A major international summit ended today in California with delegates calling on national governments to join forces to step up climate action ahead of 2020—the year when global greenhouse gases need to peak and fall sharply thereafter to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
The meeting of leaders from states and regions, cities, business, investors and civil society at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) underlined the transformational action they are already pursuing.
Over 100 leaders, for example, are now committed to carbon neutrality—or removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they emit with the Governor of California bringing the date forward for his state achieving this to 2045.
Leaders also unveiled a range of bold new commitments across five specific challenge areas aimed at taking their collective ambition to the next level. These are aimed at avoiding risks and seizing the opportunities outlined in a suite of reports including the new Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century by the New Climate Economy.
It finds that a stepped-up transition to a low-carbon economy can:
- Result in $26 trillion in economic benefits worldwide through 2030.
- Generate over 65 million new low-carbon jobs in 2030, equivalent to today’s entire workforces of the U.K. and Egypt combined.
- Avoid over 700,000 premature deaths from air pollution in 2030.
- Generate, through just subsidy reform and carbon pricing, an estimated US$2.8 trillion in government revenues per year in 2030—equivalent to the total GDP of India today—funds that can be used to invest in other public priorities or reduce distorting taxes.
- By a shift to more sustainable forms of agriculture combined with strong forest protection, deliver potentially more than US $2 trillion per year of economic benefits, generating millions of jobs, improving food security—including by reducing food loss and waste—and delivering over a third of the climate change solution.
- By restoring natural capital, especially our forests, degraded lands and coastal zones, strengthen our defenses and boost adaptation to climate impacts, from more extreme weather patterns to sea-level rise.
The announcements during and prior to the Global Climate Action Summit are helping realize this promise that will, in turn, support the achievement of the Paris Climate Change Agreement now and over the years and decades to come.
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr of California, and a Summit co-chair said, “This week, cities, states, businesses and non-profits stepped up and took strong action at the Global Climate Action Summit. Now it’s time to take this momentum back home. Climate change waits for nobody. Let’s get to work.”
For the full article click here