The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres will open the UN Climate Action Summit on Monday with a climate emergency declaration while wanted posters of Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron CEOs pictured as "climate criminals" are spread across New York.
The draft program of the summit will begin with an opening speech from Guterres at 10.00 EDT, followed by a speech from young climate activist Greta Thunberg.
The wanted posters of the leaders of the fossil fuel companies are indicative that the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are targeting this industry during the summit.
This is largely because a Carbon Tracker report released at the beginning of the month found that oil and gas companies since 2018 have approved $50 billion investment in major projects undermining climate targets.
According to the report, no major oil company has made investments to support the Paris goals of keeping global temperatures well below 2˚C.
Nonetheless, a number of multilateral banks already announced their divestment from fossil fuel companies.
Prior to the summit late Sunday, multilateral Development Banks (MDB) already unveiled their plans to increase the global climate action investments they support each year to $175 billion by 2025.
These include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, the World Bank, European Investment Bank, African Development Bank Group, New Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.
In 2018, MDB climate finance in developing countries and emerging economies reached record annual levels resulting in $111 billion of combined MDB climate finance and co-finance.
Globally, four million people in 163 countries went on strike before the summit seeking action against climate change from governments and leaders. Around 1.4 million hit the streets in Germany, 300,000 protested in Melbourne and 250,000 in New York.
-India could make a move toward 500 GW renewables
The summit, which expects to witness the announcements of concrete action plans by the leaders, will be held under 12 titles ranging from climate finance to energy efficiency and transition to clean power from coal.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to announce concrete action plans for sustainable transportation systems and urban transformation at the "Live, Work and Move Green" section of the summit starting at 15.10 EDT.
Turkey and Russia remain the last two G20 countries that have not ratified the Paris Climate Agreement.
Turkey argues that it is a developing country and should have access to climate cash; however, the UN does not list Turkey like this and is therefore not deemed eligible for support.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to announce his plan to have 500 gigawatts (GW) of renewable installed capacity for his country by 2030.
- Climate employment for 24 million
Guterres will also present the new "Climate Action for Jobs" initiative at the summit.
The initiative has been developed jointly by the Climate Action Summit, together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and other members of the Summit’s Social and Political Drivers Action Area, co-led by Spain and Peru.
Measures to green the production and use of energy will lead to net job gains of some 24 million jobs by 2030, according to the ILO.
Any country will be able to join the initiative, even after the summit.
- $2.3 trillion action for 1.5°C
Global 87 major companies — with a combined market capitalization of over $2.3 trillion and annual direct emissions equivalent to 73 coal-fired power plants — are taking action to align their businesses with what scientists say is needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change, the UN Global Compact, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and the We Mean Business coalition declared late Sunday.
The representatives of the commitment will attend the summit to explain their road map for aligning their business with 1.5°C reduction targets.
The companies are committed to setting science-based targets through the SBTi, which independently assesses corporate emissions reduction targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
AstraZeneca, BT, Burberry Limited, Deutsche Telekom AG, Dexus, Elopak, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intuit, Levi Strauss & Co., SAP, Schneider Electric, Signify, Sodexo, The Co-operative Group and Unilever are among those that have already verified 1.5°C-aligned reduction targets covering greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya