(NEW YORK – Sept. 23, 2014) Unconventional alliances among countries, industry, companies and NGOs took center stage at today’s Climate Summit 2014, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Among the summit’s notable initiatives were a public-private partnership to address methane emissions from oil and gas production and a push from companies, investors and countries to put a price on carbon.
“There is an urgent need for action in the global community, and this summit is an important step along the path to the greater ambition that’s needed to turn the corner toward climate stability and a new era of clean, low-carbon prosperity” said Fred Krupp, president of the U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund, who attended the summit.
“The broad commitment we’ve seen come together around the summit reflects the undeniable momentum among governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, and civil society to curtail climate change,” said Nathaniel Keohane, Vice President for International Climate, who also attended the summit.
EDF has been involved in a number of key initiatives announced at the summit, along with partners from governments, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society.
EDF has been particularly involved in developing the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Oil/Gas Methane Partnership, through which participating companies agree to take key steps to measure, reduce and report methane emissions from oil and gas production — the largest industrial source of methane. Though not a substitute for regulation in the U.S., this voluntary public-private approach can help address methane emissions in areas of the world where regulatory approaches are less likely to make headway. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas – one with 84 times the heat-trapping effect of carbon dioxide over a twenty-year period – curtailing methane emissions provides an immediate opportunity to slow the rate of warming in the near term even as the world undertakes the critical work to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The summit also addressed carbon pricing, with EDF joining more than 1,000 companies and investors, and 73 countries that represent 54 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 52 percent of global GDP and nearly half of the global population announcing their support for a price on carbon. Both limits on carbon pollution and a price on carbon to achieve them as efficiently and as fairly as possible are needed to drive the transformation to shared global prosperity.
Other key initiatives included the launch of a global alliance on climate-smart agriculture and a declaration on deforestation joined by governments, businesses and civil society.