COVID-19: UN chief sets six actions for a climate-positive recovery


Ahead of this year’s United Nations General Assembly, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres has put a strong focus on how societies can build back better in the wake of COVID-19 by transitioning to low-carbon economies. The UN chief set out six actions for a climate-positive recovery which include:

*Deliver new jobs and businesses through a green and just transition while accelerating the decarbonization of all aspects of the economy.

*Use taxpayers’ money to create green jobs and inclusive growth when rescuing businesses.

*Shift economies from grey to green, with using public financing that makes societies more resilient.

* Invest public funds in the future, to projects that help the environment and climate.

*Consider risks and opportunities for your own economy, as the global financial system works to shape policy and infrastructure.

*Work together as an international community to combat COVID-19 and climate change.

The 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75) kicks off on Tuesday 15 September 2020, with a strong focus on the topics of sustainability and climate change. The UN is marking its 75th anniversary with a one-day high-level event on 21 September under the theme: ‘The future we Want, the UN we need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism’.

On 24 September, a special 90-minute online event will showcase high-impact activities undertaken in the framework of the UN Secretary-General’s six climate positive actions.

A day before, on 23 September, a Climate Action Event at SDG Action Zone (22-24 September) organized by UN Climate Change will highlight stories of people creating change – and explain how everyone can become part of the solution. Gonzalo Muñoz, High-Level Climate Champion for COP25, will speak at the event.

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa will participate in several events on the margins of the UN General-Assembly, including the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC’s) inaugural webinar in the series titled ‘One Voice – Towards a Brighter Future’.

Highlights of Climate Week NYC

Pursuing a net-zero future through a just transition to low-carbon economies will be the focus of  Climate Week NYC 2020, which will take place virtually in parallel to the opening week of the General Assembly.

The ‘Race to Zero’ campaign of the High-Level Climate Champions aims to create a race to the top on climate action. UK High Level Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping will be among the speakers at an opening day event titled ‘Best Practice for Natural Solutions in the Race to Zero’ which will explore the opportunity and limitations of natural climate solutions to deliver net zero targets and limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius or even 2 degrees Celsius.

Exponential Climate Action Summit – Race to Zero through digitalization

This event on 24 September will explore how digitalization can foster action in businesses and governments. Speakers will include founding Partner at Global Optimism and former UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, and UK High Level Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping. This event is arranged by We Don’t Have Time together with the Exponential Roadmap, Climate Week NYC 2020, Race To Zero, the International Chamber of Commerce and Sting.