On 23 September UN Secretary-General António Guterres will host the 2019 Climate Action Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The Summit will showcase a leap in collective political ambition, and it will demonstrate massive movements in the real economy in support of the agenda.

The Summit will bring together governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities and other international organizations to develop ambitious solutions in different areas. In order to ensure that these transformative actions are as impactful as possible, the Secretary-General has prioritized nine action areas, which are recognized as having high potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increase global action on adaptation and resilience.

The UN SG asked Member States to come with concrete plans and initiatives rather than speeches. In accordance with that, the outcome of the Summit should be a set of concrete, transformative initiatives, captured by the summary of the event. Follow up arrangements will be put in place to track progress, ensure accountability and to facilitate the implementation of the Summit’s proposals.

Commitments and initiatives to be presented at the Summit

An initial and non-exhaustive list of initiatives based on the work of the nine coalitions was already developed. The list does not pre-judge the initiatives that will be presented during the Summit. Governments that want to join the initiatives can indicate their interest by sending an email to the office of the Special Envoy for the Climate Action Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba, at climateactionsummitplans@un.org.

Regions4 supports the coalition for Social and Political Drivers of Climate Action (SPD), as one of the global coalitions of governments, agencies and institutions that are building climate ambition on the action areas towards the UNSG summit, and beyond.

Regional governments can commit to achieving air quality that is safe for their citizens and to align their climate change and air pollution policies by 2030.

This commitment can be made through actions, such as:

  • Implementing air quality and climate change policies that will achieve the WHO Ambient Air Quality Guideline values.
  • Implementing e-mobility and sustainable mobility policies and actions with the aim of making a decisive impact on road transport emissions.
  • Assessing the number of lives that are saved, the health gains in children and other vulnerable groups, and the avoided financial costs to health systems, that result from implementing their policies.
  • Tracking progress, sharing experience and best practice through an international network supported by the BreatheLife Campaign.

In order to commit, a high-level representative from the regional government or organization will have to submit the commitment in writing and send it via email to the Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit Team, via the email spdcast@un.org or andrea.guerrerogarcia@un.org. A draft letter to facilitate this process can be found here.

In addition, the Government of Chile – which is leading the Mitigation action track – is mobilising actors that represent the groundswell determination to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions modernise our societies and prevent a climate catastrophe. The Chilean High-Level Champion for Climate Action, Gonzalo Muñoz Abogabir, supports this work by engaging with non-State actors, both ahead of the Summit and in the lead-up to COP 25. The intention is to recognise actors who already are leading the way: those who have made a commitment and presented a plan to be carbon neutral by 2050, as well as those new actors that want to step-up their ambition. Regions4, as co-focal point of the Marrakech Partnership, is supporting this initiative by calling all members and partners to contact us should you wish to be recognised in this regard so that we can liaise with the Climate Champion.

Please share with us your commitments, so we can help you spread the message about your valuable actions on climate change!

For any questions or queries, please do not hesitate Sara Kupka (skupka@regions4.org) from our Secretariat.