close the infrastructure gap, build resilience and deliver on the SDGs. In New York, this appetite to build a low carbon and climate-resilient future will be very much on display.
Photo Copyright: Unsplash – @robertbye