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Climate Change Policy & Practice

UN Climate Summit 2014 - “Catalyzing Action”

23 September 2014 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

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Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, civil society representative, Marshall Islands, and family during the opening session

The UN Climate Summit took place on 23 September 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York, US. The Summit was opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said "We are here not to talk but to make history."

The Summit brought together over 120 Heads of State and Government, as well as governments ministers and leaders from multilateral organizations, the finance and business sectors, civil society, and sub-national authorities and local communities, to catalyze action on climate change and mobilize political will towards a global agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 2015.

Following the opening ceremony, the Summit convened in three parallel plenary sessions during which Heads of State and Government made national action and ambition announcements. A private sector forum took place during lunch. Two parallel sessions on national action and ambition announcements took place in the afternoon for governments that sent ministers to the meeting. In the afternoon, three parallel sessions addressed multilateral and multi-stakeholder action announcements organized around the themes: finance; energy; forests; agriculture; resilience; petroleum and industry; transport; and cities. Two parallel sessions engaged in thematic discussions of: climate science; voices from climate frontlines; climate, health and jobs; and the economic case for action.

The UN Climate Summit closed with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscoring that never had so many world leaders gathered in one place to address climate change. He highlighted the announcements and contributions made throughout the day. President Ollanta Humala, Peru, called for UNFCCC COP20 in Lima, Peru, to outline a clear and coherent agreement to be adopted in Paris in December 2015 and to approve rules for national contributions from all countries. Former First Lady of South Africa Graça Machel, Graça Machel Trust, called on everyone to ensure that from now until UNFCCC COP20, “each of us has matched the momentousness of the challenge with our actions.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon brought the Summit to a close at 7:41pm.

Download our summary report of the meeting in HTML or PDF formats.



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US President Barack Obama addresses the UN Climate Summit

Opening Ceremony

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and former US Vice-President
Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor and UN Messenger for Peace

Li Bingbing, Actress and UN Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador

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New York Mayor Bill De Blasio



Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor and UN Messenger for Peace
The delegation of Saudi Arabia

National Action and Ambition Announcements

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Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela

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Dilma Vana Rousseff, President of Brazil
Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus
Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile
Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile

Robert Orr, UN Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, and Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General

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Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran
Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon

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Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (right)
Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization
Former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon, Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, incoming COP President, and Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and teh Caribbean
The Polish delegation

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Joint Conclusion of the Morning National Action and Ambition Announcements

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US President Barack Obama addresses the Climate Summit

Baron Waqa, President of Nauru and Chair of Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

Zhang Gaoli, Vice-Premier of China

François Hollande, President of France
Ambassador Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa, and Todd Stern, US Special Envoy for Climate Change

Multilateral and Multi-stakeholder Action Announcements

Forests Action Announcements
Forests Action Announcements: Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia

Forests Action Announcements: UNDP Administrator Helen Clark with speakers during the session

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Forests Action Announcements: Edwin Vasquez, Coordinator, Coordinating Body of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA), Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, and David MacLennan, CEO, Cargill, Incorporated

Forests Action Announcements: UNDP Administrator Helen Clark (right)
Helge Lund, CEO, Statoil, and Fred Krupp, Director, Environment Defense Fund (EDF), announce initiative

Industry Action Announcements: Khalid A. AL Falih, CEO, Saudi Aramco
Industry: Gina McCarthy, Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency, and Doris Leuthard, Federal Councillor, Switzerland

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Khalid A. Al-Falih, CEO, Saudi Aramco, with colleagues

Industry: Kevin Fay, Executive Director, Alliance for Responsible Atmosphere Policy
Industry: Parks Tau, Mayor, City of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Sophie Punte, Executive Director, Smart Freight Center
Antoine Frérot, CEO, Veolia Environnement

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Industry Action Announcements group photo

Agriculture: Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger

Agriculture: Ishmael Sunga, CEO, Southern Africa Confederation of Agricultural Unions
Agriculture: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair, African Union Commission

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Agriculture Action Announcements

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Agriculture Action Announcements

Resilience Action Announcements: Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development
Kimo Goree, IISD Reporting Services, and Scott Vaughn, President and CEO, IISD

Transport Action Announcments co-leads Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, and Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime of Trinidad and Tobago
Transport Action Announcments group picture
Transport Action Announcments group picture

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Resilience Action Announcements

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Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, co-lead of the Resilience Action Announcements
Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, co-lead of the Resilience Action Announcements
Participants during the Cities Action Announcements

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Cities Action Announcements: Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change

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Cities Action Announcements: Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro

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Cities Action Announcements: Zhu Xiaomong, Mayor of Zhenjiang, China

Speakers during the Cities Action Announcements

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Group shot from the Cities Action Announcements session

Thematic Discussions

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View of the dais during the thematic discussion on the Economic Case for Action

Economic Case for Action: Felipe Calderon, Former President of Mexico, and Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate
Economic Case for Action: Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

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Voices from the Climate Frontlines: Evo Morales, President of Bolivia

Voices from the Climate Frontlines: Femi Oke, Al Jazeera English
Voices from the Climate Frontlines: Sylvia Atungonza Kapello, Riamiriam Civil Society Network in Karamoja, Uganda

Voices from the Climate Frontlines:Ronan Farrow, Host of 'Ronan Farrow Daily' on MSNBC
Voices from the Climate Frontlines: Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu

Voices from the Climate Frontlines: Evo Morales, President of Bolivia
Voices from the Climate Frontlines

Voices from the Climate Frontlines: Arthur “Mychal” Johnson, South Bronx Unite, tries to get the attention of the moderator to make an intervention
Speakers from the Voices from the Climate Frontlines session; in the center is Mary Robinson, President, Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate justice

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Voices from the Climate Frontlines: Ronan Farrow, Host of 'Ronan Farrow Daily' on MSNBC
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Arthur “Mychal” Johnson, South Bronx Unite, during the Voices from the Climate Frontlines discussion


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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presents his Chair's Summary

Graca Machel, Founder, Graca Machel Trust
Ollanta Humala, President of Peru

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gavels the Summit to a close

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Funding for coverage of the UN Climate Summit 2014 has been provided by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG)
UN
Related Links
Summit Resources

*Summit Website *Summit Programme *Summit Action Areas
*Summit Thematic Sessions *Take Climate Action *Climate Week NYC


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*IISD RS coverage of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013, 11-23 November 2013, Warsaw, Poland

*IISD RS video coverage of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013, 11-23 November 2013, Warsaw, Poland

*IISD RS summary and analysis of IPCC-37, 14-17 October 2013, Batumi, Georgia (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS coverage of the Twelfth Session of IPCC WGI and IPCC-36, 23-26 September 2013, Stockholm, Sweden

*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2013, 3-14 June 2013, Bonn, Germany

*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Conference - April 2013, 29 April - 3 May 2013, Bonn, Germany

*CLIMATE-L - A mailing list for news on climate change policy

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