World leaders gathered in New York yesterday for the
UN secretary general's climate summit. Over 125 countries sent
delegates in an attempt to reinvigorate international efforts to
tackle climate change.
Jonathan Grant, director, sustainability & climate change at
consultancy PwC has
wisely said "It will take time to sort the new
announcements from the old, and to understand whether the new
announcements are a step change from business as usual".
Here's our effort at beginning to pick through the hours and
hours of speeches to separate the new announcements from the
We have a full summary of country statements
The United States was one of the only
nations to come armed with completely
new policy announcements.
President Obama signed an executive order directing federal
agencies to consider climate resilience when designing programmes
and allocating funds. He also ordered government agencies such as
NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
give their data to other countries to assist with managing
climate change, and to extend programmes to train developing
Oxfam America described the plans as
China's Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli reiterated his
country's goal to cut carbon intensity by 40 to 45 per cent of 2005
levels by 2020.
He also said China's carbon emissions would peak "as early as
possible". A senior Chinese climate negotiator made a
similar statement earlier
this year, but it had not been considered official government
policy until now. The flexible language makes it hard to tell
exactly what the commitment means.