Action Areas / Summit Announcements

At the Climate Summit on September 23rd 2014 in New York, at the invite of the UN Secretary-General, global leaders from Government, business, finance and civil society came together to announce bold commitments to action in areas that are critical for keeping global temperature increases to less than two degrees Celsius.

The eight Action Areas are:

Agriculture | Cities | Energy | Financing | Forests | Industry | Resilience | Transportation


Agriculture

The Issue

Rice fields

Rice fields, Viet Nam – UN Photo/Kibae Park

Food production will need to increase by at least 60 per cent over the next 35 years to provide food security for the 9 billion people expected to be living on the planet by 2050. The changing climate directly impacts food security and the supply of nutritious, ample and safe sources of reasonably priced food for the planet’s 7 billion people as well as their growing demands. The warming of the planet is already affecting yields of crucial crops . Moreover, approximately one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions come from land-use, making sustainable practices in agriculture critical.

 

 

Session Webcast

Key Documents

Download as PDF

Action Statement

Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture – Action Plan

AGRICULTURE – Annex

Press Release: Climate Summit Launches Efforts Toward Food Security for 9 Billion People by 2050


Cities

The Issue

Traffic congestion

Traffic congestion. Mexico. Photo: Curt Carnemark / World Bank

Responsible for about 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, cities can play a critical role in reducing these emissions – especially as their populations surge over the coming decades and many cities struggle with aging and inadequate infrastructure. Climate change increases the risk and stress to water, sewer, drainage and transportation systems as well as infrastructure, as these systems are more exposed to the impact of increasingly powerful hurricanes, typhoons and other natural disasters. Clear greenhouse gas reduction goals, viable strategies, enhanced capacity and tangible financing are essential for cities to reduce emissions and become increasingly resilient.

Session webcast

Key Documents

Compact of Mayors – Action Statement

Compact of States and Regions – Action Statement

The Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance – Action Statement

Press Release: Cities Around the World Commit to Cut Emission Outputs by 454 Megatons Annually By Decade’s End Sustainable Rail, Air, Electric Vehicles and Urban Public Transport Mobilized at Climate Summit


Energy

The Issue

Solar panels

Solar panels in Naqoura, Lebanon – UN Photo/Pasqual Gorriz

About 80 per cent of the world’s energy is supplied through the combustion of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. At the same time, energy demand is growing along with expanding global wealth, a world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, and efforts to provide electricity to the 1.3 billion people now living without it. A shift toward renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and geothermal — along with greater energy efficiency in appliances, buildings, lighting and vehicles — is essential to use the world’s resources sustainably, diversify economies and successfully address the challenge of climate changes. Sustainable Energy for All, an initiative led by the United Nations and World Bank, has set 2030 as a goal for doubling the global rate of energy efficiency improvement, doubling renewable energy’s share in the global energy mix, and ensuring universal access to modern energy services.

Session webcast

Key Documents

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform – Action Statement

Press Release: Governments and Corporations Launch New Initiatives to Produce More Efficient Vehicles, Lights, Appliances, Buildings and District Energy Systems

 

Energy Renewables

Africa Clean Energy Corridor – Action Statement and Action Plan

Global Geothermal Alliance – Action Statement and Action Plan

The SIDS Lighthouses Initiative – Action Statement and Action Plan

Press Release: Extensive Renewable Energy Projects in Africa and Small Island Developing States to Cut CO2 Emissions, Improve Energy Access


Financing

The Issue

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with worker

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tours Shams Solar Power Plant.

Shifting the global economy onto a low-carbon and climate resilient development pathway requires an investment of tens of billions of dollars. To achieve this, both Governments and key financial actors must commit to massively scaling up public and private financing to meet the growing challenge of climate change.

 

 

 

Session Webcast

Key Documents

Divest-Invest Global Movement – Action Statement and Action Plan

Global Investors – Action Statement

Press Release: Governments, Investors and Financial Institutions to Mobilize US$200 Billion by End of 2015 to Support Climate Action

 

Pricing Carbon

The Issue

Action is needed soon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also to help countries build resilience and prepare for a world of dramatic climate and weather extremes. Mobilizing finance for climate action is a priority, and a robust price on carbon is one of the most effective strategies to unlock private investment. A strong price signal in all major economies—in the form of emissions trading systems, carbon taxes or other mechanisms—will direct financial flows away from fossil fuels and advance the growing global market for energy efficiency and clean energy.

Caring for Climate Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing – Action Statement


Forests

The Issue

Forests of Indonesia

Damar Forests of Indonesia – UN Photo/Eva Fendiaspara

Forests and the services they offer society are crucial to sustainable development and human well-being. While many efforts to slow or halt deforestation have been successful, approximately 13 million hectares of forests continue to be lost each year, contributing up to 20 per cent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. The clearing of land linked to the development of agricultural commodities is a key factor behind deforestation. At the same time, about 2 billion hectares of degraded forests and other lands – all around the globe – need to be restored. Actions to combat deforestation and speed up the restoration of degraded lands will contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction and greater food security as well as help communities adapt to climate change and secure the rights and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities.

Session Webcast

Key Documents

New York Declaration on Forest – Action Statement and Action Plan
Press Release: Declaration Would End Billions of Tons of Climate Pollution per Year, Restore 350 Million Hectares of Forest; Backed by Tangible Private Sector Commitments

Video: Call for the New York Declaration on Forests


Industry

The Issue

Factory emitting smog

Mexico City – UN Photo/F Botts

The Industry Action Area recognizes that actions by industries are essential to control global temperature increases — especially industries engaged in the production of energy, waste management, refrigerants and the global transport of freight. A critical and common component of their work is the need to reduce short-lived climate pollutants — primarily methane, hydroflurocarbons (HFCs), black carbon (or soot) and tropospheric ozone. These pollutants, with relatively short lifetimes in the atmosphere of a few days to a few decades, are responsible for a significant portion of global warming. They also are detrimental to human health, agriculture and ecosystems.

 

 

Session Webcast

Key Documents

Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants – Action Statements

Oil and Gas Methane Partnership Action Statement and Plan

Global Green Freight Action Statement and Plan

Phasing Down Climate Potent HFCs Action Statement and Plan

Municipal Solid Waste Action Statement and Plan

Oil & Gas Climate Initiative Announcement – Action Statement

Press Release: Industry Leaders, including Energy Companies, Forge Partnerships to Advance Climate Solutions and Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants


Resilience

The Issue

Boy with water

Evaluation Shagra, North Darfur – Sudan Photo: UNEP

Climate change is increasing the incidence, frequency and magnitude of natural disasters and exacerbating the vulnerability of many countries and communities around the world. Climate-related hazards – whether drought, powerful typhoons or sea level rise – can have dire consequences on people, property, business, financial systems and state institutions. It is therefore essential to enhance their respective capacity to adapt and be resilient to a changing climate.

 

 

Session Webcast

Key Documents

Integrating Risks into the Financial System: The 1-in-100 Initiative – Action Statement

Resilient Cities Acceleration Initiative – Action Statement

Climate Information for Climate Action

Promoting Disaster and Climate Risk Resilience Through Regional Programmatic and Risk Financing Mechanisms

Press Release: Climate Summit Scales Up Adaptation and Resilience Support for
Most Vulnerable Countries


Transportation

The Issue

Modern Train

The tramway service between Rabat and Salé. Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank

Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are expected to increase under a ‘business as usual’ scenario by nearly 50 per cent by 2030 and more than 80 per cent by 2050, compared with year-end 2009. This increase in emissions will be primarily caused by a projected surge in the global stock of vehicles. Already in 2009, transport contributed approximately one-quarter of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions and was responsible for about one-fifth of energy use. Measures that reduce the demand for travel, including compact city planning combined with the large-scale expansion of public transport systems improvements in energy-efficient transportation systems along with the promotion of non-motorised transport, could save Governments, companies and individuals up to $70 trillion by 2050 as less money would need to be invested in vehicles, fuel and transportation infrastructure.

 

Session Webcast

Key Documents

Transport – Joint Action Statement

International Association of Public Transport – Action Plan

Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge – Action Plan

Urban Electric Mobility Initiative – Action Plan

Aviation – Action Statement

Aviation – Action Plan

Aviation – Annex

Press Release: Sustainable Rail, Air, Electric Vehicles and Urban Public Transport Mobilized at Climate Summit