UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Paris Mayor call for “inclusive multilateralism” to achieve climate goals
05 September 2018 | Adaptation
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa and Mayor of Paris and C40 Cities Chair Anne Hidalgo have penned an op-ed in advance of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), calling for “inclusive multilateralism” that involves participation of all stakeholders to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs.
In their op-ed, Espinosa and Hidalgo stress that global CO2 emissions must peak in 2020 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and that, while nearly 50 countries have achieved this goal, more must be done.
Citing the Renewables 2018 Global Status Report, Espinosa and Hidalgo acknowledge that renewable power accounted for 70% of net additions to power-generating capacity in 2017.
Over 200 states, regions and local authorities, they note, have committed to cut their emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 as part of the Under2 Coalition. Among actions by cities, Espinosa and Hidalgo highlight: New York, US, which mandated the retrofitting of 14,500 of the city’s most polluting buildings; Shenzhen, China, which became the world’s first city with a fully electric bus fleet; Curitiba, Brazil, which introduced a new model of urban food production; and Oslo, Norway, which created a climate budget to guide financial decision making.
Espinosa and Hidalgo underscore that more than 700 companies with a total market capitalization of more than US$16 trillion have made climate commitments. In addition, 289 investors, with around US$30 trillion in assets, have signed on to Climate 100+, a five-year initiative that seeks to encourage large corporate emitters to improve climate governance, reduce emissions and strengthen climate-related financial disclosures. This, they note, has led to a global green bond issuance that could top US$300 billion in 2018.
Calling for all relevant stakeholders to strengthen their climate commitments, Espinosa and Hidalgo highlight new challenges initiated by the GCAS and partners, including zero waste goals in cities, a target of 500 companies adopting science-based targets, and initiatives to accelerate the uptake of zero-emission vehicles. They argue that these efforts will protect the environment and boost economies. They cite a New Climate Economy report, which suggests that a low-carbon transition could create 23 million jobs worldwide annually in the transportation sector alone.
Convening in San Francisco, US, from 12-14 September 2018 under the theme, ‘Take Ambition to the Next Level,’ the GCAS will provide a “launching pad” for accelerated action and increased climate ambition from all stakeholders to help meet the Paris Agreement goals. The Summit will also seek to inspire national governments to increase the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, in December, where Parties are expected to finalize the rules for implementation of the Paris Agreement.