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Westlake Legal Group > Greenhouse Gas Emissions

At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments

UNITED NATIONS — China on Monday made no new promises to take stronger climate action. The United States, having vowed to pull out of the Paris agreement, said nothing at all, demonstrating a lack of leadership from the biggest polluter in history. A host of presidents and prime ministers used the occasion to boast about what they were doing to reduce emissions but made only incremental promises.

That was the scene at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, which the secretary general, António Guterres, had organized to highlight what he called “concrete” commitments to wean the global economy away from planet-warming fossil fuels and do more to help the most vulnerable cope with the effects of global warming.

There were, in fact, some concrete commitments. Some 60 countries promised to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and several asset fund managers said they would aim to get to a net-zero portfolio of investments by the same year.

The United States did not request a speaking slot at the summit but President Trump unexpectedly dropped into the General Assembly hall with Vice President Mike Pence in the late morning. Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, welcomed Mr. Trump’s presence and addressed the president directly by saying “Hopefully our discussions here will be useful for you when you formulate climate policy.”

That was followed by laughter and applause. It signaled a sharp contrast from just a few years ago, when the United States had been credited with pushing other countries, including China, to take climate change seriously. The United States is not on track to meet its pledges under the Paris climate agreement, and the Trump administration has rolled back a host of environmental regulations, from automobile tailpipes, coal plants and oil and gas wells.

But what really got the attention of delegates in the hall was when the Swedishclimate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, early in the day, lit into world leaders for their “business as usual” approach to a problem so grave. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you,” she said, her voice quavering with rage. “If you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.”

Rarely does anyone speak in this way at the world body. A bit later in the day, Ms. Thunberg watched with a look of fury in her eyes as Mr. Trump passed through a hall, a video clip posted on Twitter showed.

As for China, it did not signal its readiness to issue stronger, swifter targets to transition away from fossil fuels, as many had hoped. Wang Yi, a special representative for President Xi Jinping, noted that his country was keeping the promises it made under the 2015 Paris agreement and that “certain countries” — a clear reference to the United States, which has said it intends to withdraw — were not.

“China will faithfully fulfill its obligations,” Mr. Wang said.

President Emmanuel Macron of France also had a message for the United States, telling the assembly: “I don’t want to see new trade negotiations with countries who are running counter to the Paris Agreement.”

The statement could create a new stumbling block to trade agreements between the United States and Europe, which are already plagued by deep differences over agriculture, the rules of the global trading system, and Mr. Trump’s potential tariffs on cars.

China’s decision to not signal higher ambition reflects, in part, concerns about its own slowing economy against the backdrop of conflicts with the United States on trade. It also reflected Beijing’s reluctance to take stronger climate action in the absence of similar moves from richer countries. The European Union hasn’t signaled its intention to cut emissions faster either, and the United States is nowhere on track to meet its original commitments under the Paris accord.

“There’s no particular reason why China should do anything new now, because they’re not getting any pressure from the United States and they’re on track to achieve their commitments,” said Kelly Sims Gallagher, professor of energy and environmental policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

“This extends the limbo while the rest of the world waits to see what the United States is going to be doing in 2020,” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India said his country would increase its share of renewable energy by 2022, without making any promises to reduce its dependence on coal. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany promoted a new plan worth $60 billion over 10 years to speed a transition to clean power.

Russia announced that it would ratify the Paris agreement, but added nothing more about how it might cut emissions from its sprawling state-owned petroleum industry.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 23CLI-SUMMIT2-video-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

Speaking at the United Nations climate summit, the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a forceful speech criticizing world leaders for their inaction on protecting the environment.CreditCreditCarlo Allegri/Reuters

The summit unfolded against the backdrop of new data that showed the quickening pace of warming.

The world is getting hotter, faster, the World Meteorological Organization concluded in its latest report Sunday, with the five-year period between 2014 and 2019 the warmest on record. Emissions of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming when it is pumped into the atmosphere, are at all time highs. The seas are rising rapidly. The average global temperature is 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than what it was in the mid-19th century, and at the current pace, average global temperatures will be 3 degrees Celsius higher by the end of the century.

“I will not be there, but my granddaughters will, and your grandchildren, too,” the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said in his opening remarks. “I refuse to be an accomplice in the destruction of their one and only home.”

Who’s Speaking at the U.N. Climate Summit? Several Champions of Coal

Sept. 22, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_157123887_26236ce7-647b-4113-a8f9-a0904c48f8cc-threeByTwoSmallAt2X At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Climate Protesters and World Leaders: Same Planet, Different Worlds

Sept. 21, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_160982445_2bbb697d-f88b-44b6-8d1c-d9aac2f1bfe1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike

Sept. 20, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 20cli-protests-slide-XMBG-threeByTwoSmallAt2X At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

Mr. Guterres’s most direct call went to those countries that use money from their taxpayers to subsidize fossil fuel projects that, as he put it, “boost hurricanes, spread tropical diseases and heighten conflict.”

“We are in a deep climate hole. To get out, we must first stop digging,” he said. “Is it common sense to build ever more coal plants that are choking our future? Is it common sense to reward pollution that kills millions with dirty air and makes it dangerous for people in cities around the world to sometimes even venture out of their homes?”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 23CLI-SUMMIT3-articleLarge At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

A video presentation during the meeting’s opening ceremonies.CreditLucas Jackson/Reuters

According to the United Nations Environment Program, the world’s 20 largest economies, which account for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, “are not yet taking on transformative climate commitments at the necessary breadth and scale.”

Scientists and policymakers have said that even holding warming to a less-dangerous 1.5 degrees would entail a significant transformation of the global energy system, costing trillions of dollars.

But the cost of doing nothing is also staggeringly high.

Studies show that if emissions continue to rise at their current pace, the number of people needing humanitarian aid as a result of natural disasters could double by 2050. And a sweeping report from 13 United States federal agencies last year warned that failing to rein in warming could shave 10 percent off the country’s economy by century’s end.

Protesters in New York City on Friday.CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments

UNITED NATIONS — China on Monday made no new promises to take stronger climate action. The United States, having vowed to pull out of the Paris agreement, said nothing at all, demonstrating a lack of leadership from the biggest polluter in history. A host of presidents and prime ministers used the occasion to boast about what they were doing to reduce emissions but made only incremental promises.

That was the scene at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, which the secretary general, António Guterres, had organized to highlight what he called “concrete” commitments to wean the global economy away from planet-warming fossil fuels and do more to help the most vulnerable cope with the effects of global warming.

There were, in fact, some concrete commitments. Some 60 countries promised to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and several asset fund managers said they would aim to get to a net-zero portfolio of investments by the same year.

The United States did not request a speaking slot at the summit but President Trump unexpectedly dropped into the General Assembly hall with Vice President Mike Pence in the late morning. Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, welcomed Mr. Trump’s presence and addressed the president directly by saying “Hopefully our discussions here will be useful for you when you formulate climate policy.”

That was followed by laughter and applause. It signaled a sharp contrast from just a few years ago, when the United States had been credited with pushing other countries, including China, to take climate change seriously. The United States is not on track to meet its pledges under the Paris climate agreement, and the Trump administration has rolled back a host of environmental regulations, from automobile tailpipes, coal plants and oil and gas wells.

But what really got the attention of delegates in the hall was when the Swedishclimate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, early in the day, lit into world leaders for their “business as usual” approach to a problem so grave. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you,” she said, her voice quavering with rage. “If you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.”

Rarely does anyone speak in this way at the world body. A bit later in the day, Ms. Thunberg watched with a look of fury in her eyes as Mr. Trump passed through a hall, a video clip posted on Twitter showed.

As for China, it did not signal its readiness to issue stronger, swifter targets to transition away from fossil fuels, as many had hoped. Wang Yi, a special representative for President Xi Jinping, noted that his country was keeping the promises it made under the 2015 Paris agreement and that “certain countries” — a clear reference to the United States, which has said it intends to withdraw — were not.

“China will faithfully fulfill its obligations,” Mr. Wang said.

President Emmanuel Macron of France also had a message for the United States, telling the assembly: “I don’t want to see new trade negotiations with countries who are running counter to the Paris Agreement.”

The statement could create a new stumbling block to trade agreements between the United States and Europe, which are already plagued by deep differences over agriculture, the rules of the global trading system, and Mr. Trump’s potential tariffs on cars.

China’s decision to not signal higher ambition reflects, in part, concerns about its own slowing economy against the backdrop of conflicts with the United States on trade. It also reflected Beijing’s reluctance to take stronger climate action in the absence of similar moves from richer countries. The European Union hasn’t signaled its intention to cut emissions faster either, and the United States is nowhere on track to meet its original commitments under the Paris accord.

“There’s no particular reason why China should do anything new now, because they’re not getting any pressure from the United States and they’re on track to achieve their commitments,” said Kelly Sims Gallagher, professor of energy and environmental policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

“This extends the limbo while the rest of the world waits to see what the United States is going to be doing in 2020,” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India said his country would increase its share of renewable energy by 2022, without making any promises to reduce its dependence on coal. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany promoted a new plan worth $60 billion over 10 years to speed a transition to clean power.

Russia announced that it would ratify the Paris agreement, but added nothing more about how it might cut emissions from its sprawling state-owned petroleum industry.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 23CLI-SUMMIT2-video-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

Speaking at the United Nations climate summit, the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a forceful speech criticizing world leaders for their inaction on protecting the environment.CreditCreditCarlo Allegri/Reuters

The summit unfolded against the backdrop of new data that showed the quickening pace of warming.

The world is getting hotter, faster, the World Meteorological Organization concluded in its latest report Sunday, with the five-year period between 2014 and 2019 the warmest on record. Emissions of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming when it is pumped into the atmosphere, are at all time highs. The seas are rising rapidly. The average global temperature is 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than what it was in the mid-19th century, and at the current pace, average global temperatures will be 3 degrees Celsius higher by the end of the century.

“I will not be there, but my granddaughters will, and your grandchildren, too,” the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said in his opening remarks. “I refuse to be an accomplice in the destruction of their one and only home.”

Who’s Speaking at the U.N. Climate Summit? Several Champions of Coal

Sept. 22, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_157123887_26236ce7-647b-4113-a8f9-a0904c48f8cc-threeByTwoSmallAt2X At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Climate Protesters and World Leaders: Same Planet, Different Worlds

Sept. 21, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_160982445_2bbb697d-f88b-44b6-8d1c-d9aac2f1bfe1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike

Sept. 20, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 20cli-protests-slide-XMBG-threeByTwoSmallAt2X At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

Mr. Guterres’s most direct call went to those countries that use money from their taxpayers to subsidize fossil fuel projects that, as he put it, “boost hurricanes, spread tropical diseases and heighten conflict.”

“We are in a deep climate hole. To get out, we must first stop digging,” he said. “Is it common sense to build ever more coal plants that are choking our future? Is it common sense to reward pollution that kills millions with dirty air and makes it dangerous for people in cities around the world to sometimes even venture out of their homes?”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 23CLI-SUMMIT3-articleLarge At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

A video presentation during the meeting’s opening ceremonies.CreditLucas Jackson/Reuters

According to the United Nations Environment Program, the world’s 20 largest economies, which account for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, “are not yet taking on transformative climate commitments at the necessary breadth and scale.”

Scientists and policymakers have said that even holding warming to a less-dangerous 1.5 degrees would entail a significant transformation of the global energy system, costing trillions of dollars.

But the cost of doing nothing is also staggeringly high.

Studies show that if emissions continue to rise at their current pace, the number of people needing humanitarian aid as a result of natural disasters could double by 2050. And a sweeping report from 13 United States federal agencies last year warned that failing to rein in warming could shave 10 percent off the country’s economy by century’s end.

Protesters in New York City on Friday.CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’

UNITED NATIONS — Just days after angry youth protests demanding swift action to fight climate change, the United Nations climate summit opened Monday, where dozens of presidents, prime ministers and corporate executives sought to highlight their efforts to reduce planet-warming emissions.

No sooner had it begun than the teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, her voice quavering like it rarely does, lit into them, excoriating world leaders for their “business as usual” approach to bringing down greenhouse gas emissions at a time when temperatures are swiftly rising. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you,” she said, visibly angry. “If you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.”

Throughout the morning came a series of incremental promises and a great many boasts.

China, currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouses gases, noted that it was meeting its targets under the Paris Agreement, the pact among nations to jointly fight climate change, but stopped short of promising quicker, stronger targets as many had hoped.

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, said his country would increase its share of renewable energy by 2022, without making any promises to reduce its dependence on coal. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany promoted a new plan worth $60 billion over 10 years to speed a transition to clean power. Britain, Norway, Costa Rica and 12 other countries will promise to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Collectively, the promises were a signal of how much other countries are willing to do in the face of inaction by the United States, which is responsible for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial age.

Late morning, President Trump unexpectedly dropped into the General Assembly hall with Vice President Mike Pence. Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, welcomed Mr. Trump’s presence and addressed the president directly by saying, “Hopefully our discussions here will be useful for you when you formulate climate policy.”

That was followed by laughter and applause. It signaled a sharp contrast from just a few years ago, when the United States was credited for pushing other countries, including China, to take climate change seriously. The United States is not on track to meet its pledges under the Paris climate agreement, and the Trump administration has rolled back a host of environmental regulations, from automobile tailpipes, coal plants and oil and gas wells.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 23CLI-SUMMIT2-video-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’ United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

Speaking at the United Nations climate summit, the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a forceful speech criticizing world leaders for their inaction on protecting the environment.CreditCreditCarlo Allegri/Reuters

In this body of nations, some of the most notable pledges came from cities and private companies, including banks, large asset funds and shipping firms.

The gap between the incremental promises being made in the hall and the dramatic effects of climate change could not be more stark.

The world is getting hotter, faster, the World Meteorological Organization concluded in its latest report Sunday, with the five-year period between 2014 and 2019 the warmest on record. Emissions of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming when it is pumped into the atmosphere, are at all time highs. The seas are rising rapidly. The average global temperature is 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than what it was in the mid-19th century, and at the current pace, average global temperatures will be 3 degrees Celsius higher by the end of the century.

“I will not be there, but my granddaughters will, and your grandchildren, too,” the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, told those assembled inside the General Assembly hall. “I refuse to be an accomplice in the destruction of their one and only home.”

Who’s Speaking at the U.N. Climate Summit? Several Champions of Coal

Sept. 22, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_157123887_26236ce7-647b-4113-a8f9-a0904c48f8cc-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’ United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Climate Protesters and World Leaders: Same Planet, Different Worlds

Sept. 21, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_160982445_2bbb697d-f88b-44b6-8d1c-d9aac2f1bfe1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’ United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike

Sept. 20, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 20cli-protests-slide-XMBG-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’ United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, said 30 countries had pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The pledges are seen as critical to reinforcing the Paris Agreement. Mr. Guterres’s most direct call went to those countries that use money from their taxpayers to subsidize fossil fuel projects that, as he put it, “boost hurricanes, spread tropical diseases and heighten conflict.”

“We are in a deep climate hole. To get out, we must first stop digging,” he said. “Is it common sense to build ever more coal plants that are choking our future? Is it common sense to reward pollution that kills millions with dirty air and makes it dangerous for people in cities around the world to sometimes even venture out of their homes?”

The Trump administration did not request a speaking slot at the summit. Several United States governors were present and expected to announce stepped-up goals on reducing their own emissions.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 23CLI-SUMMIT3-articleLarge Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’ United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

A video presentation during opening ceremonies.CreditLucas Jackson/Reuters

Wang Yi, a special representative of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, took a swipe at the United States, saying, “China will faithfully fulfill its obligations.” Obliquely referencing Mr. Trump’s plan to abandon the Paris Agreement he added, “The withdrawal of certain parties will not shake the international community.”

China’s decision to not signal higher ambition reflects, in part, concerns about its own slowing economy against the backdrop of conflicts with the United States on trade. It also reflected Beijing’s reluctance to take stronger climate action in the absence of similar moves from richer countries. The European Union hasn’t signaled its intention to cut emissions faster either, and the United States is nowhere on track to meet its original commitments under the Paris accord.

“There’s no particular reason why China should do anything new now, because they’re not getting any pressure from the United States and they’re on track to achieve their commitments,” said Kelly Sims Gallagher, professor of energy and environmental policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

“This extends the limbo while the rest of the world waits to see what the United States is going to be doing in 2020,” she said.

Other major emitters not speaking at the Monday summit are Australia, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Brazil. The Secretary General had said that only those who were ready to announce concrete new steps would be given speaking time.

Their absence underscored a growing global tension over the push to phase out coal, oil and gas.

The pledges being delivered against the United Nation’s green marbled backdrop stood in sharp contrast to the anger that spilled onto the streets Friday, when masses of children and young people protested around the world. On Monday, protesters blocked traffic in Washington to demand a swift pivot away from the world’s fossil fuel-based economy.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, the world’s 20 largest economies, which account for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, “are not yet taking on transformative climate commitments at the necessary breadth and scale.”

Scientists and policymakers have said that even holding warming to a less-dangerous 1.5 degrees would entail a significant transformation of the global energy system, costing trillions of dollars.

But the cost of doing nothing is also staggeringly high.

Studies show that if emissions continue to rise at their current pace, the number of people needing humanitarian aid as a result of natural disasters could double by 2050. And a sweeping report from 13 United States federal agencies last year warned that failing to rein in warming could shave 10 percent off the country’s economy by century’s end.

Protesters in New York City on Friday.CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’

UNITED NATIONS — China on Monday made no new promises to take stronger climate action. The United States, having vowed to pull out of the Paris agreement, said nothing at all, demonstrating a lack of leadership from the biggest polluter in history. A host of presidents and prime ministers used the occasion to boast about what they were doing to reduce emissions but made incremental promises at best.

That was the scene at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, which the secretary general, António Guterres, had organized to highlight what he called “concrete” commitments to wean the global economy away from planet-warming fossil fuels and do more to help the most vulnerable cope with the effects of global warming.

There were, in fact, some concrete commitments. Some 60 countries promised to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and several asset fund managers said they would aim to get to a net-zero portfolio of investments by the same year.

But what really silenced the General Assembly hall was when the Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, early in the day, lit into world leaders for their “business as usual” approach to a problem so grave. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you,” she said, her voice quavering with rage. “If you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.”

Rarely does anyone speak in this way at the world body. A bit later in the day, Ms. Thunberg watched with a look of fury in her eyes, as Mr. Trump passed through a hall, a video clip posted on Twitter showed.

President Trump unexpectedly dropped into the General Assembly hall with Vice President Mike Pence late morning. Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, welcomed Mr. Trump’s presence and addressed the president directly by saying, “Hopefully our discussions here will be useful for you when you formulate climate policy.”

That was followed by laughter and applause. It signaled a sharp contrast from just a few years ago, when the United States had been credited with pushing other countries, including China, to take climate change seriously. The United States is not on track to meet its pledges under the Paris climate agreement, and the Trump administration has rolled back a host of environmental regulations, from automobile tailpipes, coal plants and oil and gas wells.

The Trump administration did not request a speaking slot at the summit.

As for China, it did not signal its readiness to issue stronger, swifter targets to transition away from fossil fuels, as many had hoped. Wang Yi, a special representative for President Xi Jinping, noted that his country was keeping the promises it made under the 2015 Paris agreement and that “certain countries” — a clear reference to the United States, which has said it intends to withdraw — were not.

“China will faithfully fulfill its obligations,” Mr. Wang said.

President Emmanuel Macron of France also had a message for the United States, telling the assembly “I don’t want to see new trade negotiations with countries who are running counter to the Paris Agreement.”

The statement could create a new stumbling block to trade agreements between the United States and Europe, which are already plagued by deep differences over agriculture, the rules of the global trading system, and Mr. Trump’s potential tariffs on cars.

China’s decision to not signal higher ambition reflects, in part, concerns about its own slowing economy against the backdrop of conflicts with the United States on trade. It also reflected Beijing’s reluctance to take stronger climate action in the absence of similar moves from richer countries. The European Union hasn’t signaled its intention to cut emissions faster either, and the United States is nowhere on track to meet its original commitments under the Paris accord.

“There’s no particular reason why China should do anything new now, because they’re not getting any pressure from the United States and they’re on track to achieve their commitments,” said Kelly Sims Gallagher, professor of energy and environmental policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

“This extends the limbo while the rest of the world waits to see what the United States is going to be doing in 2020,” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India said his country would increase its share of renewable energy by 2022, without making any promises to reduce its dependence on coal. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany promoted a new plan worth $60 billion over 10 years to speed a transition to clean power.

Russia announced that it would ratify the Paris agreement, but nothing more about how to cut emissions from its sprawling state-owned petroleum industry.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 23CLI-SUMMIT2-video-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’ United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

Speaking at the United Nations climate summit, the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a forceful speech criticizing world leaders for their inaction on protecting the environment.CreditCreditCarlo Allegri/Reuters

The summit unfolded against the backdrop of new data that showed the quickening pace of warming.

The world is getting hotter, faster, the World Meteorological Organization concluded in its latest report Sunday, with the five-year period between 2014 and 2019 the warmest on record. Emissions of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming when it is pumped into the atmosphere, are at all time highs. The seas are rising rapidly. The average global temperature is 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than what it was in the mid-19th century, and at the current pace, average global temperatures will be 3 degrees Celsius higher by the end of the century.

“I will not be there, but my granddaughters will, and your grandchildren, too,” the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said in his opening remarks. “I refuse to be an accomplice in the destruction of their one and only home.”

Who’s Speaking at the U.N. Climate Summit? Several Champions of Coal

Sept. 22, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_157123887_26236ce7-647b-4113-a8f9-a0904c48f8cc-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’ United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Climate Protesters and World Leaders: Same Planet, Different Worlds

Sept. 21, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_160982445_2bbb697d-f88b-44b6-8d1c-d9aac2f1bfe1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’ United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike

Sept. 20, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 20cli-protests-slide-XMBG-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Climate Summit Opens; Teenage Activist Attacks ‘Business as Usual’ United States International Relations United Nations Politics and Government Guterres, Antonio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming General Assembly (UN) environment Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

Mr. Guterres’s most direct call went to those countries that use money from their taxpayers to subsidize fossil fuel projects that, as he put it, “boost hurricanes, spread tropical diseases and heighten conflict.”

“We are in a deep climate hole. To get out, we must first stop digging,” he said. “Is it common sense to build ever more coal plants that are choking our future? Is it common sense to reward pollution that kills millions with dirty air and makes it dangerous for people in cities around the world to sometimes even venture out of their homes?”

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A video presentation during opening ceremonies.CreditLucas Jackson/Reuters

According to the United Nations Environment Program, the world’s 20 largest economies, which account for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, “are not yet taking on transformative climate commitments at the necessary breadth and scale.”

Scientists and policymakers have said that even holding warming to a less-dangerous 1.5 degrees would entail a significant transformation of the global energy system, costing trillions of dollars.

But the cost of doing nothing is also staggeringly high.

Studies show that if emissions continue to rise at their current pace, the number of people needing humanitarian aid as a result of natural disasters could double by 2050. And a sweeping report from 13 United States federal agencies last year warned that failing to rein in warming could shave 10 percent off the country’s economy by century’s end.

Protesters in New York City on Friday.CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times

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Leaders, at U.N. Climate Talks, Get Their Chance to Answer Youth Protests

UNITED NATIONS — Just days after angry youth protests demanding swift action to fight climate change, the United Nations climate summit opened Monday, where dozens of presidents, prime ministers and corporate executives will try to show that they are stepping up action to reduce planet-warming emissions.

No sooner had it begun than the teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, her voice quavering like it rarely does, lit into them, excoriating world leaders for their “business as usual” approach to bringing down greenhouse gas emissions at a time when temperatures are rising than ever before. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you,” she said, reading from prepared remarks. “If you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.”

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, said his country would increase its share of renewable energy by 2022, without making any promises to reduce its dependence on coal. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany promoted a new plan worth $60 billion over 10 years to speed a transition to clean power. Britain, Norway, Costa Rica and 12 other countries will promise to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. By the end of the day, expect to see a signal of how much other countries are willing to do in the face of inaction by the United States, which is responsible for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial age.

Late morning, President Trump unexpectedly dropped into the General Assembly hall with Vice President Mike Pence.

Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, welcomed Mr. Trump’s presence at the United Nations and drew applause when he addressed the president directly saying, “Hopefully our discussions here will be useful for you when you formulate climate policy”

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Greta Thunberg at the United Nations climate summit on Monday. CreditLudovic Marin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

And in this body of nations, some of the most notable pledges are expected to come from cities and private companies, including banks, large asset funds, and shipping firms. All eyes were on whether China, currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouses gases, would signal higher ambition. A special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled to speak later in the morning.

The gap between the incremental promises being made in the hall and the dramatic effects of climate change could not be more stark.

The world is getting hotter, faster, the World Meteorological Organization concluded in its latest report Sunday, with the five-year period between 2014 and 2019 the warmest on record. Emissions of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming when it is pumped into the atmosphere, are at all-time highs. The seas are rising rapidly. The average global temperature is 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than what it was in the mid-19th century, and at the current pace, average global temperatures will be 3 degrees Celsius higher by the end of the century.

“I will not be there, but my granddaughters will, and your grandchildren, too,” the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, told those assembled inside the General Assembly hall. “I refuse to be an accomplice in the destruction of their one and only home.”

Who’s Speaking at the U.N. Climate Summit? Several Champions of Coal

Sept. 22, 2019

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Climate Protesters and World Leaders: Same Planet, Different Worlds

Sept. 21, 2019

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Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike

Sept. 20, 2019

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The president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera Echenique, said 30 countries have pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The pledges are seen as critical to reinforcing the Paris Agreement, a pact among nations to jointly fight climate change, at a time when the United States government has said it will withdraw from the agreement and has all but abandoned the global effort to reduce greenhouse gases and help the world’s most vulnerable countries cope with the consequences of a warming world.

Mr. Guterres’ most direct call went to those countries that use money from their taxpayers to subsidize fossil fuel projects that, as he put it, “boost hurricanes, spread tropical diseases and heighten conflict.”

“We are in a deep climate hole. To get out, we must first stop digging,” he said. “Is it common sense to build ever more coal plants that are choking our future? Is it common sense to reward pollution that kills millions with dirty air and makes it dangerous for people in cities around the world to sometimes even venture out of their homes?”

President Trump was in New York on Monday, but did not plan to attend Monday’s summit. Instead, the administration sent a State Department official who did not request a speaking slot. The administration has rolled back efforts to cut emissions from automobile tailpipes, coal plants and oil and gas wells. Several United States governors were present and expected to announce stepped-up goals on reducing their own emissions.

Opening ceremonies at the summit.CreditLucas Jackson/Reuters

Other major emitters not speaking at the Monday summit are Australia, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Brazil. The Secretary General had said that only those who were ready to announce concrete new steps would be given speaking time.

Their absence underscored a growing global tension over the push to phase out coal, oil and gas.

Shinjiro Koizumi, the newly appointed environment minister of Japan, said in an interview Sunday that he intends to lead his country in cutting emissions of carbon dioxide. But asked what specific actions he would take on coal, Mr. Koizumi replied, “Reduce it.”

The pledges being delivered against the United Nation’s green marbled backdrop stood in sharp contrast to the anger that spilled onto the streets Friday, when masses of children and young people protested around the world demanding a swift pivot away from the world’s fossil fuel-based economy.

“Friday landed a big emotional punch,” said Rachel Kyte, a special representative on sustainable energy for the United Nations secretary general.

“From this summit, we need to ratchet up action and ambition and get to a point where every country has got a plan that makes sense and is consistent,” she said. “We’re not there yet.”

Scientists have warned that severe droughts, escalating wildfires and rising seas fueled by climate change threaten to tear apart ecosystems and economies, undermining decades of progress in global health and poverty reduction.

“Speeches don’t match the moment,” President Sauli Niinisto of Finland said. “If we all don’t do more, more people will suffer.”

Some analysts said they hoped Chinese leaders at the meeting would announce that their country’s emissions will peak earlier than they had pledged under the Paris Agreement, though others said that was unlikely. China today produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any other country, but it is on track to meet the relatively modest goals it set for itself under the Paris climate agreement.

“China is going to do a really good job of saying all the right things but we will have a very difficult time identifying the actions that are going to support that,” said Taiya Smith, director of the China program for the Climate Leadership Council, a conservative group that has called for carbon-tax policies.

In part, she and others said, that’s a reflection of the overwhelming focus in China on trade relations with the United States, fears about China’s own slowing economy and the failure of the United States, the world’s biggest emitter in historical terms, to act or push other nations to do more under the current administration.

“It’s very unlikely that China will move unless it has to,” Ms. Smith said, adding that, with the United States effectively out of the picture, “All they have to do is show up and they’re the world leader.”

Yet without more ambitious efforts by the United States, China and other big countries to eliminate greenhouse gases, the average temperature globally is on track to rise a dangerous 3 degrees Celsius or more from preindustrial times. According to the United Nations Environment Program, the world’s 20 largest economies, which account for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, “are not yet taking on transformative climate commitments at the necessary breadth and scale.”

Scientists and policymakers have said that even holding warming to a less-dangerous 1.5 degrees would entail a significant transformation of the global energy system, costing trillions of dollars.

But the cost of doing nothing is also staggeringly high.

Studies show that if emissions continue to rise at their current pace, the number of people needing humanitarian aid as a result of natural disasters could double by 2050. And a sweeping report from 13 United States federal agencies last year warned that failing to rein in warming could shave 10 percent off the country’s economy by century’s end.

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Climate Protesters and World Leaders: Same Planet, Different Worlds

UNITED NATIONS — This is the world we live in: Punishing heat waves, catastrophic floods, huge fires and climate conditions so uncertain that children took to the streets en masse in global protests to demand action.

But this is also the world we live in: A pantheon of world leaders who have deep ties to the industries that are the biggest sources of planet-warming emissions, are hostile to protests, or use climate science denial to score political points.

That stark contrast comes at a time when governments face a challenge of a kind they have not seen since the beginning of the industrial era. In order to avert the worst effects of climate change, they must rebuild the engine of the global economy — to quickly get out of fossil fuels, the energy source that the system is based upon — because they failed to take steps decades ago when scientists warned they should.

On Monday, at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, comes a glimpse of how far presidents and prime ministers are willing to go. The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, expects around 60 countries to announce what he called new “concrete” plans to reduce emissions and help the world’s most vulnerable cope with the fallout from global warming.

The problem is, the protesters in the streets and some of the diplomats in the General Assembly hall are living in separate worlds.

“Our political climate is not friendly to this discussion at this moment,” said Alice Hill, who specializes in climate policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Multilateralism is under attack. We have seen the rise of authoritarian governments.”

“We see these pressures as working against us,” she said. “We don’t have leadership in the United States to help guide the process.”

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President Trump, in fact, has rolled back dozens of environmental regulations, most recently reversing rules on auto emissions, saying that they were an unnecessary burden on the American economy. In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro wants to open the Amazon to new commercial activity. In Russia, Vladimir Putin presides over a vast, powerful petro-state. China’s state-owned companies are pushing for coal projects at home and abroad, even as the country tries in other ways to tamp down emissions. Narendra Modi of India is set on expanding coal too, even as he champions solar power.

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Protesters in Manhattan on Friday. CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times

At a press briefing ahead of the Monday summit, Mr. Guterres was bullish on what he described as a new willingness by governments and companies to address climate change seriously. He said he hoped “a very meaningful number of countries” would declare their aim to reduce carbon emissions significantly and aim to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

“All of a sudden I started to feel there was momentum that was gaining, and this was largely due to the youth movement that started a fantastic, very dynamic impulse around the world,” Mr. Guterres said on Saturday as a United Nations Youth Climate Summit began.

There will be some important no-shows at the Monday meeting though. The United States, the largest economy in the world, has not even asked to take the podium. Nor has Brazil, home to most of the Amazon rainforest, often referred to as the lungs of the planet. Nor Japan, an economic powerhouse and the world’s seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

So, Mr. Guterres also tempered expectations. He told reporters at a briefing on Friday that he did not expect announcements at the summit to yield emissions reductions that would measurably keep temperatures from rising to dangerous levels. At the current pace, global temperatures are set to rise beyond 3 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels by the end of the century even if every country on Earth meets its goals under the 2015 Paris pact, which calls on nearly 200 nations to set voluntarily targets to reduce their emissions. Many big countries, including the United States, are not on track to meet their commitments.

At United Nations climate talks next year, countries face their next deadline to set more ambitious targets to reduce emissions. “The summit needs to be seen in a continuum,” Mr. Guterres said.

If anything, the Monday summit meeting, coming on the heels of huge youth protests worldwide, showed the vast distance between the urgency of climate action and the limits of diplomacy.

Organizers estimated the turnout at the Friday protests to be around four million across thousands of cities and towns worldwide. Never has the modern world witnessed a climate protest so large and wide, spanning societies rich and poor, tied together by a sense of rage. “Climate emergency now,” read banners in several countries.

Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike

Sept. 20, 2019

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Whether the youth protests can goad many world leaders into changing their policies is a big question mark at best, said Michael B. Gerrard, a law professor at Columbia University. Some of them are closely linked to fossil fuel and extractive industries, he noted. Others have a record of crushing protests. And so the outcry, Mr. Gerrard said, may well fall on “intentionally closed ears.”

Mr. Guterres said he was offering time to speak Monday only to those countries that are taking “positive steps,” of varying kinds. Russia is expected to say it will ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement. India is expected to promise more ambitious renewable energy targets. All eyes will be on China — currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but on track to meet its Paris agreement pledges — to see if it will announce that its emissions will begin falling sooner than it had originally predicted.

Several dozen countries are expected to promise to reduce emissions to the point at which they will be carbon-neutral by 2050; Britain is the largest economy to have set that target. Some of the most ambitious announcements could come not from nations at all, but from banks, fund managers and other businesses.

Still, the protesters and the diplomats have radically different expectations, and even a different sense of time.

On Saturday, at the youth summit, Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist whose solo student strike has helped ignite a global youth movement, signaled that pressure would continue.

Sitting next to Mr. Guterres, Ms. Thunberg took the microphone and said the millions of young people who protested around the world Friday had made an impact. “We showed them we are united and that we young people are unstoppable,” she said.

From Mr. Guterres came a hat tip. “I encourage you to go on. I encourage you to keep your initiative, keep your mobilization and more and more to hold my generation accountable.”

A climate rally in San Francisco on Friday. CreditJames Tensuan for The New York Times

Those protests have buoyed the efforts of United Nations officials to push for more ambitious climate action, but they haven’t necessarily made the job easy.

“The time window is closing and it’s dramatically short for what we have to do,” said Achim Steiner, the head of the United Nations Development Program. “The protests are helpful because they show national leaders in their societies, in their countries, that the politics of climate change is changing and it is adding momentum and pressure to act.”

The United Nations is itself under pressure to do more to curb its own carbon footprint. A letter signed by more than 1,700 staff members urged Mr. Guterres to adopt greener travel policies, like encouraging the use of trains whenever possible. The letter also urged the United Nations Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels.

Whatever comes out of the Monday summit meeting may well seem lackluster to those out on the streets — the generation that will feel the intensifying impacts of climate change. That’s the challenge facing Mr. Guterres, who has made climate action one of the top priorities for the world body at a time when several powerful world leaders have dismissed the science.

“It is a pretty exquisite balancing act to ally with Greta Thunberg and Xi Jinping to box in Donald Trump,” said Richard Gowan, who follows the United Nations for the International Crisis Group. “Let’s see if he can do it.”

Lisa Friedman contributed reporting.

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Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike

They are in open revolt.

Anxious about their future on a hotter planet, angry at world leaders for failing to arrest the crisis, thousands of young people began pouring into the streets on Friday for a day of global climate protest.

In New York the main demonstration was scheduled for midday, but participants began assembling early and it appeared that turnout would be large. Many brought handmade signs. “Think or Swim,” one read.

“I’m feeling very hopeful,” said Azalea Danes, 20, a senior at the Bronx High School of Science who was waiting at Foley Square for protests to begin. “This is our first inter generational strike.”

Demonstrations in North and South America will be the culmination of a day of global strikes that began almost 24 hours earlier as morning broke in the Asia-Pacific region.

More than 100,000 protested in Melbourne as the protests began, in what organizers said was the largest climate action in Australia’s history. The rally shut down key public transport corridors for hours.

In Sydney, thousands gathered in the Domain, a sprawling public park just a short walk east of the Central Business District — grandparents escorting their children holding homemade signs, groups of teenagers in school uniforms, parents handing out boxed raisins to their young children.

“Adults are, like, ‘respect your elders.’ And we’re, like, ‘respect our futures,’” said Jemima Grimmer, 13, from Sydney. “You know, it’s a two-way street, respect, and I’m angry that I have to be here.”

Rarely, if ever, has the modern world witnessed a youth movement so large and wide, spanning across societies rich and poor, tied together by a common if inchoate sense of rage.

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Protesters at the climate demonstration in Sydney. CreditSteven Saphore/EPA, via Shutterstock

In Quezon City, in the Philippines, protesters, including one dressed as Pikachu, the Pokémon character, held a sign that read: “Dead Planet Soon. Act Now!” Greenpeace posted pictures on Twitter showing its activists blockading the entrance to a Shell oil refinery in the Philippines.

No protests were authorized in China, the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

As morning arrived farther west, banners in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, ranged from serious to humorous. One read, “Climate Emergency Now.” Another said, “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend.”

Roughly 100,000 demonstrators showed around the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on a bright but unseasonably chilly day in Berlin, according to the police.

Demonstrators there held signs reading: “Stop the Global Pyromania,” “Short-Haul Flights Only for Insects,” and “Make the World Greta Again.”

“We all know what the problem is,” said Antonia Brüning, 14, marching nearby, next to the Reichstag, with a group of her friends from school. “So why isn’t anything happening?”

Across Britain, there were large protests from Brighton to Edinburgh, with the turnout in London especially large.

There, the carved stone of the Palace of Westminster reflected bright Autumn sunshine onto crowds flooding out of a nearby subway station.

Theo Parkinson-Pride, 12, was passing by the palace with his mother Catherine, 45, who said she had emailed her son’s school to tell them he would be missing classes on Friday. “I said to my mum, I feel this is more of important than school today because soon there may be no school to go to,” Theo said.

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In Mumbai, children in oversize raincoats marched in the rain. In the Indian capital, New Delhi, where the air pollution is some of the worst in the world, dozens of protesters gathered outside a government building. “I want to breathe clean,” they chanted, The A.P. reported.

At a time of fraying trust in authority figures, children — who by definition have no authority over anything — are increasingly driving the debate over how to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Using the internet, they are organizing across continents like no generation before them. And though their outsize demands for an end to fossil fuels mirror those of older environmentalists, their movement has captured the public imagination far more effectively.

“What’s unique about this is that young people are able to see their future is at risk today,” said Kumi Naidoo, the head of Amnesty International and a longtime campaigner for environmental issues. “I certainly hope this is a turning point.”

Kenyans marched through the Nairobi city center. CreditBen Curtis/Associated Press

The generational outcry comes as planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar, even as their effects — including rising seas, intensifying storms, debilitating heat waves and droughts — can be felt more and more.

Average global temperatures have risen by about 1 degree Celsius since the start of the industrial age, and the world as a whole remains far from meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement, the landmark climate accord designed four years ago, to keep temperatures from rising to catastrophic levels. President Trump has said the United States, which has contributed more emissions than any country since the start of the industrial age, will pull out of the accord.

An early test of the student protests will come on Monday when world leaders assemble at United Nations headquarters to demonstrate what they are willing to do to avert a crisis. Their speeches are unlikely to assuage the youth strikers, but whether the youth protests will peter out or become more confrontational in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen. More protests are planned for Monday in several cities.

“They’re going to call ‘BS,’” Dana R. Fisher, a sociologist at the University of Maryland who studies contemporary protest movements, said of the protesters. “It’s great for people at the United Nations summit to posture and say they care about this issue, but that’s not enough to stop the climate crisis. These kids are sophisticated enough to recognize that.”

Many websites have said they would go dark, in solidarity with the protests. Groups of scientists, doctors and technology workers are also joining the strikes in various locations.

Certainly, this is not the first time in modern history that young people have been stressed about their future and galvanized around a cause. Young people led social movements against the Vietnam War and for civil rights in the United States. So, too, against apartheid and in the global antinuclear movement.

This is a new generational revolt, though. It’s not against injustice in a particular country, nor against a war. This is about the future on a hotter planet. Young people worry about the cataclysmic impact of climate change on their future, coloring where they will live, how they will grow their food, and how they will cope with recurrent droughts and floods. The internet allows them to mobilize. They often know more about the issue than their parents do.

Whether they will have any direct impact is unlikely to be clear for years.

On the sidelines of the London protest. CreditHannah Mckay/Reuters

Megan Mullin, a political scientist at Duke University, said she saw no evidence that the youth protests would move the political needle on climate change in a state like hers.

“The challenge is translating something that is a global movement into a kind of concentrated political pressure than can influence government decisions,” she said. “It needs to be translated to influencing decision makers who aren’t already convinced.”

In the United States, climate strikers — nearly two-thirds of whom are women and girls — have been unusually engaged. Half had attended other protests, including for gun control laws and women’s rights, according to a survey that Dr. Fisher carried out among 660 climate strikers. By comparison, 40 percent of survey-takers outside the United States had attended protests on other social issues.

“They are mobilized around an issue of consistent concern across countries and across geographic areas,” Dr. Fisher said. “It spans the developing-developed country divide. There aren’t that many issues that would unify in such a manner. And we all know the burden of climate change will fall on these kids’ shoulders when they are adults. They are acutely aware as well.”

Reporting was contributed by Lewis Fischer from Melbourne, Tacey Rychter from Sydney, Palko Karasz from London, and Christopher Schuetze from Berlin.

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Bezos and Zuckerberg Take Their Pitches to Washington

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WASHINGTON — Two of the technology industry’s leading figures descended on Washington on Thursday as their companies face growing political pressure.

The executives, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, showed up for different reasons, and in different places. Mr. Bezos led a morning event at the National Press Club, announcing a commitment by Amazon to be carbon neutral by 2040. Later, Mr. Zuckerberg met with President Trump and held discussions on Capitol Hill about election security, privacy and other issues.

But their presence in Washington highlighted a shared need to try to reshape the public debate about their companies. Amazon and Facebook, as well as Google and Apple, face a variety of broad investigations into their power and influence.

This week, lawmakers held two hearings that focused largely on the industry. One was on the spread of extremism online. In the other, lawmakers urged the country’s top antitrust regulators, who were testifying before them, to be aggressive in their oversight of tech companies.

Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, said it was time for the companies to be more upfront with the public.

“We’ve had a lot of talk from Facebook, and we have a troubling pattern, when they’re up on the Hill, of them saying things that turn out to be either very misleading or at the end of the day it’s just not true or they just don’t follow through on it,” Mr. Hawley said.

Amazon, in addition to the scrutiny from regulators, has faced increasing criticism from its own employees, many of whom say the company needs to do more to combat climate change. More than 1,500 are expected to walk out of work to push their case on Friday, a day of planned climate-related strikes around the world.

The workers have prodded Amazon on three issues: that the company have zero emissions by 2030, that it stop offering custom cloud-computing services that help the oil and gas industry find and extract more fossil fuels and that it stop giving campaign donations to politicians who deny climate change is happening.

Mr. Bezos outlined a plan to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, and instead of joining existing alliances working on climate change, he announced a new effort, Climate Pledge, and said he would push other organizations to join.

To help meet its goal, Mr. Bezos said, Amazon is ordering 100,000 electric delivery trucks from Rivian, a Michigan company in which Amazon invested $440 million in February. He visited Rivian a year ago, checking out prototypes and meeting with its chief executive, R. J. Scaringe.

Mr. Bezos introduced the Climate Pledge alongside Christiana Figueres, who was an architect of the landmark Paris climate agreement while at the United Nations. To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, the world’s total emissions of carbon dioxide must be reduced to net zero by around 2050, climate scientists have said. President Trump withdrew the United States from the accord in 2017.

“Whatever Amazon does does not stay within Amazon,” Ms. Figueres said. “It has a much bigger impact.”

But Mr. Bezos punted on many of the workers’ specific demands. Amazon would still continue to sell its cloud services to the oil and gas industry, he said. And while the company is taking a “hard look” at whether its political donations are going to “active climate deniers,” Mr. Bezos stopped short of saying the company would not give them more money in the future.

“We’re going to work hard for energy companies, and in our view we’re going to work very hard to make sure that as they transition that they have the best tools possible,” he said.

Emily Cunningham, a designer at Amazon who helped organize the walkout, praised Amazon for taking action on climate change. But she said the employees would proceed with their walkout plans on Friday and continue to press on these issues.

“Climate leadership is not compatible with actively helping fossil fuel companies extract oil and gas faster,” she said. “Scientists say that to avoid catastrophic warming, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

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Many other tech companies, like Google, have also made environmental promises. Amazon’s impact on the climate is more complicated than the impact that many of its tech peers have, in part because of its vast operation moving products into and out of its warehouses and to the doorsteps of customers. The data centers at the heart of its cloud computing services also need power to stay cool, and those services help customers in many industries, including energy companies.

The company’s annual carbon footprint is about 44.4 million metric tons — the equivalent of almost 600,000 tanker trucks’ worth of gasoline — according to data it released Thursday for the first time.

That takes into account the production of Amazon’s own brands, like its Echo devices and AmazonBasics batteries, but apparently not the manufacturing footprint of the other products it sells. Walmart has pushed suppliers to be more accountable for their emissions.

Emissions from a retailer’s supply chains are typically 10 to 11 times the emissions of its own operations, said Bruno Sarda, the president of CDP North America, a nonprofit that pushes for more environmental disclosures and commitments at companies.

He said Amazon’s carbon footprint put the company “in the top 150 or 200 emitters in the world,” alongside major energy companies and heavy-industry firms.

“For somebody in their line of business, it’s a really big number,” Mr. Sarda said.

Mr. Zuckerberg came to Washington to meet with lawmakers who have raised numerous concerns about Facebook. It was his first such visit since April 2018, when he testified about privacy and the spread of disinformation on the social network.

“He also had a good, constructive meeting with President Trump at the White House today,” a Facebook spokesman, Andy Stone, said in a statement on Thursday.

The meetings began on Wednesday night, when Mr. Zuckerberg met with Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington, the top Democrat on the powerful Commerce Committee, which is trying to pass consumer privacy legislation this year.

He dined that night at Ris, a restaurant in downtown Washington, with a group of senators convened by Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and one of the company’s most outspoken critics.

“The participants had a discussion touching on multiple issues, including the role and responsibility of social media platforms in protecting our democracy, and what steps Congress should take to defend our elections, protect consumer data and encourage competition in the social media space,” said Rachel Cohen, a spokeswoman for Mr. Warner. The group also discussed Libra, Facebook’s controversial cryptocurrency.

On Thursday, throngs of reporters and photographers trailed Mr. Zuckerberg as he visited the offices of several lawmakers, including Senator Mike Lee of Utah, the Republican chairman of the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee, and Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas.

Senator Hawley of Missouri said he had told Mr. Zuckerberg on Thursday afternoon that Facebook should sell both Instagram and WhatsApp to address privacy and competition concerns. Facebook recently announced plans to integrate those services more directly with the rest of the company.

“I think it’s safe to say that he was not receptive to those suggestions,” Mr. Hawley said.

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Trump to Revoke California’s Authority to Set Stricter Auto Emissions Rules

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is expected on Wednesday to formally revoke California’s legal authority to set tailpipe pollution rules that are stricter than federal rules, in a move designed by the White House to strike twin blows against both the liberal-leaning state that President Trump has long antagonized and the environmental legacy of President Barack Obama.

The announcement that the White House will revoke one of California’s signature environmental policies will come while Mr. Trump is traveling in the state, where he is scheduled to attend fund-raisers in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.

The formal revocation of California’s authority to set its own rules on tailpipe pollution — the United States’ largest source of greenhouse emissions — will be announced Wednesday afternoon at a private event at the Washington headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to two people familiar with the matter.

A White House spokesman referred questions on the matter to the Environmental Protection Agency. A spokesman for the E.P.A. did not respond to an email requesting comment.

Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California, said the state intends to strike back with a lawsuit, one that is expected to go all the way to the Supreme Court. “While the White House clings to the past, automakers and American families embrace cleaner cars,” he wrote in an email, calling the tougher standards “achievable, science-based, and a boon for hardworking American families and public health.”

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The move has been widely expected since last summer, when the Trump administration unveiled its draft plan to roll back the strict federal fuel economy standards put in place by the Obama administration. That draft Trump rule also included a plan to revoke a legal waiver, granted to the state of California under the 1970 Clean Air Act, allowing it to set tougher state-level standards than those put forth by the federal government.

The revocation of the waiver would also affect 13 other states that follow California’s clean air rules.

In recent months, the administration’s broader weakening of nationwide auto-emissions standards has become plagued with delays as staff members struggled to prepare adequate legal, technical or scientific justifications for the move.

As a result, the White House decided to proceed with just one piece of its overall plan — the move to strip California of its legal authority to set tougher standards — while delaying the release of its broader rollback, according to these people.

The administration’s plans have been further complicated because major automakers have told the White House that they do not want such an aggressive rollback. In July, four automakers formalized their opposition to Mr. Trump’s plans by signing a deal with California to comply with tighter emissions standards if the broader rollback goes through.

While the broader efforts to undo the federal vehicle emissions standards remain incomplete, the legal proposal to revoke California’s legal authority to set its own pollution rule has been completed and ready to go for weeks.

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White House officials have also been eager to move quickly to revoke California’s authority to set its own standards because they want the opportunity to defend the legal effort to undo emissions regulations in the Supreme Court before the end of Mr. Trump’s first term. The thinking goes that if a Democrat were to be elected president in 2020, the federal government would be unlikely to defend revocation of the waiver in the high court.

California’s special right to set its own tailpipe pollution rules dates to the 1970 Clean Air Act, the landmark federal legislation designed to fight air pollution nationwide. The law granted California a waiver to set stricter rules of its own because the state already had clean air legislation in place before the landmark 1970 federal legislation.

A revocation of the California waiver would have national significance. Thirteen other states follow California’s tighter standards, together representing roughly a third of the national auto market.

Because of that, the fight over federal auto emissions rules has the potential to split the United States auto market, with some states adhering to stricter pollution standards than others. For automakers, that represents a nightmare scenario.

The Obama-era tailpipe pollution rules that the administration hopes to weaken would require automakers to build vehicles that achieve an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, cutting about six billion tons of carbon dioxide pollution over the lifetimes of those vehicles. The proposed Trump rule would lower the requirement to about 37 miles per gallon, allowing for most of that pollution to be emitted.

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The Concept Cars Gleam, but Executive Dread Clouds the Frankfurt Auto Show

FRANKFURT — Car executives are paid to be optimists, but behind the pomp and salesmanship at the Frankfurt International Motor Show this week lurked an unmistakable sense of angst.

The talk among industry insiders at the show, one of the auto industry’s biggest events, reflected the existential threats that carmakers face.

The European and global auto markets are in decline. Carmakers are betting their futures on electric vehicles whose marketability is untested. Manufacturers are under intense public and regulatory pressure because of the role that vehicles play in climate change. The global trade war has disrupted supply chains.

Even auto shows are under threat. Many manufacturers scaled back their presence in Frankfurt this year or skipped the show altogether. Companies like Toyota and Fiat Chrysler decided the benefits didn’t justify the millions of euros it takes to put on a display.

“It’s an unprecedented situation we are in,” said Wolf-Henning Scheider, chief executive of ZF Friedrichshafen, a German transmission maker that has an extensive network of factories in the United States, Europe and China.

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BMW is showing an electric Mini.CreditFelix Schmitt for The New York Times

Volkswagen is producing its ID.3 electric sedan with wind and solar energy.CreditFelix Schmitt for The New York Times

Mr. Scheider noted that carmakers must invest vast sums in electric vehicles and autonomous driving at the same time they are coping with a trade war. “All these at the same time is new,” Mr. Scheider said in an interview.

The Frankfurt show was as good a place as any to find out how auto executives plan to survive the tsunami. Here are some of the main takeaways.

Protests by environmental groups were especially intense this year, as carmakers increasingly take the blame for climate change. Volkswagen alone accounts for more than 1 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to the company’s own calculations.

This week Greenpeace activists stood on the roofs of S.U.V.s on display at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds with signs that chided, “Climate Killer.” The militant group Attac planned to blockade streets and bring traffic to a standstill on Saturday, the day the show opens to the public.

Carmakers are desperate to show that they get the message. Ola Källenius, chief executive of Daimler, said in Frankfurt that the company’s Mercedes-Benz factories will be carbon neutral next year.

Volkswagen is producing its ID.3 electric sedan with wind and solar energy, and offsetting any additional emissions by financing a project in the rainforests of Borneo. At an event this week to unveil the ID.3, guests were handed bamboo forks to eat hors d’oeuvres.

“We’re serious,” Herbert Diess, the Volkswagen chief executive, said during a debate with Tina Velo, a leader of Attac, who questioned the company’s commitment to the environment.

But carmakers still make most of their money from fuel-thirsty S.U.V.s. Nicolas Peter, chief financial officer of BMW, said the industry couldn’t solve its image problems with public relations alone.

“We have to do the right thing,” he told a small group of reporters on Tuesday.

Carmakers are operating on the assumption that tensions between China and the United States won’t be resolved soon. They are rethinking their supply chains and moving production closer to customers so that fewer goods have to cross borders and be exposed to tariffs.

That applies to software as well as hardware. Mr. Scheider of ZF said that, for security reasons, autonomous driving technology developed for the United States has to be kept out of China and vice versa. “That is a risk, that these two regions drift apart,” he said.

Forced to choose, many companies would have to pick China. It has become by far the biggest car market, and several executives said they expected it to keep growing despite a recent decline in sales. Mr. Scheider pointed out that rates of car ownership were still low outside the major cities.

“I’m pretty confident the Chinese market will grow continuously,” he said.

A slew of mainstream carmakers unveiled battery-powered cars in Frankfurt that will sell at prices within reach of middle-class households.

The most important new product at the show is easily the ID.3, a four-door hatchback that Volkswagen said would be the first in a line of affordable battery-powered vehicles, including an S.U.V. and a minivan.

Honda unveiled an electric vehicle known simply as the E, and BMW showed an electric version of its popular Mini. Including incentives available in the United States, Germany and other countries, the end price of these vehicles should be 30,000 euros ($33,000) or less. Because electric cars have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance, the cost of ownership may be lower than for a conventional car.

Ola Källenius, chief executive of Daimler. He said the company’s Mercedes-Benz factories would be carbon neutral next year.CreditFelix Schmitt for The New York Times

But no one knows yet whether these vehicles will be popular enough to justify the investment and allow carmakers to meet European Union fuel economy targets that take effect next year. Carmakers that fail to deliver average fuel economy of 57 miles per gallon face draconian fines.

Regret is written on the faces of auto executives’ faces when they say it, but the age of the internal combustion engine is slowly coming to an end.

“One is amazed at what can still be achieved with the internal combustion engine,” said Markus Schäfer, the head of research and development at Daimler. He added, however: “Of course the main focus is on electrification.”

Mr. Schäfer told a small group of reporters that Mercedes did not plan to develop any more internal combustion engines after it finished the rollout of a new four-cylinder motor, which is underway. “That is the last,” he said.

But battery-powered cars are likely to be less profitable for carmakers, which tend to operate on thin margins to begin with. Most make their own gasoline or diesel motors. They must buy batteries from suppliers like LG Chem of South Korea, Panasonic of Japan or CATL of China, which will keep a big chunk of the profits.

Batteries for electric cars have made rapid progress in the last decade, dropping in price and delivering more juice per pound than even a few years ago. The latest generation of the Renault Zoe can travel 395 kilometers, or 245 miles, on a charge, more than double the range of the first generation, which went on sale in 2012.

“In less than a decade, we already have done huge progress,” Gilles Normand, senior vice president for electric vehicles at Renault, said in an interview. “You can easily imagine what’s going to come in the next 10 years.”

The BMW Vision iNext luxury electric automobile, left, and a Vision M Next concept car.CreditFelix Schmitt for The New York Times

Thierry Bolloré, the chief executive of Renault, said that the company was working on a €10,000 ($12,000) electric car. “We have a clear estimate that this is reachable, absolutely, and still make money,” Mr. Bolloré said during a news conference Tuesday.

Others are more pessimistic. The prevailing lithium-ion technology will probably reach its limits in five years, Mr. Schäfer of Daimler said. Further progress will rest on new technologies such as solid state batteries, which will weigh less and be easier to cool but are not yet ready for mass production. “We need a quantum leap in the technology,” Mr. Schäfer said.

Some companies will adapt to new technologies, but some won’t be able to invest enough to stay competitive.

Mergers would be a way out for weaker companies, but those have proved difficult. Mr. Bolloré of Renault said in Frankfurt that there was no effort to revive the aborted deal with Fiat Chrysler.

“We are not talking to each other,” he told reporters. “The offer was on the table. It’s no longer on the table. That’s it.” Mr. Bolloré added that he regretted the merger hadn’t worked out.

The coming shakeout may be most brutal among suppliers, particularly smaller companies far down the industry food chain that supply specialized parts for combustion engines.

“Every downturn, there is a consolidation that takes place,” said Derek Jenkins, a former Mazda and Volkswagen executive who is senior vice president of design at Lucid, a California company that plans to begin producing a luxury electric car at the end of 2020. Lucid, backed by Saudi investors, is an example of the start-ups challenging the established carmakers.

“Brands disappear,” Mr. Jenkins said in an interview. “That will happen in the next downturn cycle.”

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