One Planet Summit 2017 – We are not yet winning the climate change battle
Two years after COP 21 and the historic Paris agreement, world leaders and committed citizens once again convene in Paris on 12 December to reflect and debate on the progress of their actions and how to further accelerate decision-making to protect the planet.
Jointly organized by the United Nations and World Bank, One Planet Summit gathered more than 50 government leaders and 4000 participants from all sectors, public and private sectors, philanthropists, youth, scientists. The Summit is a call-to-action for game-changing strategies. We are behind time as Emmanuel Macron, president of the French Republic, started straight away in his opening remarks that “ We are not yet winning the climate change battle” and Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations also stressed that “climate change is moving faster than us”. On policy making aspect, many leaders, including Nicolas Hulot, minister of Ecological and Inclusive transition, and Angel Gurria, General Secretary of the OECD, emphasized the importance of taxing the consumption of fossil fuels and the commitments by all countries to have green budget and to implement policies. Even though Donald Trump administration pulled out the climate change, it did not reflect the mentality of all American leaders. Jerry Brown, governor of California stressed that “Nature is not capitalism. We need actions; we have enough talks”. International institutions, notably the World Bank made important announcements on its support to developing countries for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement’s goals such as the cessation of upstream oil and gas financing, reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from investment projects and mobilizing finance for transformation in mitigation and climate resilience. And climate change is not only the responsibility of head of states, governments, institutions, companies but also of individual citizens. We all play a part to make our planet green again from the smallest actions at home and in our surrounding.
Ban Ki Moon, former UN secretary-general, said that “the Paris agreement is a starting point to galvanize actions” and the battle against climate change presents not only responsibility but also opportunities for different institutions. Among the institutions, European Commission, championing the cause with their motto “No Planet B”, unveiled today the 9 billion of investments by 2020 in Paris climate-relevant investments in three targeted areas – sustainable cities, sustainable energy and connectivity and sustainable agriculture, rural entrepreneurs and agribusiness. Big players in the private sector such as AXA also express commitment to fighting against climate change by quadrupling climate action investment to 12 billion euros.
Among the stakeholders, women are among the most affected by climate change and should be given the voices and leadership to reverse the situation. Patricia Espinosa, Executive secretary of United Nation Climate Change said that “women are key to sustainable for all”. Research by UN Women, UN Environment and many others show that empowered women are great entrepreneurs in areas like renewable energy because they understand the multiple economic, social and environmental benefits for their families and communities by having it. This message was already stressed at the Women’s Forum Global Meeting in Paris last October with more than 2000 delegates by Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation, who is also present today at the Summit, that “there is a need for more women leaders in the energy sector” in this male-dominated domain for real transformational changes. The Women's Forum is also committed to this cause as our work is to amplify women’s perspectives and solutions to global issues like climate change continues. Our Climate Manifesto, launched earlier this year and already signed by more than 500 civic and business leaders from around the world, demonstrates our continued commitment to climate action in a disrupted world.