The UN Climate Action Summit brought together world leaders at the UN Headquarters in New York on 23rd September. The aim of the summit was to provide “concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.” (https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/un-climate-summit-2019.shtml)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stressed that “The best science, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, tells us that any temperature rise above 1.5 degrees will lead to major and irreversible damage to the ecosystems that support us. Science tells us that on our current path, we face at least 3-degrees Celsius of global heating by the end of the century. The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win. This is not a climate talk summit.”
World leaders spoke to the urgency of action and commitments that their countries will be making to assist developing countries to tackle climate change. CARICOM countries including Saint Lucia were represented. Also noted was the presence of youth from across the globe, participating in a climate strike as well as sixteen year old climate activist Greta Thunberg calling out world leaders on their collective action on climate change to date.
Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet referenced Ms Thunberg’s words saying: “I want to echo the sentiments and the emotion of Greta – that she could come here and condemn us all. And deservedly so.”
The Climate Summit forms part of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) being held from 17th to 30th September.