Today marked the end of the General Debate at the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and a busy week of climate change talk both at the United Nations and in high-level meetings around New York City.
In a report published October 1, UNEARTH News highlighted some of the best moments and most compelling messages on the impact of climate change from world leaders and climate change experts both on the UN floor and at events held around the city.
At the same conference, Jody Williams stressed the urgency of addressing climate change now, especially for the most vulnerable populations in the world.
“We are running out of time when it comes to climate change,” Williams said, drawing attention to the burden climate change places on women in the developing world.
Yet the most dramatic message came from Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak, who addressed the United Nations General Assembly, the World’s Leaders Forum at Columbia University and even took his message to the people with an op-ed printed in the New York Times.
“Earlier this year, I was forced to declare a state of disaster for our northern atolls after an unprecedented drought left thousands of our people without food or fresh water,” Loeak wrote, “Just six weeks later, a giant ‘king tide’ hit our capital, Majuro, flooding the airport runway, some surrounding neighborhoods and even my own backyard as the waves crashed over a thick, protective sea wall—the second devastating climate disaster in two months.”
During his General Assembly speech, Loeak called for all nations to join the islands of the Pacific to build a renewable energy future and stop climate change.
“If we can do it, so can you,” Loeak said.