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Virtual climate summit hopes to rally momentum for global climate action

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry for Foreign AffairsMinistry of the Environment
9.12.2020 15.51 | Published in English on 10.12.2020 at 12.41
Press release 775

The Climate Ambition Summit, which seeks to ramp up ambition on climate change policy, will bring together the countries of the world on Saturday 12 December. The virtual summit marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement and aims to encourage countries to raise their climate targets and intensify their efforts leading up to the Glasgow COP 26 climate conference in November of next year. Prime Minister Sanna Marin will represent Finland at the summit.

The Climate Ambition Summit is organised by the UN, the United Kingdom – which will host the Glasgow COP next year – and France in cooperation with Chile and Italy. 

The Glasgow COP26 conference was postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the virtual summit, Heads of State and Government will present their countries’ new and ambitious commitments to reduce emissions, adapt to climate change and increase climate funding. The summit will also feature talks from representatives of civil society, businesses, universities, indigenous peoples and young people.

“Climate change is still the greatest threat to humankind, and Finland is committed to reducing emissions quickly. We are implementing science-based policies and working to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Climate action must not be overshadowed by the COVID-19 crisis. With this in mind, we are basing our decisions on the UN’s six principles of sustainable reconstruction and green recovery,” says Prime Minister Marin.

A key theme of the meeting will be the global recovery from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and how it can be harnessed to help us move towards a low-carbon world. 

“The massive recovery measures now under way are an historic opportunity to get the world on a path that is in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Finland is investing unprecedented amounts in clean solutions, industrial innovations, fossil-free transport and renovations to improve energy efficiency. This way, we can create sustainable jobs for the future. I hope and believe that this message will be echoed widely in the speeches of the other countries at the climate conference,” says Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen.

The objective of the Paris Agreement is to limit the global increase in temperatures to well below two degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. Achieving this objective will require a radical reduction in global emissions over the next decade. With the current commitments, the global increase in temperatures will be nearly three degrees.

The EU is now updating its climate commitment, and this week’s European Council is expected to make a decision on tightening the emission reductions target. In 2014, the EU committed to reducing its emissions by at least 40 per cent of the 1990 level by 2030. Finland is now pushing for the target to be raised to at least 55 per cent.

Lauri Voionmaa, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (international affairs), tel. +358 295 160 306, Prime Minister’s Office
Riikka Yliluoma, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, tel. +358 295 250 091, Ministry of the Environment
Outi Honkatukia, Chief Negotiator for Climate Change, tel. +358 29 525 0272, Ministry of the Environment
Jan Wahlberg, Climate Ambassador, tel. +358 295 350 045, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

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