The Summit will take place on 23 September 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York.
Countries have agreed on the need for a meaningful, robust, universal, legal climate agreement by 2015. The Secretary-General is convening the 2014 Climate Summit to mobilize action ahead of 2015 and to increase political will for greater action and ambition.
The one-day Summit will focus on tangible climate actions. The Opening Ceremony is to be followed by plenary sessions, during which Heads of State and Government are expected to announce new national actions going forward. A Private Sector Forum lunch will focus on the issue of carbon pricing and will feature discussion and announcements of new commitments to action by private and public actors. In the afternoon, new initiatives will be announced by coalitions of governments, businesses, and civil society organizations. The Thematic Sessions will focus on policy and practices in critical issues concerning climate action. After the Secretary-General summarizes what has been achieved and what challenges remain, the summit will end with a creative, ceremonial closing.
The Summit is not part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, and no negotiations related to the convention will take place at the Summit. Its goal is to raise political will and mobilize action, thereby generating momentum toward a successful outcome of the negotiations.
The outcome will be the sum total of the announcements made by the leaders of government, business, finance, and civil society during the Summit to address climate change, along with a renewed sense of hope, optimism and momentum. The outcome will be communicated at a series of news conferences to be held throughout the day and summarized by the Secretary-General at the conclusion of the Summit.
The Secretary-General has asked world leaders to come to the Summit to announce bold actions that they will be taking in their countries. There will also be announcements from a number of coalition initiatives that have high potential to catalyze ambitious action on the ground. These coalitions, consisting of participants from Governments, the private sector and civil society, will address several high-impact areas, such as climate finance; energy efficiency; renewable energy; adaptation; disaster risk reduction and resilience; forests; agriculture; transportation; short-lived climate pollutants; and cities.
The Secretary-General has invited leaders from all sectors of society to the Summit who can make new announcements and bring new climate initiatives and ideas to the attention of the international community. The Summit is an opportunity for business leaders to engage in Caring for Climate initiative aimed at advancing the role of business in addressing climate change.
While an invitation is necessary to attend the Summit itself, there will be many climate-related events taking place throughout the week of 22-28 September. Information on these events can be found at Climate Week, http://www.climateweeknyc.org/
There will be four participatory Thematic Sessions during the Summit to promote high-level discussions on issues that are critical for climate action. These include the science of climate change; Climate, Health and Jobs; why climate action makes sense for business and economic growth; and Voices from the Climate Front Lines, including those of young people, indigenous peoples, people from small island developing states, and women.
NGOs and other civil society organisations play a significant role in the Summit. Participation in the Summit itself will be by invitation only, and many civil society representatives are involved in various multilateral and multi-stakeholder initiatives.
Representatives of civil society will also participate in the Summit as part of the specific climate action initiatives and in the Thematic Sessions. The Thematic Sessions will be on the Climate Science, Climate Health and Jobs, Economic Case for Action and Voices from the Climate Frontlines.
In addition, civil society will be central to the Climate Week events taking place in support of the Summit from 22 to 28 September.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, hosted a high-level meeting on 4-5 May to generate momentum for concrete actions to be taken at the Climate Summit.
The special two-day meeting, called the “Abu Dhabi Ascent” after its host city, brought together 1,000 Government ministers, business, finance and civil society leaders, who discussed a range of new and existing initiatives and partnerships to tackle climate change in their countries. It was in Abu Dhabi that the action area initiatives began to coalesce.