On this eve of November 4, the day the Paris Climate Change Agreement enters into force, the world is focused on what everyone from global finance leaders to ordinary citizens can do to reduce carbon emissions and protect the planet from catastrophic warming.
“As the world heads into COP22 in Marrakesh, we must regain the sense of urgency we felt a year ago,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim in a statement. “With each passing day, the climate challenge grows. If we are to have any chance of meeting the goals enshrined in the Agreement, we need to move quickly on at least four priorities for action.”
Those priorities include $90 trillion in infrastructure investments across the next 15 years, primarily in developing nations, so that countries can build a climate-smart future. “We have a good idea of what is needed—more efficient water supply, climate-smart agriculture, early warning systems, disaster risk reduction, and better social protection,” Kim added.
But the world needs to make wise decisions in order to guard against extreme poverty driven by climate impacts, which would reverse the global gains made to date for more than 100 million people by 2030.
“In the post-Paris world, growth cannot come at any cost,” he said, emphasizing the need to “green the finance sector” to help build resilience to climate shocks and accelerate the transition to renewables.
For his part, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon promised a new world of opportunity if the planet follows a sustainable path. “But we need action from all sectors of society – governments, businesses, investors, faith groups, young people and citizens everywhere,” Ban said in a video message created in honor of the historic November 4 milestone.
That action at the individual level is made easier with ideas offered by the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development team. To see some simple but world-changing choices, check the link here.
Image: United Nations Youth Envoy