Austrian World Summit Calls for More Ambitious Climate Commitments by 2020
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Organized by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s non-profit environmental organization R20 Regions of Climate Action, the R20 Austrian World Summit 2018 took place with the aim of helping regions, states and cities implement the SDGs and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Summit featured discussions on financing climate action, innovative solutions and tackling environmental pollution, producing a ‘Message to the World’ as its outcome.

Underscoring the inadequacy of current engagements, the Summit will call for governments to improve their climate commitments before 2020, highlighting the role of local and regional governments to drive change.

15 May 2018: The R20 Austrian World Summit saw international leaders from politics, businesses, investors, civil society, academics, start-ups, climate experts, cities and regions come together in Vienna, Austria, to share ideas, skills and experiences with the objective of building bridges between key stakeholders though gaining awareness and harnessing collective expertise to “chart a course for the future that benefits everyone in the global society.”

Aiming to provide a platform to help regions, states and cities implement the SDGs and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Summit, organised by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s non-profit environmental organization R20 Regions of Climate Action, featured high-level panel discussions on solutions, enablers and driving forces for implementation, and parallel discussions on financing climate action, innovative solutions and tackling environmental pollution.

The outcome of the Summit forms a ‘Message to the World,’ highlighting the need to accelerate and empower climate action and strengthen the global response to climate change and pollution, pointing specifically to advancing the green economy, adopting clean technologies, developing climate-resilient innovation, investing in infrastructure and creating stronger public-private partnerships (PPPs).

The Summit’s outcome document notes that its work will culminate in a call to action for countries to cut emissions on a science-based trajectory.

Underscoring that the world is not on track keep the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5-2ºC above preindustrial levels, the Summit outcome document calls on the need for ambition to be increased beyond the existing commitments in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It recognizes the role of local and regional actors to drive this change, and highlights the Talanoa Dialogue and 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC as crucial opportunities to discuss methods for increasing global ambition to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, including to direct financial flows towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development.

The Summit’s ‘Message to the World’ notes that its work will culminate in a call to action for countries to step up their ambition under the Paris Agreement by publishing new commitments before 2020 and to cut emissions on a science-based trajectory that limits warming to well below a global average increase of 2ºC. [R20 Austrian World Summit 2018] [Message to the World] [R20 Austrian World Summit 2018 Press Release]


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