New York

17 September 2019

Transcript of Press Briefing by the Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed: Good afternoon, everyone.
 
We are just six days now away from the Climate Action Summit that kicks off a week of critical meetings for people, for planet, for prosperity, and, most importantly, for peace. 
 
So let’s start: right at the moment we are a very long way from where we need to be on climate action that’s very clear on the broader transformation that’s required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
 
Every day we are seeing climate emergencies get worse. We are also seeing global hunger on the rise, entrenched inequalities, and massive youth unemployment.
 
So the five Summits that we will have at the United Nations next week – what we are trying to say is very simple: it’s time to ratchet up the action that we need to have at the country level.
 
People, industries, and governments are moving. They’ve been engaging over the last four years and for that, we know that we are on track. But we do need to kick that movement into a much higher gear if we are to reach the goals that are being outlined by science, in the case of climate, and of course by the data that really shows how much we have to do on poverty and the other goals of the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals].                        
                         
The Climate Action Summit is where the ideas will become concrete plans; we have had many those over the past year. This will boost climate action at the country level, but it will only work if everyone gets on board.
 
We need governments, we need businesses, people to join us everywhere on the initiatives so that we have impact at the scale that we need moving beyond the pilots, and this is going to be crucial.
 
The Summit we see is a slingshot to 2020, when the COP [Conference of Parties] will in fact first take the targets that have been agreed to ramp up our national action plans for climate action on the Paris Agreement.
 
Today what I’d like to do is to give an overview of the types of initiatives you can expect.
 
To mention a few, the Summit will present practical and new measures to, one: speed up the transition from coal to clean energy, and to cut the pollution that is harming our health. The second: protect nature, but also unlock the potential of nature to deliver on climate solutions; third: create cleaner, greener ways to work and to move; speed up the transition in key sectors from grey to green economies; safeguard people from the impacts of climate change already being felt right now; and help make sure that we leave no one behind – the transition must be ramped up now, and it must be fair to include everyone.
 
When the Secretary-General announced the Summit, he said that only the boldest and most transformative actions would make the stage of the General Assembly.
 
There’s a huge number of excellent ideas that are being proposed that would be announced throughout the weekend starting from the Youth Summit on Saturday.
 
Every bit of warming matters, so every bit of climate action is key.
 
The Secretary-General has also said that only those countries that bring the boldest, courageous action and ambition will find a place on the stage on Monday. That’s been tough because we know that in different context, there are many, many challenges, it is complex.
 
So we will see on Monday who is stepping up. We will see what climate leadership looks like.
Importantly, the Summit will show the progress so far towards a carbon-neutral future. 
 
On the topic of leadership, let me say a few words about coal.
 
We know that the transition off coal is not a one-size-fits-all.  It is complex.
 
In many countries, renewables are already cheaper than coal, and the transition is well under way. 
 
In other countries, the transition needs more support, and, in particular, funding options for renewables.
 
It is not enough that we stop funding coal and funding must be actively moved towards making renewables possible, so there is a tension there that we need to pay specific attention to.
 
We are, however, realistic. No one can click their fingers and create a renewable grid overnight, particularly in a developing country that has so many competing demands.
 
But we are also determined. There are over 100 coal plants in the pipeline today, and emissions are still rising.
 
So let’s be clear that the pathway is a serious threat to human survival, the pathway that we follow now.
 
It’s why the Secretary-General has been so blunt in his calls for no new coal plants from 2020 onwards.
 
The stakes are much too high for us to be politically safe here, and they are certainly too high to give up because the road ahead is quite long. 
 
Before handing over to our Special Envoy, Luis Alfonso [de Alba], let me make four quick points on the other Summits that are taking place. I think it is really important that this year actually frames some of the key issues and it is the first time that we will be taking stock of the SDGs, the 2030 Agenda.
 
The centrality of the 2030 Agenda will be discussed this week. It is the common thread across all of the five Summits in fact, including in the debates that we will have.
 
On Tuesday and Wednesday, governments and partners will identify what it will take to end poverty by 2030 and to transition to inclusive economies that deliver for that, so taking stock of the SDGs.  
 
We will also look at specific aspects of the 2030 Agenda through the Meetings on universal health coverage, financing for development, and the situation of small island developing states – those that are on the front line of the climate emergency.
 
Second, a key message you will hear again and again is that we need to get more resources flowing to support sustainable development. It does mean, amongst other things, clamping down on illicit flows; reshaping the global financial system; and creating better environments to attract investments for sustainable development.
 
Third, there will be a major focus on inclusion, on reaching the marginalized and those left behind. And here again, there will be a focus on those who stand to lose the most from climate change; those who are living in poverty; those who are denied access to basic services; those who are discriminated against; and those who are simply just not benefitting from globalization.
 
Finally, over the course of the week, you will also hear a lot about the Decade of Action for Delivery, and that’s delivery on the whole SDG Agenda 2030.
 
We are talking about here in the final decade and the achievement that we need to see on the SDGs. It is a make or break for that decade.
 
The objective of the week is to further extend to the ranks of the global movement for sustainable development and to engage the world’s young people and to better direct that movement to actions that will have the greatest impact, again, at the country level.
 
If we do this, over the next ten years, we can achieve the Goals; we can avert the worst impacts of climate change; and transition to societies and economies that deliver for people and planet alike.
 
It is now my handover to our Special Envoy, Luis.
 
Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba: Thank you. Thank you very much, Deputy Secretary-General. Good afternoon to all of you.
 
Let me just complement by underlining the importance of the events that are going to be taking place on the weekend and, not only on Monday, but let me also start by thanking all the individuals and organizations that have contributed to build this, the initiative that we will be able to showcase both on the weekend and on Monday.
 
As you know, we have been working on a programme that combines those initiatives, multistakeholder initiatives, also with the national presentation of plans. And the overall result is going to be a report of the Secretary-General, which we will be able to reflect all the initiatives that have been presented during the weekend and Monday in a consolidated report that is going to be presented to the next COP.
 
In that sense, let me also emphasize that we are very much working already on the day after the Summit and the follow up that will be necessary for those actions to become concrete in the coming days and weeks.
 
Let me also highlight the importance for you to follow the events since all events in the weekend and on Monday are going to be open to the press, and I think that a number of them are going to be very substantive.
 
Let me start with the Summit of the youth, that is going to be organized, as you know, on Saturday. We will have a number of events organized by the youth and a number of interactions with different stakeholders.
 
All the coalitions that have been organized since the beginning of the year have also developed a program of activities. The program of those activities have already been released. It's also available at the web page. You can consult the different events and that, as you will be able to see, that will conclude in the afternoon of Sunday with the report to the Secretary-General on the activities of the coalitions.
 
Let me also announce that tomorrow the UNFCCC [UN Framework Convention on Climate Change], together with the UNDP [UN Development Programme], are going to provide additional information on specific initiatives and the work that they have been undertaking in support of the Member States to be able to scale and upgrade their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that will need to be presented next year.
 
I think I can stop here and, obviously, encourage you to attend all those meetings. Certainly, we will be able to provide additional information on the detailed programme of activities of Monday, most likely by the end of this week.
 
Spokesman:  Great, thank you. We'll take some questions now. Evelyn.
 
Question:  Thank you very much for the briefing. Evelyn Leopold on behalf of the United Nations Correspondents Association.
 
I have two questions. First for Ms. Mohammed, when you calculate the SDGs, how much do the developing countries who are involved in conflict pull down your final analysis of it? What role do they play? And then, on climate change, how, what role do the fires of the Amazon have, how much of a discussion will that be since the president of Brazil seems to spend a lot of his time with vicious attacks on Michelle Bachelet?  And yes, and then on behalf of a lot of us in the press, you have a lot, too many events. They don't write themselves. If everything is an issue, then nothing is an issue.
 
Spokesman:  Please.
 
Deputy Secretary-General:  Thank you very much, Evelyn. I think, of course, there are many issues, and one of the things that we worked on together with Member States right at the beginning was to recognize that, with five Summits, plus the debate, how do we make sense out of all of this for Heads of State who come and have to be focused on what they take away and what they share with us?
 
Every one of these comes under the rubric of the Sustainable Development Agenda: the Health Summit, the Climate, Financing. And so what we've done is to try to sequence and thread those Summits through the whole week, and we do end up with the most vulnerable. So, there is, as you say, start with climate and those that are on the front line, you end up with there. So, there is a story line. There is a narrative there that we think, from the decade of action, that takes profit of harvesting what we've done on health, on finance, on the SDGs – we will see that.
 
How much has, is this a challenge for countries in conflict? It's a huge challenge, and there are many of them. And this is becoming one that is cross-border. So, no matter what you do in a country, a part of it in conflict will pull down other indices. It exacerbates what has to happen in other countries. The Sahel, for instance – we are losing development gains in countries like Mali, and we have to put more into it. But that's just not Mali alone. There are five, six, seven countries that are touched by this.
 
So, it plays a very big role, and that's why it's so important for us to take the context into consideration and to do a lot more thinking about the cross-pillar work that we need to do. The reforms play to this, that we are looking at peace and security and development, the nexus between the two, but also the nexus between climate and development as well. So, it does make a difference, but it is something that we're working on and not treating them in silos.
 
On the Amazon, right from the very beginning, our country offices have been fully engaged with the Brazilian Government to continue to support their initiatives to try to deal with this challenge. Yes, there are many other dimensions which you see in the press today, but I think our focus is on trying to deal with those challenges and to make sure indigenous people and those that have rights, you know, and that climate action itself is geared towards particular challenges of that country.
 
You will hear and certainly see the discussions take place on the Amazon. I think that this is something that, for everyone, is of concern as it would be in the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo], that last bastion of where we also see that the rainforest there and many others.
 
Spokesman:  Betul then Sherwin.
 
Question:  Thank you. Two questions on the Climate Summit. I was wondering if the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will be speaking at the Summit, and can you also tell us how many Member States, private sectors, and NGOs will be attending the Summit? Thank you.
 
Spokesman:  Luis, do you want to...
 
Special Envoy de Alba: Yes, Greta Thunberg is going to be attending. She is going to be participating both at the Youth Summit on Saturday and also at the [Climate] Summit on Monday, along with other youth activists.
 
Let me emphasise that we have supported the participation of a large number of youth by providing support through the green tickets. I briefed you before about that. We provided support to 100 youth from different countries and they would be joined by, certainly, a much bigger number of youth. We, our expectation, in terms of youth participation, goes higher than 700 on this Saturday, and we will try to accommodate as many as possible within the General Assembly Hall on Monday.
 
In terms of participation, well, all Member States are invited to participate, and my expectation is that all will attend the Summit. Some of them will attend at the level of Head of State or a very high, other high level, but not all of them will be on the, on stage, because, as it was mentioned by the Deputy Secretary-General, we have identified those with the higher levels of ambition, and we are going to try to accommodate those countries into the one-day session that we have.
 
They need to make their presentation together with the presentation of the multistakeholder coalitions that I was referring to a few minutes ago. We have nine different teams under which initiatives are going to be introduced. Plus, initiatives are presented on behalf of the LDCs [Least Developed Countries] and also of the SIDS [Small Island Developing States].
 
Question:  Can I just have a quick follow up? Will anyone from the US Administration attend the Summit?
 
Special Envoy de Alba:  Yes.
 
Spokesman:  Thank you. Sherwin, then Nada.
 
Question:  Sherwin Bryce- Pease, South African Broadcasting. You say yes, Mr. de Alba, but can you talk about the level of, the degree of representation of the seat from the United States? Are you satisfied that it's at the highest level that you would seek from, from one of the largest polluters in the world? And, DSG, if I could ask you this question, you talk about the transition from coal to clean. You talk about no new coal plans from 2020 and yet, if reporting is to be believed, African countries in particular are going to be bringing coal power stations online in the foreseeable to the medium future, medium-term future. What's your message then to African countries given the development disparities that they also face?
 
Special Envoy de Alba:  Well, on the US participation, I can tell you that I have been advised. I don't, still don't have a formal notification. I've been advised that a high-level official will represent the United States and that delegation will accompany them, but I cannot give you the...
 
Question:  So, so, the President of the United States will be coming, right?
 
Special Envoy de Alba:  No. High-level...
 
[Laughter]
 
... high-level delegation.
 
Deputy Secretary-General:  Okay. We will always keep the door open for the President of the United States to come to the Climate Summit. That would be amazing. However, I think that what we do have is a number of countries. This really is about demonstrating leadership on what is a climate crisis, and we cannot get away from that. The science is there. The SG has been very explicit about it and has visited where people are on the front line of this. So, this is very real.
 
And I think what we're really excited about is that countries have been putting forward their best foot, and it's not all countries. And I think that what we are using this Summit for is where we are expected to see countries come in 2020 on enhanced NDCs, so it is that slingshot. We are saying that this is a springboard to 2020. We cannot leave it till 2020, because, quite clearly, this is urgent. And we have to support countries, understand the complexities of it, that it is not just that you write "I agree that I'm going [to have] no more new coal plants" and the implications of that for you and your country as development become quite enormous.
 
Transitions are important, and I think that that's what we have to focus on. What sort of transitions have we got? Where are the timelines? Where is the ambition in that? And you're going to see a lot that is coming from countries to explain that, the SIDS package, for instance, what they are committing to. But it won't have, it won't come to fruition if the financial systems don't open up and let them have the resources. Don't look at debt swaps. Don't look at what will help them to achieve the ambitions that they've said now they will do.
 
Message to African countries: quite frankly, what we need to see is people give alternative to coal, the investments in renewable energy and transitions out. Investments that stop any new coal plant coming online, and that's available. That's possible. And I think this meeting galvanizes the private sector, business, the financial systems to say what is and is not possible.
 
I think we have gotten enough momentum right now that this becomes unstoppable. We have to follow it through. So, it's about what we harvest at the Summit and what we carry through to COP in Chile, what we carry through to the other events that happen next year, and, in particular, at COP26 in 2020, where the first target comes up to really look at the NDCs and how much ambition.
 
Luis just talked about UNDP and UNFCCC launching two reports, and one is about the NDCs and everyone signed on to an NDC. But the ambition of those NDCs gives us just over three degrees. How do we help them to become more ambitious in those NDCs to get them down to the 1.5? And that's the ambition that we're looking for.
 
The other is, of course, even we as the UN, as UNDP, will be looking at what they intend to do with their footprint across the world, and so I think, you know, the best leadership I've seen so far is actually coming from young people. And we're very excited about that. Not only are we engaging with them, but they're having their say, and they're moving forward with actions, and I think that that's something that we ought to take note of. The future is going to be very different. It will be about them, and they've started now and not tomorrow. And I think that that's what we have to galvanize to see how we can make that work at the country [level], how we can put pressure on those who need to bring bigger actions to the table, whether it's financing, no more coal, nature-based solutions, as we say, your needs and not your wants.
 
Spokesman:  Thank you. Nada, then Somini.
 
Question:  Hi, Nada Tawfik with the BBC. Just us as journalists, as we're watching the Climate Summit on Monday, how will we know how the UN measures whether the event was a success or not? How are you measuring its success? And besides hoping for pledges for more renewable energy, phasing out coal plants, are there other types of pledges we can expect from countries that you're hoping for that you think will actually make a big difference?
 
Deputy Secretary-General:  I mean, without letting the cat out of the bag, right, wait till Monday.
 
[Laughter]
 
I think what we are seeing is a lot more specificity to what people want to do and the kind of resources that actually unlocks or affects. So, when someone is becoming more transparent about what they're doing and you can look over their shoulder, there's more pressure for you to go green faster than you are actually doing so now. So, the transparency of companies that are doing, that are signing on to things like that, that are managing huge amounts of assets, I think that that's encouraging.
 
I think what is even more encouraging is finding the alternatives to lifestyles. You'll see a lot of that coming through, and these are multimillion or billion-dollar industries that will begin to change. And so, while there's a lot more to be done after the Summit, I think you'll begin to see new things coming about that are very much more specific about what we do, less, honestly, less rhetoric and much more about what people can and will do, inspiring more action to what we can do but through, across the world, and I think that that's what's really encouraging for us.
 
How will we measure that? Well, certainly, as the SG takes stock by the end of the day, you'll have a fairly good idea of how we've measured that. And, in the coming days and weeks as we go into COP in Chile, you will also hear from the climate movement, which won't stop at the Summit.
 
Spokesman:  Somini, then Arthur.
 
Question:  Thank you. For the Special Envoy, please, specifically, how many Heads of State and government do you expect to make presentations on Monday? Also, do you think that the Summit can deliver something that will satisfy the demands of the youth? And, if so, what? And just a clarification from the Deputy Secretary-General. Is the Secretary-General's call still for no new coal projects starting in 2020 and no more state subsidies for coal projects? Because what I'm hearing from you today sounds a little different, so I just would like you to clarify. Is that still the call, because, after all, state subsidies for coal far surpass subsidies for renewable energy. Thank you.
 
Spokesman:  Luis Alfonso, if you...
 
Special Envoy de Alba:  Thank you very much. The precise number of Heads of State attending, I cannot give it to you right now because it is evolving. What I can tell you is that we will not be able to accommodate all of them on the stage. They would be part of the Summit, they would be attending, but a limited number is going to be on the stage because of time constraints, because we have the presentations, as I mentioned before, from Member States and also the coalitions.
 
But we have been very careful in selecting those presentations that are the most ambitious. And, in many cases, you will have presentations that will be done on behalf of a number of countries. I can highlight, I already mentioned the presentation of the SIDS and the LDCs. Some other presentation may be done, just to mention one of them, on behalf of the SICA members, because of the limitations of time. But the level of attendance is very high. It's very encouraging, and the quality of the plans that we expect to get on that day is also very, very encouraging.
 
As you remember, the Secretary-General wrote a letter to all leaders inviting them to come with plans, not with speeches, and that was followed up by the description of synthesis of what they intend to present. You will be able to see that on Monday.
 
And I think if we take it certainly from the point of view that it's not going to be enough in any case because a lot of work continues to be necessary to be made, but, certainly, it signals a very important step on the way that we need to go. That will be wonderful. Remember that the IPCC's [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] related report highlighted the importance of these commitments in 2020 to be able to reach the goals of 1.5 and the effort that we'll need to continue especially during the first decade.
 
Deputy Secretary-General:  Just to clarify, no new on both cases, subsidies and coal plants. But I think, in addition to that, we also want to see the transitions out, find transitions out of the use of state subsidies and also from coal to renewables, so on the both. And this is, quite clearly, this is a tall hill to climb and pretty tough, but we will not relent on those calls. I think those are the ones that are required to respond to the climate crisis that we're looking at now.
 
Someone asked about whether this was good enough for the youth. If I was a young person, I'd say no, until it's done. And I think that this is what we are looking at, is that we've started this. Can we bend the curve by 2020 so that we are on that pathway to 1.5 degrees and that, in the long term, we can come to net zero emissions by 2050? Can we be on that right side of history?
 
This Summit will give us a really clear view of whether that's possible or not. And, so far, what we are seeing in terms of the engagement of young people, of business, of governments, is that this is possible.
 
Spokesman:  Arthur, then Melissa.
 
Question:  Yes, a question for Special Envoy de Alba. First of all, on the speakers at Monday's Climate Summit, we've been told that the speakers will be given three minutes each. Can you confirm that? And, secondly, beyond the countries that are participating, I just wondered if you had anything to add on the Reuters story from yesterday about 16 cities committing to implementing global goals to end poverty, inequality, and other challenges by 2030, specifically, that they'll sign a voluntary declaration led by New York City? I was just wondering if you confirm that, elaborate on it, and if it was still at 16 cities or whether you expected more.
 
Special Envoy de Alba:  Let me start with the time. We are precisely trying to adjust the presentations because there are many more requests than the ones we can have, but yes, it's probably that the maximum will be three minutes for, in order to accommodate the proposals. This is the result, as I mentioned, of the number of plans, not only speeches, but plans that are going to be introduced.
 
And, on the cities, I would prefer to wait until Monday, because there are a number of initiatives coming on behalf of the cities and local governments. And we have one of the coalitions that have been working on that, and there are several announcements on transportation, on infrastructure, building materials, and commitments by a number of, growing number of cities.
 
But what I can tell you is that all those proposals are going to remain open for other cities, other local governments, other citizens to join them. We are trying to get as many as we can before the Summit, but immediately after the Summit, it's going to be much easier because they will be announced and disseminated, with your help, worldwide, and we are hoping that that will facilitate that process of gathering support.
 
Spokesman:  Thank you. Melissa, then George.
 
Question:  Thanks very much. Melissa Kent, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I have a few questions. On the Climate Action Summit on Monday, can you give us an idea, I know you don't want to give away what the announcements are going to be, but can you give us an idea of whether or not or how close it will come to closing the gap between the goals of the Paris Agreement and the pledges to date? I know you spoke about 3 per cent. Will it go down to 1.5 after? I'm just, an idea of that. How will the climate solutions, concretely, can you explain how the climate solutions proposed by the young people at the Youth Summit will be incorporated into the SG's report? I'm not sure how that's working. Also, are you thinking this could become a yearly event?
 
And, finally, on the $100 billion in climate financing, is that one of the goals of the Climate Action Summit is to get countries to put in, I saw an OECD report, I think fromFriday which says it stands at 71.2 billion. Are you still thinking that will happen by 2020? And is that one of the goals of the Summit? And that's the end – Steph is giving me the cut-off.
 
[Laughter]
 
Special Envoy de Alba:  Thank you. Thank you very much. There are several questions, but let me start with the youth. I think it is important. The youth are going to develop a set of recommendations to Member States and other stakeholders, and they are also going to develop a number of initiative on their own, things that they are committing to do. And that will be showcased very clearly during the weekend, but it will also be presented at the Summit, at the opening of the Summit, in which we will have a brief presentation of the main recommendations and outcomes of the Youth Summit presented to the Member States.
 
The youth have integrated each of the coalitions and they are also part of several of the initiatives that are going to be showcased along the day. And, certainly, all the initiatives coming from different stakeholders have a space in the report of the Secretary General.
 
Our intention is to capture, not only the initiative presented on the Monday, but the initiative on the weekend, provided that those initiative have a capacity to be scaled up and to be replicated. Some of them will not make it for the Monday because they still need more time or support, but they are promising – we will make sure to capture all initiatives.
 
And, most importantly, I think it's going to be the first time in the UN we will have a systematic follow-up of those proposals by committing the overall system, the United Nations system, behind those initiatives. So, the report that the Secretary-General will present in Santiago de Chile at the COP will include a commitment by a number of agencies behind each of the initiative and a number of governments and other stakeholders.
 
On the $100 billion, yes, it is an important part of the work that we are doing, and we are aware of the report that you refer to. It's a report of the OECD that was released a few days [ago], but there are other sources, and we are making a comprehensive evaluation of where we are in that commitment. That's a commitment that is coming from Copenhagen and Cancún that committed developed countries to transfer $100 billion annually by 2020 to developing countries, and we are very much aware that that commitment needs to be honoured by the developed countries. So, we are not only making the assessment, but identifying the measures that we will need to undertake to make that a reality.
 
An important part of that process is going to be to strengthen the Green Climate Fund, and we are also very much active in the process of the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund that will formally conclude after the Summit because the last meeting for the replenishment process will take place in October. Nonetheless, we are hoping that we will have important announcements on that process of replenishment by the time we meet next Monday. Some countries have already indicated that they are willing to double their contribution to the Green [Climate Fund], and that's very positive news.
 
Question:  Sorry. My question was on the Summit and its ability to close the gap between...
 
Special Envoy de Alba:  Okay.
 
Question:  ... the goals of the...
 
Special Envoy de Alba:  I started with the end, sorry. I think it's going to be very difficult to tell you right now, because a number of countries are probably going to be coming with plans to enhance their NDCs, and those plans, as the Deputy Secretary-General highlighted before, will need the support of other stakeholders to be a reality.
 
If you remember, the Paris Agreement allow countries to identify a certain number of goals, which are contingent to the prohibition of resources, technical assistance, etc. So, once we know exactly what each country is going to be bringing and how much can we help in doing the matching between the needs and the resources available, we can have a clear idea. But the target is to get to a number before 2020. Remember, that's the deadline that the Paris Agreement provides us.
 
If we have not encouraged countries to start working on their NDCs through the Summit, we will have had a much lower level of ambition next year. It's very delicate, complex work that needs to be done, and that's why the job of the UNFCCC and UNDP in supporting the enhancement of the NDCs becomes also critical.
 
For the time being, there are many countries which are already reaching to those institutions asking for the support I am referring to. But, by the end of the day, we will know, not only how many countries are committing to do so, but what would be the scale.
 
Basically, we need to duplicate and, in some cases, triplicate what the countries have pledged in Paris to reach the goal of keeping the temperature below 1.5. So, you see the scale of enhancement on the NDCs that we need.
 
Spokesman:  George, then Mr. Sato.
 
Question:  Thank you. George Baumgarten, correspondent for, among various other media, the Astana Times in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan. Question for Señor Alfonso de Alba, if I may, which I hope you'll find a narrow question, which is of particular interest to my editors and publishers and my readers, is there anyone expected to speak at the Climate Summit this coming Monday, the 23rd, on the effects of climate change caused by various countries' nuclear tests for years and years and years, be they in Nevada or Moruroa or, especially, Semipalatinsk? What can you tell us about any speakers who may be addressing that issue? Thank you.
 
Special Envoy de Alba:  Well, I can tell you that the general issue of climate change and security is an issue which is quite important for a number of States, and they have been working as a group of friends here at the United Nations, and I know that they have the intention to organize one event during the weekend, but how many participants will include reference to that is very difficult. Remember that we have asked all the countries to come with plans. It's not a space to make a general statement, even of a particular concern area. It would be extremely difficult for me to anticipate that, but the event I can highlight to you is being organized on the weekend on the programme.
 
Spokesman:  Great, so Mr. Sato will have to be the last question. Thank you.
 
Question:  Thank you, my question to Ambassador de Alba. You have long prepared for the Climate Summit, and not only with the US Government and the US private sector, the many other places you have visited. Even inside the US Government and Republicans, there is some positive movement toward the clean energy. In July, some of the Republicans set up the renewable energy caucus, and also the Republican younger generation also is getting positive toward the renewable, advancing renewable energy. So, can you tell us your, the projection about the US Government will slightly or shift to the renewable energy or more measured toward climate change in the near future?
 
Special Envoy de Alba: I think it is quite evident that a number of actors in the United States are doing a lot on climate change, and you mentioned local authorities, and it's quite evident that the number of governors, the number of mayors, have engaged on this agenda, and I think that's very positive.
 
It is also very positive to see a growing number of businessmen and women and investors that are also paying attention. And I think, generally, from my visits, particularly to Washington, it was quite evident that the renewable energy and innovation are at the very high level of the agenda, the US agenda. So, I think there are a number of actors which are engaging, and we welcome from the United Nations the participation of all stakeholders and, obviously, in all Member States.
 
Spokesman:  Thank you. And, as a reminder, we will see you tomorrow for the Secretary-General's press conference. Thank you, all.