Report of the Secretary-General on the 2019 Climate Action Summit and the Way Forward in 2020

The Summit demonstrated that the full participation of governments, business leaders, subnational actors, indigenous peoples, youth and other civil society stakeholders was critical to raising ambition for climate mitigation and adaptation. Together, they launched transformative initiatives in twelve critical areas that will provide the foundation for action going forward to reduce emissions and strengthen adaptation and resilience. The Summit acknowledged the need for pledges to be accountable and provided a baseline for monitoring the progress of the initiatives to ensure that promised results are achieved.

Strong action was particularly evident from the private sector and youth. Many businesses showcased ambitious commitment compatible with a 1.50C pathway, in many cases going beyond current national policy frameworks, even in sectors heavily reliant on fossil fuels. The voices of youth and the “climate strikers” were brought into the global discussion, both at the Youth Climate Summit and the Climate Action Summit.

Political leadership was also demonstrated during the Summit with the commitments of 70 countries to deliver more ambitious NDCs in 2020 in line with net zero emissions by 2050 strategies. While these countries represent a significant portion of the world’s population, they account for less than 10 percent of the world’s GHG emissions. If none of the major emitters formally committed to more ambitious NDCs, some of them “committed to commit” by the end of 2020. Finally, 75 countries committed to deliver 2050 net zero emissions strategies by 2020.

Through concrete examples, the Summit highlighted how climate action can have tangible impacts on people’s lives, including on their jobs and health, and therefore the need to align policies and systems to accelerate the implementation of both the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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