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Climate and biodiversity commitments at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

September 22, 2020
News item image There were numerous announcements from public and private bodies at the UNGA indicating that ambition for climate and biodiversity are ramping up.

Several significant announcements from governments and corporations were made during the UNGA and the co-occurring Climate Week NYC. For example:

  • China pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2060, which was later followed by net-zero by 2050 pledges from two more major Asian economies – South Korea and Japan.
  • Amazon and Global Optimism launched The Climate Pledge which commits corporate signatories to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040.
  • A raft of additional corporate commitments were made, including Walmart’s commitment to reach zero emissions by 2040 without using any offsets.
  • The UK government committed to protect 30% of UK land by 2030 – this is only a small step up from the 26% currently under some level of protection. The quality of ecosystems within protected areas must also improve – most of the land which is already protected is farmland.

Read reflections on Climate Week NYC from Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group which hosts Climate Week NYC, and find recordings to watch via this page.