United Nations Climate Conference Starts
NEW YORK – Environment – The United Nations Secretary-General’s day long Climate Summit in New York on Sept. 23rd will draw about 120 heads of state, and many lower-ranking officials, according to a list of speakers the U.N. released this week. President Barack Obama will attend on behalf of the U.S., but China and India — the first and third-largest emitters of carbon dioxide — will be represented by lower-level officials.
As the eyes of the world turn to New York City, where thousands of people are expected to gather tomorrow for a massive march in advance of a United Nations climate summit, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed UN Messenger of Peace, Leonardo DiCaprio, who he has hailed as the world body’s “new voice for climate advocacy.”
Mr. Ban announced the appointment of the renowned actor and dedicated environmentalist last week, telling reporters that Mr. DiCaprio’s main focus as the Organization’s newest Messenger of Peace would be climate change issues. “His global stardom is the perfect match for this global challenge,” said the UN chief.
His is expected to join the Secretary-General tomorrow at the Peoples’ Climate March through the streets of Manhattan, where reportedly more than 100,000 people are expected to come together to demand leaders take action in advance of Mr. Ban’s Climate Summit, which takes place on Tuesday, 23 September.
The UN chief has said that measures to cut greenhouse gass emmissions, transfrom the world’s econmies and adopt to the impacts of climate change will require “all hands on deck”, and as such, one of Mr. Dicaprio’s first duties as Messenger of Peace will be to address the UN summit.
As he toured UN Headquarters with the Secretary-General this afternoon, Mr. DiCaprio told reporters that climate change is perhaps the most important issue of our time, and tackling it will be “no small task.”
Indeed, effective climate action must involve massive cooperation and dedicated action across all sectors of society. “We are at a pivotal turning point as we see the effects of rapid climate change happening right before us,” he said.
Mr. DiCaprio congratulated the Secretary-General for begin a climate champion and for gathering so many political and business leaders for the upcoming summit “to try to manifest something tangible to combat climate change.”
At the summit, more than 120 Heads of State and Government are expected to announce their visions and commitments for reaching a universal and meaningful climate agreement in 2015, as well as make announcements on actions that will reduce emissions, enhance resistance to climate change and mobilize financing for climate action.