The Global Climate Action Summit marked the midpoint between the historic signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015—which vowed to limit global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius—and its next scheduled step in 2020, when countries will bolster their commitments. Hoping to recapture the same ambitious spirit of the Paris Agreement, the summit allowed leaders to share their successes so far—and then announce new initiatives that raise the bar. Organizers expected the Global Climate Action Summit to be the biggest climate event ever held in the United States.
NRDC played a key role in developing the summit’s robust programming, which was split into five key challenge areas—healthy energy systems, inclusive economic growth, sustainable communities, land and ocean stewardship, and transformative climate investments—and featured hundreds of affiliate events. Just prior to the summit, activists also took to the streets, both in San Francisco and in sister cities around the world, for the Peoples Climate Movement—mobilized marches in support of “climate, jobs, and justice.” Organizers positioned the rallies to demand bold action from leaders and to demonstrate the strength the American climate movement in the face of the Trump administration's abandonment of global leadership on climate change.
The historic summit’s message was loud and clear: Even as the Trump administration shirks its own climate responsibilities, Americans and the rest of the world are still firmly in the Paris Agreement—and accelerating action to help solve our greatest global crisis.