IDEAS For Us | November 11, 2014

IDEAS for UN Climate Summit Recap

IDEAS for UN Climate Summit Recap
Blog Post – 10/21/14
Nick Stampar

“This fall the United Nations went beyond its normal operational capacity to host the UN Climate Summit 2014, with the purpose of generating political momentum in preparation for the Paris 2015 summit. Over 100 heads of states, and 800 leaders from the private sector met in New York for this conference to commit themselves to progress and sustainability in hopes that Paris will yield a new, universal climate agreement for the post-2015 era. Consequently, with this 2014 Climate Summit, we are beginning to a framework for this document take shape.

The first priority for the international community is to define a long-term vision. This process, thus far, has un-climate-summitinvolved the concentration of topics and issues into a streamlined and understandable format, so that concerns can be tackled more effectively. In 2000 the UN produced the Millennium development goals for this same purpose, and now a new set of measures is being discussed, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which could serve as the foundation for the post-2015 agenda. The potential for SDGs has been a topic of debate for some time, making a strong appearance at the UN’s 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil, and gaining momentum since; however, the content of these SDGs is still up for debate. The current list of proposed SDGs comes to 17 goals with 169 targets, though the extensive host of issues discussed at the 2014 Climate Summit all stand as potential topics in the proposed SDGs – including but not limited to: cutting emissions, moving markets and mobilizing money, pricing carbon, UN-CLIMATE SUMMIT 2014strengthening resilience, and mobilizing new coalitions. These topics are additionally very dense, including many internal issues ranging from reducing emissions from deforestation to increasing foreign green/climate financing from international monetary organizations.

If one thing was clear from the discourse that took place in New York this fall it is that action must be taken promptly if we are to remain within a 2 degree Celsius global temperature increase. The commitments made on the parts of international public and private actors are promising, however until a plan is finally decided in fall 2015 it will be difficult to understand the plausibility of these goals of emission reduction and carbon neutrality.”

-Nick Stampar