On December 12, 2017 world leaders came together in Paris, France to combat global climate change. Two years before on that same date, the Paris Agreement was signed by 200 countries and agreed on mitigating greenhouse emissions which are mainly caused by the burning of fossil fuels. The Paris Agreement set out to reduce greenhouse gasses significantly to stop or slow down the effects that human activity has on climate change.
One goal set by the Paris Agreement was to keep global temperatures from increasing above a certain level. Part of the agreement is to review each country’s contribution to cutting back emissions every five years to make sure they are living up the agreement.
US President Donald Trump decided to pull out of the Paris Agreement in August of 2017 because he said it was a bad deal for the country. Part of the Paris Agreement required rich countries like the US to contribute $100 billion a year by 2020 so that other poor countries can deal with climate change.
So some major world leaders decided to step and create leadership of their own to uphold the Paris Agreement after Trump stepped away from it.
One Planet – Our Only Planet
The One Planet Summit stood as a unifying event to help push forward the movement to combat climate change, global warming and the burning of greenhouse gasses. Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank Group and Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the UN partnered to organize the One Planet Summit that seeks public and private financing in support of climate action.
Several projects were showcased at the One Planet Summit to explain that there are real solutions to address the challenges of climate change. The projects are to be replicated, increased and multiplied as they inspire others to take action around the world. The projects demonstrated that the summit is committed to a new world and wants to preserve the only planet we have.
The notion is that developed countries should be leading the war against climate change because they have resources available to help others. These other countries stand to lose the most from negative factors of man-made climate change.
The One Planet Summit wants to engage and involve not just political leaders but the public and private financing sector to transition away from fossil fuels and the influence they have on the world.
The World Bank Group announced at the summit that it will no longer finance upstream oil and gas (fossil fuels) after 2019. (Except under special circumstances where consideration will be given to poorest countries where there is a clear benefit of energy access for the poor and project fits within the countries Paris Agreement commitments.)
President Kim also announced that the World Bank Group is on target to direct 28 percent of its lending to climate action by 2020.
One Planet Summit Projects
There were many projects showcased at the summit but a few stood out. The Climate Reality Leadership Corps is a global group of activists who are committed to spreading awareness of the climate crisis and working to find solutions. The purpose of the group is to empower leaders to by providing training in climate science, communications so they can better tell the story about climate change in order to inspire others everywhere to take actions.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is creating a Sustainable Island Platform to help the islands that are highly vulnerable to climate issues, specifically in the Caribbean. The initiative gives tools for planning and changing modes of production and consumption. The goal is to help create sustainable economic development, financial tools to see that through, preserve islands’ natural capital and optimize local resources. The IDB is funded on a public-private investment that is trying to spur private investment in energy, infrastructure, agriculture and tourism fields.
The Climate Resilience and Adaptation Finance & Technology Transfer Facility (CRAFT) is the first private sector investment strategy that focuses on climate resilience and adapting to climate change. CRAFT has highlighted 500 companies with products, services or technology that can evaluate and manage the risks and effects being magnified by climate change in all sectors of the economy.
CRAFT wants to invest equity in 10-15 of these companies to help them scale up and apply their solutions to developing countries.
The Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) looks to fight deforestation by protecting the Congo Basin forest cover which is the second largest tropical rainforest in the world. The CAFI combats the proponents of deforestation by supporting political reform in each sector. Its designed to mitigate climate change but also contributes to food security and the fight against land degradation.
The One Planet Summit highlighted the progress that is being made, the ideas that are being created and the hope that people, businesses and governments all over the world contribute in a significant way to fight climate change.