The inexorable progression of climate change is becoming increasingly difficult to doubt, even for the likes of Jeremy Clarkeson and the heads of oil extraction companies all over the world, which is why meetings of the great and powerful, like the UN’s 2014 Climate Summit, are so important. Taking place in New York this year, it is perhaps the biggest opportunity for key decision makers to thrash out the ins and outs of climate change policy decisions, but the reality is that it’s not just the men and women in power that can sway the balance in favour of climate change prevention.
The summit will be held at the UN headquarters in New York on the 23rd September 2014, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invites international government leaders, along with key decision makers for finance, business, and civil society to review the ongoing plan to curb the development of climate change. According to the announcement, he is calling on everone attending to bring with them ambitious plans for their area of responsibility to deliver significant climate change action over the coming year.
If you’re looking for a way to add your voice to the discussion a little more, there are a number of opportunities to get involved, over and above your day-to-day carbon footprint reducing regime. The first is that you can get involved with campaign groups like Avaaz, which has a petition to lobby world leaders to support change proposals at the summit, and you can sign the petition yourself at https://secure.avaaz.org/en/100_clean_final/ to add your voice to the 1.2 million people that have already signed. They also have a number of climate marches that you can take part in and you can hunt one down close to you at https://secure.avaaz.org/en/event/climate/.
The UN has also put together some information for the general public to help us get more ideas in terms of what we can do to take action to reduce our carbon footprint at home, in work and on the move. For more information visit http://www.un.org/climatechange/take-action/, where you can also find out more about the science of climate change, the science that’s being used to prevent it and the effects we’re seeing in the modern era.
In terms of what’s going on at the 2014 summit itself, it starts out with an opening ceremony 8am before breaking into national actions and ambitions throughout the rest of the morning. There’s a private sector function, more announcements and a series of discussion forums in the afternoon, covering topics including the UN identified key action areas of agriculture, cities and their role in global greenhouse gas emissions, energy, financing the transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient global action plan, forests, oil, petroleum and industry, resilience to climate-related hazards and transport.
With clear evidence that the ice sheets in both Greenland and Antarctica are melting and losing structural integrity (sheet ice is the culmination of snow pack over hundreds of thousands of years, so it’s not so easily replaced), the UN and governments are clearly looking to increase activity to reduce the potential risks by changing policies and stop the onset of climate disaster. With added pressure from the public and more action on our part to reduce our own carbon footprint are easy achievements, but hopefully big business will also put actions in place to do more as a result of all the pressure and evidence.