A Call to Action: Climate Summit 2014

Climate change occupies a borderless space in the international arena. Industrializing parties face unwarranted threats from their industrialized counterparts and shoulder pressures from international parties to curb carbon emissions despite the United States’ position as one of the top three carbon emitters world wide. The willingness of all parties to hold discussion about this and other climate-related issues however, has never been more apparent than at the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations.

Following the People’s Climate March on Sunday, Tuesday’s Climate Summit resulted in over $200 billion pledged to finance renewable energy in at-risk countries. Later, President Obama in his remarks to the Climate Summit stated that this crisis will “define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other.”

Various side events at the United Nations General Assembly have highlighted non-governmental perspectives on climate change including those of the interfaith community and NAACP. I attended the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change on Monday to meet with impassioned leaders from various faiths and religious about climate change and their perspective on this man-made issue. Jewish, Sikh, Christian, Jain, and leaders other religious traditions assured the international community that “… the threats of climate change cannot be curbed effectively by a single State alone, but only by the enhanced cooperation of the community of States….”

Tuesday I was fortunate enough to interview Director of the NAACP Environmental And Climate Justice Program, Jacqui Patterson (@JacuiPatt). Director Patterson emphasized the impact climate change has on undeserved communities throughout the Global North. Increases in food prices, transportation costs, and electricity rates disproportionately affect these vulnerable communities.

The willingness of the international community to collaborate against climate change has never been more apparent. This week:

• Over $200 billion was pledged by countries to support renewable energy;

• Over 120 countries sent representatives to partake in the 2014 Climate Summit;

• Over 300,000 demonstrated solidarity against climate change in the People’s Climate March;

• And over $24 billion has been invested in the Green Bond market to date.

We are making change and I challenge you to be a part of it. Find out more at www.un.org/climatechange/summit/ or join the conversation online with #Climate2014.