Climate Summit 2014:
A positive outlook
The Climate Summit 2014 saw world leaders, corporations and passionate members of the public join together to commit to climate action.
“The time to answer humankind’s greatest challenge is now.” These were Hollywood actor and climate change activist Leonardo DiCaprio’s closing words at the Climate Summit 2014. DiCaprio, the UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change, gave an impassioned speech on the effects of climate change, and appealed to governments and businesses around the world to take decisive action. Global warming is already damaging our planet, but DiCaprio’s speech was hopeful that a global commitment to reduce carbon emissions could help us slow it down and limit its impact.
Watch his powerful address here:
History was made at the Summit, as representatives from developed and developing nations pledged to tackle deforestation, with the New York Declaration on Forests. The agreement was the first of its kind.
The question of how to tackle deforestation was met with an ambitious answer: halve deforestation by 2020 and end it altogether by 2030. Reaching this goal would not only cut carbon emissions, it would positively impact the 1.6 billion people who depend on forests for food, medicines and fuel.
Unilever is one of a growing number of companies to pledge to rid their supply chains of deforestation. CEO Paul Polman believes consumers are calling for more responsible, sustainable practices and businesses need to respond and take action.
The purpose of the summit was not just to warn but to inspire and mobilise billions of people around the world to engage with our planet and make a change. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a 26-year-old native of the Marshall Islands delivered a heartfelt speech and poem, highlighting the very real impact that climate change is having on her home country and on millions of people living in the Pacific Islands.
Countries like the Marshall Islands rely on the sea, which directly affects people’s lives – from what they eat to where they bury the deceased. Kathy made a promise to join the movement to slow climate change and make a difference in her lifetime.
Her poem was warmly received, moving several world leaders to tears, and as representatives flooded the room with applause, the mood echoed Kathy’s pledge to her daughter: “We won’t let you down. You’ll see.”
Watch and share Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner’s powerful and inspiring poem to her daughter:
Do your bit: Take Climate Action!