By signing the Agreement on 22 April and accepting it through their national processes, countries will help ensure the Agreement enters into force and get implemented as quickly as possible, in collaboration with a wide range of other actors.”
Who wouldn’t be excited receiving such an invitation from the Secretary General of the United Nations ? I had to come to get a feel and see first hand the global efforts in implementing the Paris Agreement that begins with the signing. As the manager of The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, this experience will be a leverage in motivating climate leaders to be involved in more acts of leadership.
I could sense the excitement inside the UN General Assembly Hall as statement after statement during the opening ceremony built up the momentum. Representatives of youth, business, civil society, group of countries and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the UN Messenger of Peace, had strong statements urging the implementation of Paris Agreement.
A touching moment came when 197 childrens joined the ceremony and formed climate chain in front of world leaders. They are representing the Parties that adopted the Paris Agreement
In the end, 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement, by far the largest number of countries ever to sign an international agreement on a single day. Leaders then delivered national statements, addressing their intention to ratify and/or outlining their national climate change policies and actions.
At the United Nations General Assembly Hall I sat next to Nana Firman, the exemplary climate leader from Indonesia. Nana was first trained by Mr. Al Gore and The Climate Reality Projet in Melbourne in 2009, then in Jakarta in 2011 and Chicago in 2013.
Nana who is a White House Champion of Change and is currently coordinating Muslim outreach for OurVoices, a global faith and spiritual climate action network, was in New York to present The Islamic Climate Change Declaration to the President of the UN General Assembly. The occasion marked the official launch of the Global Muslim Climate Network, as support for climate action within the world’s second largest faith group continues to grow.
Taking Climate Action to the Next Level
Our next venture at the United Nations Headquarters was a High Level Event themed Taking Climate Action to the Next Level: Realizing the Vision of the Paris Agreement.
The event focused on highlighting how all actors of society and economy can accelerate action, learn from each other, and replicate and scale successful initiatives and activities that will deliver the transformative implementation of the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement and of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The highlight of the meeting was a live conversation between the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and Bertrand Piccard, the pilot of Solar Impulse 2, a zero-fuel plane on an around-the-world journey who was flying over the Pacific.
Solar Impulse, powered only by the sun, demonstrates that clean technologies can achieve impossible goals with a clear message: everybody could use the plane’s technologies on the ground to halve our world’s energy consumption, save natural resources and improve our quality of life.
Al Gore - Focus on Information
Al Gore, the great integrator, that was how Dr. Robert Orr the moderator addressed Al Gore and invited him to speak to make sense of things being said by the panel.
The Chairman of The Climate Reality Project stressed his focus on information.
Publics have to have the information they can visualize, easily understand and use as the basis for action and for convincing governments to do the right thing.
The mandatory information transparency requirement of the Paris Agreement would presumably result in very large flows of information to UNFCCC and elsewhere
“I am anxious to make sure that such information is of high quality, vetted and presented in a visual way that I and non-scientist and non-engineers can understand, and therefore can be used for basis of political persuasion, ” Mr. Gore said.
At the end of the event, I realized that he was talking about The Climate Reality Project. The fact that he raised the issue in a world class meeting attended by world leaders and eminent persons is really an encouragement for all climate leaders to engange in more acts of leadership.
I reread the end of the invitation mentioned in the beginning of this blog post:
Your presence throughout the day will contribute to making this date an historic milestone in which the world moves from aspiration to action in tackling climate change.
It was indeed a historic event.
Text: Amanda Katili Niode- Manager, The Climate Reality Project Indonesia
Images: United Nations and Solar Impulse