WASHINGTON: With the world on track to break the record for the hottest year in history, world leaders, business leaders, celebrities and activists have converged on midtown Manhattan for Climate Week and the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit, again focusing the world’s attention on the climate crisis. The annual climate gathering coincides with the start of the United Nations General Assembly, bringing heads of state and top government officials together with private-sector leaders to focus on climate change in a year marked by a record number of billion-dollar disasters, including eight severe floods.
The main event will take place Wednesday (September 20) when U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will host his own Climate Action Summit, a high-profile event meant to reverse backsliding on Paris climate agreement goals and to encourage governments to adopt serious new actions to combat climate change. Selwin Hart, special adviser on climate to the secretary-general, said in an interview,
There is lingering doubt that … we can meet our climate goals. There is too much backtracking; so we’re really hoping that this summit can be used as a moment to inspire people.
As of Monday, the U.N. had not announced which world leaders or officials would get one of the coveted speaking slots at the climate summit. Over 100 countries’ officials have told Guterres they want to speak, but his team has been weeding out the applications over the last few days, prioritizing countries that plan new actions to advance their previous climate targets.
Hart said the assignment of speaking slots was not intended to embarrass any leaders or country, but to show that these are the first that are getting things done.
The meeting comes 10 weeks before the COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates, and is one of the last high-profile gatherings aimed at getting countries to come forward with new climate actions and plans to shift away from fossil fuels after the G7, G20 and meeting of the BRICs countries – Brazil, China, South Africa, India and Russia – fell short of getting leaders to agree to phase out fossil fuels.
The nearly 40-member Alliance of Small Island States will use Climate Week as a platform to call on the leaders of developed countries to make stronger moves to end the use of fossil fuels and to support the global ramp-up of renewable energy such as wind, geothermal and solar power. Using the acronym for the U.N. General Assembly, it said,
It is disheartening to witness the lack of ambition on what truly ails us – emissions from fossil fuels,” the small islands alliance said in a statement. “We implore the international community to use the platforms of the UNGA and New York Climate Week to signal unequivocal support for Small Island Developing States.
Climate Week has become a focal point for climate protestors eager to call out what they see as government inaction and industry greenwashing – corporations advertising environmental-friendly actions while continuing to pollute — amid glossy events and high-level speeches.
As many as 75,000 activists marched through midtown Manhattan on Sunday calling for an end to fossil fuels, while hundreds of protestors planned disruptive action near Wall Street on Monday to demand an end to fossil fuel financing. Romain Ioualalen, global diplomacy manager at Oil Change International, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) focused on phasing out fossil fuel production said,
We’ve had enough false promises, greenwashing, and half measures. Countries must deliver by coming to the Summit with clear plans to immediately end oil and gas expansion and policies for a fast and fair phase out of all fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, at several hotel ballrooms and other venues across Manhattan, around 2,600 people have registered for in-person attendance at Climate Week events featuring over 200 speakers from the private sector, governments and nongovernmentalion (NGOs.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.