Headed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the important convention, according to environmental groups, could help move the world towards a new global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
"Climate change is the defining issue of our time and there is no time to lose. If we do not take action now, we will have to pay much more," said the UN chief, who wore a T-shirt that read "I'm for climate action.” He marched arm-in-arm with British primatologist Jane Goodall and French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal.
"I'm overwhelmed by such a strong power and energy and voice of people,” Ban said while addressing the estimated 310,000-strong crowd, including former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
“I hope that this voice will be truly reflected to the leaders when they meet on September 23," he added.
While different programs are planned for the main event, here are some of the initiatives expected to happen at and ahead of September 23.
Numerous World Leaders Are Planning To Attend:
More than 125 politicians are expected to join the summit, including President Barack Obama. This will apparently be the largest number of heads of government to ever attend a climate summit,
However, two of the most notable world leaders skipping the event are Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
American Oil’s Heirs To Call For Action:
On September 22, the American Rockefeller oil dynasty will formally announce plans to begin divesting itself of fossil-fuel stocks, to make up for cleaner and more-sustainable alternatives.
“The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a couple years ago on college campuses,” The New York Times reported.
Business Coalition Planned For Climate Debate:
A new coalition of organizations and world’s biggest investors – named “We Mean Business” – has been formed to support the drive for action on climate change.
It aims to “businesses recognize that the transition to a low carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all.”
Carbon-pricing Agreement To Be Signed:
In what is being called the main theme of the summit, countries, regions and businesses are expected to sign up to a World Bank-led effort to put a “meaningful” price on planet-warming carbon dioxide.
“The ultimate goal is to build an internationally linked carbon market, but the summit is not due to discuss a specific carbon price. Current prices vary widely across markets and company estimates,” Reuters reported.
On Farming And Forestation:
High-level dialogues are expected over limiting deforestation – a side effect caused by the production of agricultural commodities including palm oil, soy and beef.
Norway and Peru will reportedly sign a $300m deal to protect the Amazon from deforestation, during the summit.