For making common goals our personal goals.

It is when faced with disaster that we witness the exceptional, innate leadership that exists within local communities. People helping each other, coming together, recognizing what they have to lose, sharing understanding of the value of what they have lost and organizing to better protect, restore and defend what they have left. 

This is the kind of climate leadership that inspires me: local communities—fishing, forest, tribal, hurricane-prone or ravaged by wildfire—who exhaustively work to find to ways to protect and adapt all over the world, often in the face of natural, economic and political adversity.

While the attention of the global community and the world’s media is preoccupied with turning the ship, local leadership is fleet-footed, adaptive, reactive, fails fast and fails better. 

It is the hundreds of thousands of community actions encircling the world that is binding us together, making common goals our personal goals, and that is testing and improving solutions every minute. Community climate leadership shines a light on the way that we humans will save ourselves: by saving each other. 


Ligia Noronha is Director, Economy Division at UN Environment Programme. Follow UNEP at the United Nations Climate Action Summit here.

Act Now