One World Summit
On December 12, 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres joined together in Paris to convene over 50 world leaders for the One Planet Summit.
Following the slogan, "Make Our Planet Great Again", the world leaders confirmed the consensus of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 that greenhouse gas emissions, must be cut drastically, in order to reach the goal of keeping global temperatures during this century from rising more than 3.6 degrees F (2.0 degrees C) above pre-industrial times (with an eye on aiming to keep the rise even lower, to 1.5 degrees C).
The aim of the One Planet Summit was to mobilize not just political leaders, but also public and private financing to fund a transition to a world where fossil fuels play a decreasing role.
For example, the World Bank announced that, as of 2019, it will no longer finance upstream oil and gas. (Unless under exceptional circumstances for the poorest nations that have an immediate benefit.) President Jim Yong Kim also announced that the World Bank is on target to direct 28 percent of its funding to climate action by 2020.
The participants also reconfirmed their promise that rich countries intend to contribute $100 billion a year by 2020, to assist poorer nations cope with climate change.
In an editorial in the Guardian newspaper, British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote:
"There is a clear moral imperative for developed economies such as the UK to help those around the world who stand to lose most from the consequences of man-made climate change. But by putting the UK at the forefront of efforts to cut carbon emissions and develop clean energy, we can also make the most of new economic opportunities. And by taking action to create a secure natural environment, we are fulfilling a duty we owe to the next generation."
In response to the earlier announcement that the US would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Trump's decision was a "rallying cry" for US cities and companies to move forward on their own to ensure the Us met its original carbon reduction targets as set up in the Paris Agreement.
Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger summarized this momentum well:
"It doesn't matter that Donald Trump backed out of the Paris Agreement, because the private sector didn't drop out, the public sector didn't drop out, universities didn't drop out, no one dropped out."
Fortunately, influential world and business leaders have their eyes wide open to what's at stake.
Click here to watch the videos from the One Planet Summit.
Click here for a summary of the 20 'Projects for our Planet' presented during the Summit.
Click here for a llst of the 12 One Planet Commitments (financial pledges)
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