UN to host biggest climate summit in history
NEW YORK, USA – About 120 heads of state will attend the United Nations' Climate Change summit on September 23, making it the biggest gathering of world leaders on the issue.
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon urges governments and businesses to announce commitments that will support an ambitious climate change treaty in 2015.
What's on the agenda and what's at stake for Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines? Ayee Macaraig is at the UN Headquarters in New York. She files this video blog.
The cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action.
This is a key theme as the United Nations prepares to host the biggest climate change gathering of world leaders in history.
On September 23rd, 120 heads of state and government including Philippine President Benigno Aquino will be here at the UN Headquarters in New York to announce concrete actions to fight climate change.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will host the UN Climate Summit to support separate UN negotiations to come up with a legally binding treaty by 2015 to avert the dangerous effects of climate change.
A week before the summit, the Secretary-General and UN officials announce that hundreds of business leaders from key industries like oil and gas, land use and forestry will also attend the summit to discuss investments in clean energy and low-carbon growth.
The Secretary-General says the absence of the top leaders of China and India, two of the top global greenhouse gas emitters, will not be a hindrance to the success of his summit.
He says the summit will discuss pressing issues like getting developed nations to give financial and technological support to developing countries to help them adapt to climate change and build resilience.
BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: I expect governments, the wide range of actors in key sectors of the global economy from energy, cities, industries, transport, forestry, there should be a firm commitment that we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions so we will be able to contain the global temperature rise within 2 degrees centigrade.
UN officials admit that there is no enforcement mechanism for the commitments announced in the summit. After all, the main venue for climate negotiations remains the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Still, leaders we interviewed say Southeast Asia has a lot at stake in this event.
HERU PRASETYO, HEAD OF INDONESIAN NATIONAL REDD+ AGENCY: Southeast Asia is archipelagic and has a lot of coastlines and that is something very important to note, climate change is something that is impacting us archipelagic countries in more ways than landlocked countries.
Besides leaders, businessmen and civil society groups, there will also be star power in the climate summit.
The Secretary-General announces the appointment of actor Leonardo DiCaprio as UN Messenger for Peace with a special focus on climate change issues.
The Wolf of Wall Street star will address the opening of the climate summit.
Celebrity or not, this event is an effort of the world body to put climate change squarely on top of the global agenda, at a time when global attention is divided on multiple crises happening one after the other.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, United Nations. – Rappler.com