UN Leaders Appeal To Member States: Step Up Climate Change Ambition, Action 

Leaders of the major UN agencies have issued an appeal to member states to step up their “ambition” and “actions” to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

The agencies called upon member states to prepare for the UN Climate Summit, planned for 23 September, with firm plans to limit global temperature rise.

“With great urgency we call upon Member States to come to New York in September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020 and in support to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals,” stated the appeal, referring to the voluntary commitments by countries that are the heart of the UN framework for climate action.

The message was issued in the wake of last week’s publication of the summary findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Global Assessment Report, which warned of an escalating loss of biodiversity and deteriorating ecosystems – services that provide the foundation for human health, food security and economic development.

The message was signed by the UN Secretariat and three dozen other UN programmes and specialised agencies, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Environment, the World Bank, and others.

“We, the leaders of the United Nations system organizations, appeal to Member States to step up ambition and take concrete action to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and adapt to the effects of climate change, as they strive to fulfil their obligations on human rights, including the right to health, the right to food security, the right to development, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women, intergenerational equity, and decent work and a just transition for all,” stated the call, referring to the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

The message noted that the 2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming had earlier stated that limiting global warming to 1.5°C is necessary to prevent irreversible changes.

“Achieving this goal will require changes on an unprecedented scale at all levels, but it is still possible if we act now,” said the statement, available here online.


Image Credits: UN.