The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

United Nations Photo via Flickr

United Nations Photo via Flickr

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people marched to demand action on the pressing global issue of climate change. Now, it’s up to the United Nations to heed their call.

The 2014 United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York has gathered leaders from all sectors of society to bring new climate initiatives and ideas to the international community, in preparation for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris. The objective for the 2015 conference is a binding, universal agreement on climate change from all nations.

But that doesn’t mean that no progress can be made right now. Here are five areas in which the 2014 summit could achieve tangible results:


Atlantic City

Bob Jagendorf via Flickr

The Mayors Compact will group city government officials together to focus specifically on and provide reports about city emission reduction targets and strategies. Mayors from Los Angeles, Houston, and Philadelphia have already pledged their allegiance to such an initiative. As cities are responsible for about 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the Mayors Compact will allow officials to target an especially significant area of concern.


Using drones as a hunting aid has sparked a nuanced electronics-vs.-ethics debate.

Brian Peterson via Flickr

Forests and the natural CO2 absorption they offer are crucial in the fight against increasing greenhouse gases. As deforestation has plagued our woodlands, CO2 levels have increased exponentially.

The New York Declaration on Forests will promote the restoration of forests, and it is hoped that many other countries, companies, and other societal organizations present at the UN Climate Summit will sign on. The declaration will be open for signing at the Summit and up until the 2015 Framework Convention on Climate Change.



AFP Photo/Charism Sayat

Climate change is increasing the frequency and magnitude of natural disasters such as drought, typhoon, sea-level rise, or wildfire. These hazards can destroy homes, businesses, state institutions, and financial systems. The UN Climate Summit will strive to enhance our world’s capacity to be resilient to climate change and the natural disasters associated with it.

The Integrating Disaster Risk and Resilience into the Financial System initiative would combine major financial, regulatory, accounting, and scientific institutions into an alliance to recognize and evaluate the costs of disaster risk and build investments into their portfolios to account for those risks. The alliance would also integrate incentives into resilience-building programs.


Agustín Ruiz via Flickr

Agustín Ruiz via Flickr

The Summit will attempt to bring policymakers and companies into a realistic discussion about pricing carbon. Taxing carbon could help direct the global financial flow away from fossil fuels and advance the growing global market for energy efficiency and clean energy.


new jersey train

Michael Hicks via Flickr

The International Union of Railways (UIC) Low-Carbon Sustainable Rail Transport Challenge targets the CO2 emissions from trains. It sets a goal of a 75 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from the rail sector by 2050, along with doubling the rail sector’s share of passenger transportation. Partnerships between transportation authorities will be necessary to achieve this goal.

Interested in more environmental and political news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Pat McCrory

Youtube Screenshot

If former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is any indication, the GOP primary wounds wrought in the last several months stand a good chance of bleeding into the general election this fall.

McCrory, who lost his bid Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for the Tar Heel State's open Senate seat, declined to endorse his GOP rival, Rep. Ted Budd, the Trump endorsee.

Keep reading... Show less

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Youtube Screenshot

Senate candidate Mehmet Oz thanked Fox News host Sean Hannity for advising him “behind the scenes,” helping to bring him to the cusp of a potential victory in Tuesday night’s primary in Pennsylvania — a revelation that further illustrates Hannity’s position as a Republican operative who leverages his media presence for political influence.

The Republican primary race could potentially go to a recount, with Oz currently ahead of former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick by a slender margin. The winner will face Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won his primary by a landslide. During a speech on Tuesday night, Oz first thanked his wife, his children, and his campaign staff and then called out two key political figures who endorsed him and advised him throughout the campaign: former President Donald Trump and Hannity.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}