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New York Climate Week: Climate scientists advocate to bring an end to fossil fuels

Margarita Corporan
Margarita Corporan | Climate Group Flickr

Climate Group hosted the 15th annual Climate Week NYC in Midtown Manhattan from Sept. 17 to Sept. 24. Scientists, politicians, activists and more met to bring attention to climate change.

On Sept.15, Climate activists sent an open letter addressed to President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency in the United States. The letter also demanded that Biden phase out current fossil fuel drilling, put a stop to federal approvals and provide a transition plan to renewable energy.

Over 75,000 protesters joined the march to urge the Biden administration to take the issue of global warming seriously.

According to The Washington Post, Maryland Governor Wes Moore and California Governor

Gavin Newsom attended the climate week gathering. Additionally, U.S. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry, Senior Advisor John Podesta and national climate advisor Ali Zaidi all representing the White House attended.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres invited the top countries who use fossil fuels leaders including the U.S., China, India, Russia and Japan to the ‘Climate Ambition Summit,’ on Sept. 20.

However, the world leaders were all absent because in order to attend the summit they would’ve had to meet Guterres’ criteria which consisted of accelerating emissions cuts, increasing the budget for climate projects in developing countries and boosting renewable energy initiatives.

This summit pushed for “ambition, credibility and implementation.” Government leaders were expected to present updated plans that would promise the end of fossil fuels; business leaders were expected to present transition plans and organizations leaders were expected to present partnerships that would push for climate justice.

Guterres’ goal was to make this year’s summit action-oriented. As a result, international leaders could only go if they were prepared to give outcomes and policy commitments rather than overstated statements.

According to Insider, Columbia, Panama and Brazil attended the summit. Columbia and Panama agreed to phase out existing coal plants and stop new ones from being built while Brazil reinstated emissions-reduction targets.

Despite not attending the Climate Ambition Summit, Biden did make an appearance in the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 19. Biden gave a speech discussing a $370 billion climate law that would move the U.S. into a clean energy future.

However, climate scientists stated that an increase in clean energy will not be as effective unless fossil fuels are cut off too.

In fact, large cities usually receive the worst effects of climate change because of the high amounts of people that live there.

City residents and infrastructure experience hotter temperatures and increased flooding because of the lack of greenery that is responsible for cooling down the environment and abundance of concrete material that often traps the heat, according to a study by JW Surety Bonds, an insurance brokerage and consulting firm.

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