Dozens of world leaders participated in a Summit on Climate Change convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN Headquarters in New York on 22 September. The Summit aimed to “mobilize political will and strengthen momentum for a fair, effective and ambitious climate deal in Copenhagen this December.”

The event included statements by many national political leaders, including the Presidents of the US, China, and France, and the Prime Minister of Japan. Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged that his country would step up efforts to control the rise in emissions and set intensity targets, while US President Barack Obama stressed that time was running out to secure a deal in Copenhagen.

The event in New York follows recent warnings by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown that there is a significant risk of failure in Copenhagen, as well as a major announcement by India that it intends to take further steps to limit its carbon footprint.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told participants in New York that failure to secure an agreement in December would be “morally inexcusable.”

Reacting to the Summit, conservation group WWF argued that it had brought “new political energy” to the climate negotiations. The event in New York is to be followed on 24 and 25 September by the Pittsburgh G20 Summit, which is also expected to include a strong focus on energy and climate change.

Links to further information

Official Summit website

BBC News report, 22 September 2009

Times Online report, 18 September 2009

WWF press release, 22 September 2009

Pittsburgh G20 Summit website