The latest scientific assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has once again highlighted the urgency to act. The damage from the climate crisis is already extensive, and global greenhouse gas emissions remain at record levels. The world needs immediate and deep reductions in emissions now, and over the course of the next three decades, to limit global warming to 1.5°C degrees above pre-industrial levels and prevent the worst impacts.
Meanwhile, populations that are the least responsible for the climate crisis are already suffering from its impacts and need immediate help to adapt and recover from loss and damage. This is an issue of equity and climate justice which requires immediate attention from governments and international financial institutions.
To accelerate action by governments, business, finance, local authorities and civil society, and hear from “first movers and doers,” the United Nations Secretary-General is convening a Climate Ambition Summit at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 20 September 2023.
The Summit represents a critical political milestone for demonstrating that there is collective global will to accelerate the pace and scale of a just transition to a more equitable renewable-energy based, climate-resilient global economy.
The design and outcomes of the Summit will be delivered on three distinct but interrelated acceleration tracks – ambition, credibility and implementation.
Government leaders (especially major emitters) will be expected to present updated pre-2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (as agreed in Glasgow); updated net-zero targets; energy transition plans with commitments to no new coal, oil and gas; fossil fuel phase-out plans; more ambitious renewable-energy targets; Green Climate Fund pledges; and economy-wide plans on adaptation and resilience. Finally, all main emitters and notably all G20 governments will be asked to commit to presenting, by 2025, more ambitious economy-wide Nationally Determined Contributions featuring absolute emissions cuts and covering all gases.
Leaders of businesses, cities, regions and financial institutions will be expected to present transition plans aligned with the UN-backed credibility standard presented in the “Integrity Matters” report commissioned by the UN Secretary-General. This standard for voluntary net-zero pledges is the only existing one fully aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5°C degrees. It calls for 2025 and 2030 targets, coverage of scope 3 emissions, just transition plans to stop and phase out fossil fuels, actual emissions cuts without using offsets, and a commitment to publicly advocate for science-based climate action.
Leaders of governments, international and regional organizations and financial institutions, the private sector and civil society will present existing or emerging implementation partnerships addressing challenges and opportunities related to accelerating the decarbonization of high-emitting sectors (energy, shipping, aviation, steel, cement) or on delivering climate justice (reform of the international financial system, early warning systems, adaptation, loss and damage).
A Chair’s Summary will present the main outcomes of the Summit.