The Climate Summit 2014 (sometimes also referred to as the Leader’s Climate Summit) was a meeting on climate change that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced in September 2013 to be held in New York on September 23, 2014. He invited leaders of governments, the private sector, and civil society to unite in concrete action towards a low-carbon world.
Although the Summit’s focus was on initiatives and actions than on negotiations between countries, it was seen as an important milestone on the path towards closing the emissions gap, the difference between reduction pledges and the necessary emission cuts for the 2 °C scenario, and to a new legal agreement on climate change, that is to be approved by the COP21 in Paris in December 2015. One output from the Summit was the New York Declaration on Forests.
Developments and positions prior to the Summit
After the COP19 in Warsaw, the Climate Summit was the next high-level gathering on climate change. Since the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period expires in 2020, the UNFCCC process attempts to establish a new worldwide contract about climate protection and emission reduction objectives, that is to be drafted in 2014 at the COP20 in Lima and adopted in 2015 at the COP21 in Paris. The Climate Summit in September 2014 is not part of this negotiating process, but is expected to serve as a kick-off for a year of intense activity in climate policy and an indicator on the countries’ ambitions to reduce emissions and support climate protection. Having this in mind, UN Secretary-General Ban invited leaders of governments, the private sector and civil society from all over the world to unite in action:
I challenge you to bring to the Summit bold pledges. Innovate, scale-up, cooperate and deliver concrete action that will close the emissions gap and put us on track for an ambitious legal agreement through the UNFCCC process.—UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
In December 2013, Secretary-General Ban appointed the former President of Ghana, John Kufuor, and Jens Stoltenberg, former Prime Minister of Norway, as special envoys on climate change, to assist Ban in connection with the Climate Summit and provide strategic advice.
In preparation of the Climate Summit, on May 4 and 5 the Abu Dhabi Ascent was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, as a meeting in order to cross-link initiatives between governments, the private sector and civil society and to “generate momentum” for the Climate Summit.
In July 2014, Ban Ki-moon appointed former President of Ireland, and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, a special envoy for climate change to interact with global leaders ahead of the Climate Summit, to forge political commitment towards finalizing an agreement in 2015.
Location and participation
A major protest against climate change took place outside the conference and on Sunday two days before the conference in other countries worldwide to encourage the leaders to take strong climate action.
- Climate Summit 2014, un.org; visited March 26, 2014.
- Secretary-General appoints special envoys on climate change, unicnetwork.org; visited March 19, 2014.
- United Arab Emirates to host meeting ahead of UN chief’s climate summit, un.org; visited March 25, 2014.
- "Robinson to head United Nations effort on climate change". Irish Sun.com. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
Climate Summit 2014 (un.org)