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- The UN secretary-general has gathered business leaders and heads of state for a summit in New York.
- The meeting aims to build momentum ahead of the COP28 climate summit later this year.
- China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, India and Australia were not invited to speak at the opening.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Jenny McAllister spoke at later thematic sessions and talked about Australia’s work on adaptation and decarbonisation.
What is the Climate Ambition Summit?
The summit featured speeches from leaders responding to Guterres’ call to accelerate global climate action, including Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Pakistan, South Africa and Tuvalu.
Guterres said humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels had “opened the gates to hell”.
Why was Australia denied a speaking spot at the opening?
The speaker list did not include China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, India or Australia.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told world leaders humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels had “opened the gates to hell” as he kicked off a climate meeting. Source: EPA / Miguel Rodriguez
While the United States did not take the rostrum, the state of California is being represented by Governor Gavin Newsom.
“That’s a common storyline that I can see between the countries that spoke at the secretary-general’s climate ambition summit and those that wanted to but were not invited.”
“That’s the big problem I see for Australia.”
Who did not attend the climate ambition summit?
US President Joe Biden, who addressed the General Assembly on Tuesday, sent his climate envoy John Kerry to the meeting, although Kerry was not permitted to speak in the segment reserved for “movers and doers.”
Anger is building among climate activists, particularly younger people, who turned out in thousands last weekend for the “March to End Fossil Fuels” in New York.