United Nations Climate Summit 2014: Catalizing action
Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action. The Summit provides a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action that will enable a meaningful global agreement in 2015.
Together, UNESCO, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) have organized a thematic session on Climate Science. New discoveries are continually being made, which is why we must be clear about what we know and where there is still uncertainty. More creative approaches are also needed for communicating climate science in ways that educate, motivate and empower people to take action.
As climate change accelerates, it will become extremely difficult to adapt to rising sea levels, changes in the global water cycle, and decreases in food production, all of which will impact the lives of billions of people around the world.
Avoiding the worst impacts will require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions starting now. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), staying within the internationally agreed two-degree Celsius temperature rise limit can only be realized through urgent and ambitious action to move towards carbon-neutral economies and societies. This session will showcase how climate science can inform actions that support this goal.
UNESCO will be represented by the Director General, Irina Bokova, and Wendy Watson Wright, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and Assistant Director General a.i., Natural Sciences.