UN Climate Summit outcomes: The Climate Group CEO Mark Kenber responds "We're seeing a shift from words to action"

24 September 2014

NEW YORK: The high-profile UN Climate Summit in New York came to a close this evening, with a series of outcomes summarized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Our CEO Mark Kenber comments on the record-breaking climate leaders event.

Aiming to raise political momentum for a global climate agreement at next year's talks in Paris in 2015 and push nations forward in their efforts to tackle climate change, the Summit saw a record number of world leaders attend, including 100 heads of state and government and over 800 business, finance and civil society leaders.  

Many impressive announcements were made and new coalitions launched, with leaders committing to limiting global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius and agreeing a global climate deal in Paris.

Other key outcomes include:

  • 73 national governments, 11 regional governments and more than 1,000 businesses and investors showed support for pricing carbon. Together, these leaders represent 52% of global GDP, 54% of global greenhouse gas emissions and almost half of the world’s population.
  • EU countries pledged to reduce emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.
  • A large-scale commitment to double the rate of global energy efficiency by 2030 by improvements to vehicle fuel efficiency, lighting, appliances, buildings and district energy was launched.
  • The insurance industry promised to double low carbon investments to US$84 billion by the end of 2015.
  • A new coalition of leaders will mobilize over US$200 billion for financing low carbon and climate-resilient development.

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, comments on today’s UN Climate Summit: “The good news from today’s summit is that an unprecedented number of heads of state and government committed again to a global climate agreement. But what really made a difference for me is the concrete plans brought to the table by the corporate sector and sub-national governments with the money to invest behind them. Finally, we are seeing shift here from words to action.

“What we witnessed today, and throughout Climate Week NYC, is a series of converging tipping points: the public pressure, the acceptance of the science and an increasing recognition that both the economics and the technology are in place to embrace a clean revolution. This makes it now inevitable that we take things forward.

“What we need now is real leadership from national governments to put in place a strong agreement next year which is in line with what the science demands and creates a prosperous low carbon future for all.”

Examples of corporate and sub-national government commitments:

  • 1,000 businesses and investors signalled their support for pricing carbon in a declaration published by the World Bank.
  • A coalition of institutional investors committed to decarbonizing US$100 billion by December 2015 and to measure and disclose the carbon footprint of at least US$500 billion in investments.
  • 10 multinationals committed to 100% renewable power, as part of a new campaign initiated by The Climate Group to help companies on their journey to becoming 100% renewable.
  • A new Global Mayors Compact, representing over 2,000 cities pledged new commitments on climate action supported by new funding from public and private sources.
  • A new Compact of States and Regions, co-convened by The Climate Group, committed to provide an annual account of the climate commitments made by state and regional governments around the world and report their progress.

Read UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon's full summary.

The UN Climate Summit took place on the Tuesday of Climate Week NYC 2014, which is convened by The Climate Group. Climate Week NYC is the collaborative space for all related events in support of the Summit. 

For a full list of Climate Week NYC events, please visit ClimateWeekNYC.org and follow the conversation on Twitter using #CWNYC.

You can also see our Climate Week NYC media resources for press releases, contacts and more info.

See key photos from the Climate Week NYC Opening Day here:

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