The reality of climate change

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The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are 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.

The Paris Agreement adopted in 2015, was an essential step to address climate change. It has the central goal of keeping global average temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The 2015 Paris Agreement marked a historic turning point. World leaders from across the globe clinched a new, universal agreement under the umbrella of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Last December at the UN Climate Change Conference COP24 in Poland, governments were set to agree the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement, thereby unleashing its full potential.

As of November 2018, 184 states and the European Union have joined the Agreement, which entered into force with record speed.

Countries have designed their own national climate action plans under the Paris Agreement, but the sum of these plans are not sufficient to limit climate change to well below 2°C. It is critical for countries strengthen their strategies to reach the targets set in the Paris Agreement and raise ambition to tackle climate change.

To support efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and to increase ambition and climate action, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will bring world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to the Climate Summit on 23 September 2019. He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for an ambitious and meaningful agreement in Paris in December 2015.

The Summit next year will come exactly one year before countries will have to enhance their national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement.

The Secretary-General said, “Only a significantly higher level of ambition will do. To that end, the Summit will focus on areas that go to the heart of the problem — the sectors that create the most emissions and the areas where building resilience will make the biggest difference.”

“We will bring together players from the real economy and real politics, including representatives of trillions of dollars of assets, both public and private.”

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