4 Reasons to Celebrate Climate Action this Week

Cities have become a focal point in the fight against climate change—and this is a major week for action. From a meeting at the United Nations, to an event in New York, and throughout the Mississippi River Basin, climate leaders are coming out in force, demonstrating strong climate leadership.

  1. The United Nations’ Sustainability Assembly: The UN meets this week to adopt a series of bold sustainability targets. The agreement will focus on the impacts of climate change on social justice issues—and will emphasize the role of cities in facilitating solutions.
  2. Climate Week NYC: Hosted by the Climate Group, the event puts the spotlight on business and political leaders who are pushing for greater climate action.
  3. The Pope: With a message to act on climate and social justice, the Pope will speak at the United Nations and in Washington DC this week. His words will inspire climate action to faith and community leaders throughout America.
  4. The Path to Positive Proclamation: This week, 14 U.S. mayors committed to take action to reduce climate risks and protect the future of their communities. The mayors, all members of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, are now among the nations community leaders organized to advance climate solutions.

These four events mark significant breakthroughs in the fight for climate solutions. Whether it is the Pope speaking about climate justice in cities, mayors committing to advance climate solutions for their residents, international agreements on sustainability at the UN, or a week devoted to highlight civic and business climate leaders—a common thread is the recognition that cities and communities are where changing the direction on climate really can happen.

Why This Week Is Huge For Climate Action

By Jess Colarossi | Think Progress | September 21, 2015

Monday marks the beginning of a week full of national and global action to combat climate change and push for environmental justice. Events ranging from the United Nations’ sustainability assembly to climate change rallies on the National Mall are all happening over the course of this week, in coordination with Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.

This week, the United Nations is meeting to adopt a new 15-year plan for sustainable development. The plan outlines 17 broad goals and 169 specific targets to end world poverty, improve health and education, ensure gender and racial equality for all, implement sustainable building and agricultural practices in impoverished countries, conserve world oceans, and take urgent action to combat climate change. These Sustainable Development Goals replace the previously developed Millennium Development Goals and are intended to be achieved by 2030.

Right now there are no specific plans on how to measure the progress of each target. The goals will be discussed at the Sustainable Development Summit scheduled to take place September 25 to 27, preceding the annual U.N. general assembly on September 28 in New York City.

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