Next week, the R20 Austrian World Summit will again be taking place in Vienna. This long-term initiative to create a network platform to help regions, states and cities implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals and meet the global climate protection targets outlined in the Paris agreement stems from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s R20 Regions of Climate Action and is now in its 3rd edition.
The effects of climate change can be felt globally via the increase of heatwaves, floods, droughts, melting glaciers and rising sea-levels. An estimated 9 million deaths are attributed to pollution every year. Additionally, a recent study found that the melting Artic permafrost could add nearly 70 trillion to the global cost of climate change if the planet warms by 3C by 2100. Even if action is taken to limit this increase to 1.5C, it would still add 25 trillion to overall climate costs.
Following the increased call for climate action and strikes for the climate worldwide, the United Kingdom and Ireland have declared a national climate emergency. Indeed, one of the goals of the R20 Austrian World Summit is to amplify the call on nations to act and to step up their ambition under the Paris Agreement by publishing new commitments before 2020 and cut emissions on a science-based trajectory that limits this warming. During the Summit, innovative solutions, policies, best practice projects, examples of cooperation and role models from different countries, cities, regions and sectors that are dealing with pollution and championing a future of renewable energy will be showcased.
AER delegates will be attending the R20 Austrian World Summit, which will include almost 1500 participants from over 50 countries. The AER President and R20 President, Magnus Berntsson, will be in attendance, and will be contributing in a panel session on Sustainable Cities: Carbon-Neutral Housing & Mobility on 29 May. Additionally, delegates from Västra Götaland (SE), Värmland (SE), Kosice Self-Governing Region (Slovakia), West Slovenia Cohesion Region, Lower Austria, Upper Austria and the AER Secretariat will be attending the R20 World Summit.