This Tuesday, September 23rd (two days after the People’s Climate March), world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York City for the 2014 UN Climate Summit. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called world leaders to New York City in order “to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015 and to galvanize transformative action in all countries to reduce emissions and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.” You can read the Final Summary of the Summit, written by Mr. Ban, here.
Many countries committed to strong action, such as Costa Rica (100% clean energy by 2016), Iceland (economy completely powered with clean energy), and Nicaragua (90% renewable energy by 2020). You can read more about the major commitments or check out this cool interactive map.
However, the Climate Summit did not push us forward, toward decisive international action, as much as some would like. The scientific community has been educating the general public about climate change for decades, and yet no international legislation has succeeded in curbing emissions. In fact, this year the world will produce 65% more carbon emissions than it did in 1990.
As many of the protesters chanted at the People’s Climate March, “Hey, Barack, you talk the talk, now walk the walk!” (You can see President Obama’s full speech here.) Climate change is an issue that all world leaders should be focusing on. If they do not start “walking the walk,” and take serious action on climate at COP21 next year in Paris, the future of human civilization will be in jeopardy.