Climate Week 2020: New York hosts 'biggest climate event of year'

Last updated at 08:40
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Climate Week 2020 - September 21 -27 2020

Experts are meeting this week to look at what the world can do to help tackle climate change.

It's for Climate Week 2020, which is taking place in New York from September 21 to 27.

Run with the United Nations and the City of New York, the big Climate Week NYC conference aims to be a place to talk about amazing climate action and discuss how to do more.

Organisers say it's the "biggest global climate event of 2020".

Businesses, governments, universities, charities and individuals are taking part in the week-long events.

But because of coronavirus, the event will be held virtually this year.

Countdown clock

Much of the discussion will be about the action that the world needs to take to tackle climate change, and how much action is actually being taken.

To illustrate this, climate campaigners unveiled a huge countdown clock on Saturday, showing how little time is left before global temperatures hit 1.5 degrees Celsius. They've also lit up lots of famous buildings in green.

The digital clock shows seven years and 102 days remain before average global temperatures, at current emission rates, reach those levels.

Keeping the global temperature increase to 1.5C is considered to be very important by climate scientists, in order to avoid some of the worst effects of climate change.

Impact of coronavirus
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Prince Charles says millions of people are desperate for more action, rather than words

While the coronavirus pandemic has affected how this year's conference will work, it's also inspired a lot of discussions

Prince Charles has warned that the climate crisis will "dwarf" the impact of coronavirus.

The Prince of Wales, speaking via a recorded message from Birkhall in the grounds of Balmoral, said that "swift and immediate action" needs to take place.

The future king, who is 71 and a keen environmentalist, said the pandemic is a "window of opportunity" to reset the economy for a more "sustainable and inclusive" future. He called on business and political leaders to reshape economies to tackle the crisis - he's also met teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Last month a study suggested the global lockdown will only have a very small impact on climate change but a green recovery could help avert climate change.

Big survey of opinions on climate change
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There's growing concern among citizens all over the world about climate change, according to new global poll, but people who took part had very different ideas of how urgent action was to tackle the problem.

Big majorities in poorer countries strongly agreed with tackling climate change with the same effort as coronavirus, but in richer nations, the support for rapid action was less strong.

Across the 27 countries surveyed by the company Globescan, around 90% of people saw climate change as a very serious or somewhat serious problem. In the US this percentage rose from just over 60% in 2014, to 81% in June 2020

In India serious concerns over climate change have risen from 70% to 93%.

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Heat waves have been experienced in many parts of the world this year

But when people were asked if their governments should tackle the issue with the same urgency as they've tackled the coronavirus pandemic, major differences between countries started to appear.

Japan, Sweden, Australia, the US and UK all have less than 45% of respondents strongly agreeing with urgent action but in Kenya, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey and Nigeria the figure was well above 70% in all of them.

Experts suggested that places that see more impact of climate change are more worried about it.

In the UK, just 13% of respondents said they were personally affected by rising temperatures, compared to 34% who said they were personally affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

But in Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam more than 50% of those polled said they had personal experience of climate change.

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