Have you wondered about the weather recently? Does it seem strange to you? If so, you’re not alone.
People all over the world are noticing. A few hot days or a cold snap may not seem much to worry about – but what about extreme storms, raging floods or a prolonged heat wave? People lose their lives. Businesses lose their profits. In the worst cases, the economic ripples are felt around the world as crops fail, food prices rise and people go hungry. These are the consequences of a disturbed climate.
Climate change is an issue for all of us. It is happening now, so we have to act today to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience to the changes to come. That is why I have convened a Climate Summit in New York on Sept. 23.
The Summit has two goals: to mobilize political will for a meaningful universal agreement at the climate negotiations in Paris in 2015; and to catalyze ambitious action in all countries.
I have invited leaders from government, business, finance and civil society to present their vision, make bold announcements and forge new partnerships that will support the transformative change the world needs.
The more we delay, the more we will pay. But if we act decisively now the benefits will be significant, not just in averting the worst impacts of climate change, but in reaping the benefits of cleaner air and the economic growth that building a greener economy can bring.
You are most likely reading this on your morning commute in a train, subway car or bus. Mass transit and compact cities are among the many solutions available for tackling the climate challenge. Energy saving and more power from renewable sources are also options. And protecting and expanding forests and other important natural habitats can help. All can generate jobs and incomes.
But none of these things can happen without leadership.
As both consumers and voters, you and your fellow commuters have an important role in your communities. Instead of asking whether we can make a difference, we should be asking what is stopping us, who is stopping us, and why?
Let us join forces to push back against skeptics and entrenched interests. Let us support the scientists, economists, entrepreneurs and investors who can persuade government leaders and policy-makers that now is the time for action.
My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.