06 May 2016 Press release Green economy

Sustainability Leaders Build On Climate Momentum

6 May 2016, Washington, D.C. - The Climate Action 2016 Summit convened more than 600 global leaders from the government, business, philanthropy, multilateral institutions and civil society from 5-6 May in Washington, DC. The Summit showcased cross-cutting and innovative strategies that were being undertaken to make the Paris Agreement a success, as well as the ambitious and unprecedented efforts across all sectors required for its implementation.

"Urgent action is critical for meeting the climate challenge and building a clean energy, climate-resilient future," said Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. "This event underscores the importance of partnerships to achieve these goals and to forge a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for all people."

Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren, President of the UN Environment Assembly, was the closing keynote speaker on the "Vision for a Resilient Future, " where she highlighted the Secretary General's Climate Resilience: A2R (Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape) global initiative, and the role of UNEA in further advancing action on climate change and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. In addition to her speaking engagement, Dr. Sanjaasuren also participated in a live streamed media briefing in conversation with the UNEP Regional Director for North America, Patricia Beneke. She was also interviewed by the World Bank's Connect for Climate, the Global Environment Facility, and People's Haus on youth which was live streamed on Facebook.

The Climate Action 2016 Summit was co-hosted and attended by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group; Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change; Founding Partner, Compact of Mayors; Naoko Ishii, CEO, Global Environment Facility; Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation; Peter Bakker, CEO, World Business Council on Sustainable Development; and others. It also featured dynamic sessions by renowned speakers including the former Vice President Al Gore; Bill Nye, Science Educator; Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever; and H.E. Ms. Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France.


  • Peter Bakker, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Business Council for Sustainable Development "Business stands ready to support governments around the world as they begin to translate their NDC climate commitments into tangible actions. We are taking the lead in technological innovation and development. The opportunity has never been more obvious or more relevant. National and local governments can and should turn to business - the world's most powerful economic force - and use this capability to help make their emissions reduction targets a reality, and accelerate the transition to a sustainable world."
  • Juan Pablo Bonilla, Manager, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector, Inter-American Development Bank "In Latin America and the Caribbean, the countries have made ambitious and serious commitments as part as the Paris accords. At the IDB, our role is to help those countries convert those commitments into credible and achievable investment programs, working with partners from both the public and private sector."
  • Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris "Just as in Paris, this Summit demonstrated the power of cities in supporting strong national commitments. Cities are already implementing the Paris climate goals - and through organizations like C40 Cities and the Compact of Mayors, they are further empowered by working together. So now, we call upon every actor, at every level of government, to do their part to implement the Paris Agreement to create a sustainable future for communities around the world."
  • Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility "From how we power our homes to the cities we build and the food we eat, political, business and civil society leaders are demonstrating that climate action is everybody's business. In the wake of the SDGs and Paris agreement, the risks to the health of our oceans, forests, land and climate are all too evident, but the good news is we know what we need to do. Safeguarding and promoting these global environmental commons is the wisest investment we can make."
  • Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President "The success of the Paris Agreement will be determined by the actions we take in the critical period from now to 2020. It's time to mobilize global coalitions and focus resources on the areas that will make the most difference, such as clean energy, sustainable transport, resilient cities, better water management, and climate-smart agriculture. We don't have a moment to lose."
  • Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sustainable Energy and CEO, Sustainable Energy for All "Climate Action 2016 is brokering critical new partnerships that will help unlock the financing we need to tackle climate change and alleviate poverty. Securing affordable and clean energy for the world's most vulnerable citizens will ensure that we make the transition to a thriving, clean economy - and that no one gets left behind."
  • Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation "One of the best ways to accelerate action on climate issues is to build resilience. We know that to do this we need innovations in financing, new ways of working, and scaling what works. Individually, everyone participating in the Summit could make a profound impact. Together, we can ensure that we reach the potential and promise of the Paris agreement while creating stronger communities that are better prepared for a range of threats, climate and beyond."
  • Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute "As we move to implement the historic Paris deal, we in are a race against time. As we pivot to action, a new group of climate champions are emerging. They are the mayors, investors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and community leaders who have the power to move markets and transform economies into a new inclusive, sustainable growth model. As we move into implementation, these leaders will need to maintain a sharp focus and determination to meet their commitments and support national climate plans, and then go even further to achieve a zero carbon, resilient future."
  • Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business "The Paris Agreement showed world governments mean business! It sets a clear and ambitious direction, based on science, which gives business and investors the signal they need to play their part in building a cleaner safer, more prosperous world. National climate plans under the Paris Agreement are estimated to represent a $13.5 trillion market for the energy sector in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies through to 2030. Hundreds of businesses and investors are already tapping into these opportunities and are hastening the transition to the low-carbon economy."
  • Timothy Wirth, Vice-Chair, United Nations Foundation; and former U.S. Senator "History was made on Earth Day at the United Nations when 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. But this isn't just about nations and governments - tackling climate change will require all of us. I'm encouraged to see leaders from all the world's sectors stepping up to meet our global challenge as the world wakes up to recognize that climate action is an opportunity to innovate, create and collaborate.