This week's United Nations Climate Summit didn't forge a new global strategy to stave off the most alarming effects of climate change, such as dramatic sea-level rise and extreme weather. But no one was expecting such a sweeping development from the Tuesday event.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon convened the summit, which drew more than a hundred heads of state, to encourage countries to adopt more ambitious policies to combat climate change. He urged greater efforts in the 15 months before world leaders gather in Paris at a meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is slated to produce a new global strategy on the issue. (Read "When the Snows Fail" in National Geographic magazine.)
This week's summit did yield important news going into next year's negotiations. Three key takeaways:
- A movement to fight climate change has real people power.
- More companies are recognizing that halting deforestation is good PR.
- There's growing pressure to help the world's most vulnerable countries.