Climate change is the defining issue of our age; a robust, multi-sector response will be required to pivot societies toward a more sustainable future for all. Our understanding of climate change is rapidly evolving—from the world’s biggest problem, to the world’s biggest opportunity. Technological change, citizen mobilization, economic and political competition, and the formation of massive public-private coalitions have all helped turn the climate action risk-reward equation on its head.
But that’s not the end of the story; it’s the beginning. The new climate regime will create climate solutions markets that are “bottom up” as well as “top down.” It will involve business and finance, mayors and governors, academia and civil society, as well as national governments. It will create a floor for progress, not a ceiling, and look to coalitions of all these actors to determine how we can accelerate ambition and achieve the kind of progress necessary to secure our future.
The Climate Action 2016 summit will focus on further developing operational modalities in six key areas. These areas are amenable to a coalition-building approach and can yield between one and two high-impact deliverables for post-summit implementation. Each area will also address key crosscutting issues of public and private financing, the nexus with UN Sustainable Development Goals, and analysis and tools to support decision-making.