More than 100 countries applied for UN climate summit, half were rejected

(Climate Change News, 19 Sep 2019) Only leaders the UN views as having an ambitious new plan were offered a platform, with dozens failing to make the cut.

More than 100 countries applied to address Monday’s UN climate action summit but only half were deemed ambitious enough to take to the stage on Monday, Climate Home News has learned.

The summit is a moment for political leaders to show their willingness to increase their climate plans and deepen the decarbonisation of their economies. Countries are competing for the limelight, with only the boldest and most transformative action being presented on stage on Monday.

UN special envoy for climate change Luis Alfonso de Alba told reporters last week that around 60 heads of state will take to the podium based on their level of ambition, adding that all countries had been invited to participate in the summit.

A draft agenda for Monday’s key event, seen by CHN, shows 36 speakers were expected to present enhanced national plans in three-minute speeches. Other countries may speak on behalf of a specific initiative that is being presented with a coalition of stakeholders. The FT reported on Wednesday that 63 governments would make the cut.

UN deputy secretary-general Amina Mohammed said on Tuesday that the UN had to decide which national plans were the boldest “and that’s been tough”, citing the challenge of having to take into account different national contexts.

“We will see on Monday who is stepping up. We will see what climate leadership looks like,” she said.

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Climate Change News, 19 Sep 2019: More than 100 countries applied for UN climate summit, half were rejected