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World Leaders to Focus on Climate Action in September

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By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – Issues such as highlighting how governments, civil society and individuals can take action on climate, sharing updates on the Sustainable Development Goals, and celebrating outstanding figures whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment will take centre stage when world leaders gather in New York City for the high-level week of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly from September 21 to 26.

Youth Climate Summit, the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Social Good Summit, MISK-SGEY Youth Summit, 2019 Champions of the Earth and Young Champions of the Earth, and the Climate Action Summit will be among related activities and events.

The Youth Climate Summit is a platform for young leaders who are driving climate action to showcase their solutions at the United Nations, and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time. This event will take place on September 21 at the United Nations Headquarters, as part of a weekend of events leading up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on September 23.

On September 22, at least 34 CEOs from banks around the world will sign UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking – a major initiative which is expected to be signed by up to 100 banks by September. Citibank has just endorsed the Principles. The launch event will take place at UN Headquarters and UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen and the Secretary General will be present, along with media. There will be a public event held on September 23  to launch the Principles outside the UN in New York City.

The Principles have been developed by a core group of 30 Founding Banks through an innovative global partnership between banks and UNEP FI. They provide a single framework for the development of a sustainable banking industry. In doing so, the Principles set out the banking industry’s role and responsibility in shaping a sustainable future and in aligning the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

They also enable a bank to embed sustainability across all its business areas, and to identify where it has the potential to make the most impactful contribution to a sustainable world. Furthermore, they position a bank to leverage new business opportunities with the emergence of the sustainable development economy.

That is the central idea behind the Social Good Summit (SGS), which brings together global citizens from every walk of life to share their ideas and energy to create the world we all deserve. Every year, Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the 92nd Street Y host the Summit as a space for crucial conversation, connecting today’s global leaders with tomorrow’s innovators and activists. This year’s sponsor, Pfizer, is providing support.

For its landmark 10th year, SGS 2019 will focus on an issue that has implications for every aspect of our lives: climate change whose serious implications are being experienced widely, and particularly the global poor already facing outsized impacts.

The inaugural Misk-OSGEY Youth Forum aims to support young people to lead the way in transforming the purpose of business, by growing the number of global entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (entrepreneurship within an existing organization) for good.

This year’s Champions of the Earth and Young Champions of the Earth award ceremony will be held on September 26, in New York.

Champions of the Earth is the UN’s flagship global environmental award. It was established by the UN Environment Programme in 2005 to celebrate outstanding figures whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment.

Since its launch in 2005, the annual award has recognized 88 laureates, ranging from heads of state to grassroots activists. From world leaders to environmental defenders to technology inventors, these trailblazers are making a difference to protect our planet for the next generation and have inspired critical action on behalf of the environment.

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

Together, these developments are expected to send strong market and political signals and inject momentum in the “race to the top” among countries, companies, cities and civil society that is needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. [IDN-InDepthNews – 26 August 2019]

Photo: UN Headquarters in New York City. UN Photo.

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.

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