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UN Secretary-General to host Climate Summit in September 2019

The United Nations Secretary-General will host a summit on climate change on 23 September 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The purpose of the summit is twofold. First, it will mobilize political will to raise real ambition for the achievement of the Paris Agreement goals. Second, it will demonstrate transformative action in the real economy in support of the goals. Together, these developments will send strong market and political signals, and inject momentum in the “race to the top” among governments, sub-national governments, business, public and private finance, and civil society actors, which is needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Secretary-General will invite all Heads of State and Government to the summit, to present their progress to date and their future ambition. The participation of other relevant stakeholders, who demonstrate the highest level of ambition and action, to profile their efforts will be encouraged. In order to ensure that the transformative actions in the real economy are as impactful as possible, the Secretary-General has prioritized the following action portfolios, which are recognized as having high potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increased global action on adaptation and resilience.

Finance: mobilizing public and private sources of finance to drive decarbonization of all priority sectors and advance resilience;

Energy Transition: accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, as well as making significant gains in energy efficiency;

Industry Transition: transforming industries such as Oil and Gas, Steel, Cement, Chemicals and Information Technology;

Nature-Based Solutions: Reducing emissions, increasing sink capacity and enhancing resilience within and across forestry, agriculture, oceans and food systems, including through biodiversity conservation, leveraging supply chains and technology;

Cities and Local Action: Advancing mitigation and resilience at urban and local levels, with a focus on new commitments on low-emission buildings, mass transport and urban infrastructure; and resilience for the urban poor;

Resilience and Adaptation: advancing global efforts to address and manage the impacts and risks of climate change, particularly in those communities and nations most vulnerable.

To provide maximum momentum to the processes, the Secretary-General is also prioritizing Citizen and Youth Mobilization.

For each of the above priorities, facilitators will be appointed to ensure the development of transformative outcomes. All facilitators will be working with coalitions of actors from December 2018 to September 2019 to deliver the most impactful outcomes at the Summit. Due to the inherently interdependent nature of the portfolios, the facilitators may develop outcomes across two or more portfolios. These outcomes will consist of multi-stakeholder coalitions that may involve national governments, subnational governments, business, public and private finance, and civil society. The development of these outcomes will be an open process. All those interested may contribute and are encouraged to do so by engaging with the facilitators. However, only the most concrete and transformative outcomes will be delivered at the Summit. During Summer 2019, the Executive Office of the Secretary-General will conduct an “ascent” meeting, during which the most impactful outcomes will be selected to be featured at the Summit.

The summit will have no negotiated outcome. The Secretary-General will present a Chair’s Summary of the concrete outcomes delivered during the summit, with hopes that they will spur increased ambition and action in 2020 and beyond.

Regular briefings will be held with UN Member States, UNFCCC Parties, and all relevant partners to provide updates on the planning for the Summit. Details about these briefings will be communicated in due course.

More information can be found on the summit’s website.

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