Govt, private sector commit to climate action

Major announcements by governments and private sector leaders at the United Nations Climate Action Summit boosted climate action momentum.

This demonstrated growing recognition that the pace of climate action must be rapidly accelerated.

77 countries committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

70 countries announced they will either boost their national action plans by 2020 or have started the process of doing so.

Over 100 business leaders delivered concrete actions to align with the Paris Agreement on climate change targets and speed up the transition from the grey to green economy.

These leaders included asset owners holding over US$2 trillion in assets and leading companies with combined value also over $2 trillion.

Many countries and over 100 cities — including many of the world’s largest — announced significant and concrete new steps to combat the climate crisis.

Many smaller countries, including small island developing States and least developed countries, were among those who made the biggest pledges.

This is despite the fact that they have contributed the least to the problem.

Among the major announcements, France announced that it would not enter into any trade agreement with countries that have policies counter to the Paris Agreement.

Germany committed to carbon neutrality by 2050.

Twelve countries made financial commitments to the Green Climate Fund, the official financial mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

This is in addition to recent announcements from Norway, Germany, France and the United Kingdom who have recently doubled their present contributions.

The United Kingdom made a major additional contribution, doubling its overall international climate finance to £11.6 billion for the period from 2020 to 2025.

India pledged to increase renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022 and committed to further increasing to 450 GW and announced that 80 countries have joined the International Solar Alliance.

China said it would cut emissions by over 12 billion tons annually and would pursue a path of high‑quality growth and low‑carbon development.

The European Union announced at least 25 per cent of the next European Union budget will be devoted to climate‑related activities.

The Russian Federation announced that they will ratify the Paris Agreement, bringing the total number of countries that have joined the Agreement to 187.

Pakistan said it would plant more than 10 billion trees over the next five years.

On unprecedented levels of private sector action, a group of the world’s largest asset owners, responsible for directing more than $2 trillion in investments, committed to move to carbon‑neutral investment portfolios by 2050.

87 major companies with a combined market capitalization of over $2.3 trillion pledged to reduce emissions and align their businesses with what scientists say is needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change ‑ a 1.5°C future.

180 banks, one third of the global banking sector, signed up to align their businesses with the Paris Agreement goals.

On transitioning from brown to green energy, Michael Bloomberg will increase the funding and geographic spread of his coal phase‑out efforts to 30 countries.

Already, his work has helped to close 297 out of 530 coal plants in the United States.

Countries, including France and New Zealand, announced that they will not allow oil or gas exploration on their lands or offshore waters.

Heads of State from Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia are among those that announced that they will work to phase out coal.

The Republic of Korea announced it would shut down four coal‑fired power plants, and six more will be closed by 2022, as well as the doubling of its contribution to the Green Climate Fund.

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