The 411 On the UN Climate Summit

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UN Climate Summit- Catalyzing Action video

Up to 400,000 people joined my classmates in New York on Sunday and millions more from around the world marched as well for action to address climate change. This global march addressing global climate change kicked-off “Climate Week- NYC” based around the Tuesday September 23rd UN Climate Summit, called by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

Ban Ki Moon called this summit on September 2, 2014, calling on a variety of leaders to come together to take more definitive actions against climate change. The UN Climate Summit is separate from the UNFCCC and thus separate from COP politics. Ban Ki Moon quoted his frustration with climate action lacking ambition thus far pushing his goal for this summit take_climate_action_button-248x300bring more ambitious climate work to life.

Specifically there are two goals of the Climate Summit. One, “to mobilize political will for a meaningful universal agreement at the climate negotiations in Paris in 2015” and two, “to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience to the changes that are already happening”. (Ban Ki Moon 2012).

Although the UNFCCC is separate from the Climate Summit, there are many parallels in the frustration with (lack of) progress thus far and the need for wider-reaching agreements, both in participants and commitments. Ban Ki Moon specifically invited not only governmental world leaders but also business, finance, and societal world leaders. By doing this, he aims to encourage multi-lateral, multi-player actions as many theorists (such as Bulkeley and Newell) claim. Furthermore, the Secretary General called on attendees to bring with them “make bold announcements” (Ban Ki Moon 2012) regarding new commitments to combatting climate change.

Addressing recent requests by developing countries to include other action policies besides emission mitigation, the summit will address the political possibility for a stronger 2015 agreement, emissions reductions, and adaption to climate change.

The bottom line, Ban Ki Moon sees his Climate Summit as a way to kick-off more ambitious, accelerating negotiations and actions against climate change. It will be interesting to see if world leaders arrive tomorrow with this idea in mind, or if it will be as sticky as COPs have gotten in the past.

Throughout the summit, you can follow the conference via the web here.

People’s Climate March in NYC

Mosaic Students marching with their Professors in mind
Mosaic Students marching with their Professors in mind

Today 25 students and 4 faculty members from Dickinson College descended on New York City with 400,000 other people from around the world to demand climate action. We started in Central Park and ended at the UN headquarters on 9th Ave. We came to New York for a variety of reasons, but what we all hold in common is that we demanded action to address climate change now.

We are all anxiously watching what will happen on Tuesday September 23, 2014 as Ban Ki-Moon holds the Climate Summit in New York City. We are doubtful yet hopeful that our actions today will make a difference on the international stage.

400,000+ strongWhat happened today shot past our wildest expectations. 400,000 is a lot of people, we are ecstatic to see where this goes. We can’t wait for the future. Please join us.

See a TIME article here






Dickinson students found Bill McKibben of on the streets!
Dickinson students found Bill McKibben of on the streets!


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The Weather in 2050

On the UNFCCC newsroom homepage today I found the video at the bottom of this blog post. The first four minutes of the video show a news anchor man going through the current weather across the US with a hurricane off the coast of Florida, a heat wave in Chicago and a server drought in the south-west US. The video ends with Ban Ki-Moon addressing the viewers and asking for us to take action on climate change with him. On one hand the video seems overly dramatic. But, is this what it takes to get people to take up Ban Ki-Moon’s call for action?

After investigating the WMO’s website, I was able to find a link to a series of videos that the organization is running in preparation for the Climate Summit at the end of the month in New York City. A list of those videos can be found here.

It is very interesting to me that they are running this campaign on weather related events. We know that there is not a clear connection between any given daily weather event and climate, yet, this video series suggests that weather when examined in different locations globally is an indication of a warming climate. These videos are consistent with the predictions of climate modelers, according to the WMO website. So, maybe this is an effective way of convincing people of the real dangers of climate change. What do you think?