United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon speaks at a press conference at the United Nations on Sept. 16, 2014 in New York City. He will host the U.N. Climate Summit next week.(Photo: Andrew Burton, Getty Images)
(2014-09-18)Climate change will take center stage in New York City next week with a triple-header of events intended to shine a spotlight on global warming.
The first event, the People's Climate March, is Sunday. Organizers expect 100,000 people for what they say will be the biggest demonstration ever for climate action.
More than 1,100 organizations have endorsed the march, which is being organized by a coalition of groups including 350.org, Avaaz, the Sierra Club, Climate Justice Alliance and the Service Employees International Union.
On Tuesday, President Obama and world leaders from government, finance and business will be at the United Nations Climate Summit to announce initiatives meant to move the world toward limiting global warming.
According to the U.N., 125 countries will be represented. It will be the first time in five years that world leaders have gathered to discuss climate change.
The summit aims to get world leaders to pledge emission cuts that could become part of a global agreement to be approved at U.N. climate talks next year in Paris.
The march and the climate summit are part of Climate Week NYC, an annual event "to get people together to make the business case for climate action," says Sylvain Biville of the Climate Group, which organizes the week.
The Climate Group's goal is "a prosperous, low-carbon future," which the group says will be achieved by "a rapid scale-up of low carbon energy and technology."
"Instead of talking about the risks and catastrophes, we want to change the perspective, to have a positive approach to tackling climate change," Biville says. He says businesses should realize that being concerned about climate change is more than public relations — "it's good for the health of the company."
This year's Climate Week, march and summit follow a series of scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that conclude global warming is "unequivocal" and that it is extremely likely that human activity has been the dominant cause since the mid-20th century.
According to the IPCC, the world is on a path to exceed a 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit rise in temperature, the limit that countries have set to ensure that the world would not suffer the worst effects of climate change.