Seven Heads of State and Government co-chaired the four Thematic Sessions that were hosted by United Nations entities during the Climate Summit at United Nations Headquarters on 23 September 2014.
An integral part of the Summit, each session featured a moderated discussion amongst prominent panel speakers on an essential facet of the global climate change discussion: climate science; the co-benefits of climate action with a focus on health and jobs; the economic case for climate action; and voices from the climate front lines (including the views of women, youth, indigenous and other vulnerable populations).
The four themes were selected after extensive consultations with Member States and civil society representatives. Each Thematic Session aimed to give voices with a stake in the climate change discussion, a visible platform for sharing their views and interacting with Member States. Speakers included representatives of civil society, private sector and academia, policy experts, decision-makers at the local and regional levels, young people and other constituencies.
Climate, Health and Jobs
Climate change threatens the foundations of human wellbeing: clean air, secure and safe food and water, protection from disasters, and freedom from disease. The good news is that many of the actions necessary to mitigate and adapt to climate change have significant and immediate co-benefits for human well-being.
Climate has always influenced the development of societies and shaped the natural systems they depend on. Today, we observe unprecedented changes in the climate system caused by greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and other human activities, making it more important than ever for decision-makers to be informed by high-quality scientific information.
Economic Case for Climate Action
How can countries strengthen their economic performance while tackling the challenges posed by climate change? This question lies at the heart of efforts to mobilize the resources and will needed for ambitious climate action.
Voices from the Climate Front Lines
While climate change impacts everyone, it especially disrupts the lives and livelihoods of the very same people who continually face and fight poverty, discrimination and marginalization across all walks of life: girls, boys, women, indigenous peoples, migrants and refugees, and inhabitants of areas that are environmentally vulnerable, including small island states.