American actor Leonardo DiCaprio, newly appointed UN Messenger for Peace, carried “The most urgent of messages” when he spoke at the opening of Climate Summit 2014. This gathering, which took place at UN Headquarters in in New York, intended to be a public platform for leaders at the highest level, as well as finance, business, civil society and local leaders from public and private sectors to promote actions that strengthen climate resilience.
In his speech, DiCaprio said addressing the issue is not just about telling people to change their light bulbs or to buy a hybrid car. Actions must come, not only from individuals but from governments and corporations:
We need to put a price tag on carbon emissions and eliminate government subsidies for oil, coal and gas companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free market economy. They do not deserve our tax dollars. They deserve our scrutiny for the economy itself will die if our ecosystems collapse. The good news is that renewable energy is not only achievable but good economic policy.”
United States President Barack Obama also spoke at the summit urging that big economies lead the way in reducing emissions. President Obama emphasized that clean renewable energies and other sustentable iniciatives are beneficial for the economy and for both industries and consumers alike. You can watch his speech here:
After the Summit
The question is where do we go from here? (…) We now need a meaningful, universal climate agreement.” -Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, who advises Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on climate.
Ministers and negotiators will travel in December to Lima, Peru, to lay the groundwork for the passage of such agreement in December 2015 in Paris.