UN Climate Summit

A United Nations summit on climate change, held on 23 September 2014, agreed to widen the use of renewable energy and raise billions of dollars in aid for developing countries in an effort to increase the prospects for a wide-ranging deal to slow global warming.

The one-day summit, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, set goals to halt losses of tropical forests by 2030, improve food production and hike the share of electric vehicles in cities to 30 percent of new vehicle sales by 2030. The non-binding initiatives were set by various coalitions of governments, multinational companies, cities, financial groups, investors, environmental organizations and other groups.

The targets are meant to help prepare a 200-nation summit in Paris in late 2015 to finalize a deal to slow rising greenhouse gas emissions. Until now, work has been slow with many countries more focused on improving economic growth and creating jobs.

Separately, an alliance of about 30 countries including the United States and a coalition of multinational companies set a goal of halving losses of forests by 2020 and halting losses by 2030. If fully implemented, this would stave off between 4.5 billion and 8.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, equivalent to emissions by all the world’s one billion cars.

Companies, including Walmart, Unilever , Wilmar International, General Mills, Asia Pulp and Paper and Nestle, many non-governmental organizations and indigenous peoples’ groups signed up for the plan. The declaration was backed by more than $1 billion from countries including Britain, Germany and Norway. Norway said it would provide up to $300 million to Peru and $150 million to Liberia.

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