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World’s First Online Climate Summit

  • 22 Nov 2018
  • 3 min read

World leaders are set to participate in an innovative climate change summit that will take place entirely online which makes it a carbon neutral summit.

  • By contrast, the UN's COP21 climate talks in Paris in 2015 generated about 43,000 tons of carbon dioxide, although much of this was later offset through carbon-credit schemes.
  • The Virtual Climate Summit is the brainchild of Marshall Islands President, whose nation is facing the worst impacts of climate change.
  • With participants including French President Emmanuel Macron and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this will be the first global political meeting to be held online.
  • It will consist of a rolling, 24-hour livestream that will begin in the Marshalls' capital Majuro, then include addresses from leaders and panel discussions before delivering a declaration.


  • The virtual summit's main aim is to encourage the international community to restrict global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels.
  • Immediate objective is to cut carbon emissions since flying is among the most harmful activities for the climate, accounting for about 2.5% of the world’s carbon emissions. Also, the online platform will not put additional pressure on already resource constraint nation.
  • A virtual summit also flattens the playing field, removes barriers like plane tickets and conference passes that inevitably leave out those most impacted by climate change. It is more participative.
  • It is the first time that leaders from the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), have come together, and therefore it is also a chance for those on the front line of climate change to make their voices heard.

Climate Vulnerable Forum

  • It is an international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet. The forum serves as a South-South cooperation platform for participating governments to act together to deal with global climate change.
  • The Forum first met in Maldives in November 2009.
  • Other initiatives taken by CVF to deal with climate change:
    • Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum is a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies systemically vulnerable to climate change.
      • It was established on 08 October 2015 at Lima, Peru.
      • It’s primary objective is to promote the mobilisation of climate finance.
    • Survive Thrive #1.5C aims to promote actions to keep warming below 1.5°C and urges people to get involved and keep updated on limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
  • Earlier, a UN report warned that threshold could be reached as early as 2030 unless there was unprecedented global action to rein in emissions.
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