The world is watching — leaders must come to UN Climate Summit with real plans, or be held accountable

New York, United States — Greenpeace is calling on leaders to deliver concrete ambitious climate plans at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday. It takes place just days after millions of people took to the streets all over the world, clamouring for urgent action to address the climate emergency.

The aim of the summit, convened by United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, is to strengthen national climate commitments and ensure that leaders come with tangible action plans, instead of speeches.

“It’s crunch time. This Summit has been called with the specific intention of giving a platform to countries showing real climate leadership. Which countries will rise to the challenge? Leaders have to show up with concrete, ambitious plans on how to reduce emissions and put a stop to new coal and fossil fuel subsidies. If they fail, they will have to answer to the millions of people in the streets,” said Greenpeace International’s Executive Director, Jennifer Morgan.

Guterres has asked that proposals from countries for the Climate Action Summit are clear, actionable and compatible with the latest science.

The Summit comes nearly a year after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) underscored the urgency of action to achieve the 1.5C target and outlined a rescue plan. Just last month the IPCC’s special report on Climate Change and Land also warned that the temperature over land has already increased 1.53°C, compared with a global average of 0.87°C (taking air above ocean and land into account).

“We must all unite behind the science. The people are making themselves heard. The youth are showing leadership and a way forward that politicians must follow. Momentum is building and increasingly there’s nowhere for weak leaders and fossil fuel industry interests to hide,” said Morgan.

“If political leaders, and the corporations trying to influence them, fail to deliver ambitious concrete, actionable plans in New York, and fail to follow through during future negotiations as we work towards a 1.5 world, they will be held to account in the streets, at the ballot boxes, in financial markets and in the courts.”

A wave of global climate action events are taking place this September in the face of the climate emergency, with another mass mobilisation scheduled for Friday 27 September in locations around the world.



Greenpeace International Press Desk,, phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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