It was a love fest in the Big Apple today as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised the achievements of world leaders who participated in the UN Climate Summit earlier this week. Ban especially noted the breakthrough initiatives in carbon pricing and cutting emissions.
“Today’s Summit has shown that we can rise to the climate challenge,” he exhorted, in the Chair’s Summary of the event, which was published Tuesday, September 23rd. The summit has been touted as an important milestone event moving towards a global climate agreement in December 2015.
Climate summit hailed as sign of progress
The U.N. head noted that nearly all attending world leaders had committed to limit global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels. “Many leaders called for all countries to take national actions consistent with a less than 2 degree pathway and a number of countries committed to doing so,” he wrote in the summary.
Ban also wrote that a number of leaders advocated for current limitations designed to achieve a peak in greenhouse gas emissions before 2020, then dramatically decrease emissions thereafter, and finally reaching climate neutrality by 2050. He also highlighted that the E.U. had signed on to a target of slashing emissions to 40% below 1990 levels at the Summit.
On a related note, the United States is on schedule to release its emissions targets by March of 2015, based on a filing with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last week.
Skeptics remain dubious
Not everyone agrees with the goals of the climate summit or even that climate change is an issue of concern. “If you look at the big picture of fossil fuels, at the positives and negatives, the only conclusion to draw is that it’s imperative to use more of them, because they are so beneficial to human life,” Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, and author of the forthcoming book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, explained to Fox News in a recent interview.