8 Ideas to Stop Climate Change From the U.N. Summit

Credit: Getty Images

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon closed the historic Climate Change Summit by congratulating world leaders on delivering the meeting's promise to unite around the common cause. Billions were been pledged to fight climate change, while countries set new goals to drastically cut carbon emissions, coal power, and deforestation.

Ki-moon described the summit as, "the day when we decided — as a human family — to put our house in order to make it sustainable, safe and prosperous for future generations." 

Here's how several of the key speakers suggest nations come together and save the world:

Fight fossil fuels and boost green industry
David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain
"We need to give business the certainty it needs to invest in low carbon. That means fighting against the economically and environmentally perverse fossil fuel subsidies which distort free markets and rip off taxpayers. It means championing green free trade, slashing tariffs on things like solar panels. And it means giving business the flexibility to pick the right technologies for their needs. In short we need a framework built on green growth not green tape." 

Build international coalitions to help developing countries
Barak Obama, President of the United States
"We’re helping more nations skip past the dirty phase of development, using current technologies, not duplicating the same mistakes and environmental degradation that took place previously. 

"We’re building international coalitions to drive action, from reducing methane emissions from pipelines to launching a free trade agreement for environmental goods.  And we have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with many of you to make the Green Climate Fund a reality. "

Eliminate support for coal power
Gerd Müller, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany
"We will no longer provide any funds for new coal-fired power stations under our climate and development cooperation. And we will only provide limited funding for modernizing existing coal-fired power plants. We will establish clear criteria for this funding." 

Cut carbon emissions and set limits
Zhang Gaoli, Vice Premier of China
"We will announce post-2020 actions on climate change as soon as we can, which will bring about marked progress in reducing carbon intensity, increasing the share of non-fossil fuels and raising the forest stock, as well as the peaking of total CO2 emissions as early as possible."

Upgrade buildings for energy efficiency
Bill De Blasio, Mayor of New York City
"New York City is firmly committed to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

"We will make energy efficiency upgrades to every city-owned building by 2025. And for private buildings, we'll set ambitious targets for voluntary reductions, but if steady progress is not made, we will issue clear mandates."

Create a binding international climate change agreement
Heinz Fischer, President of Austria
"We need a new, legally binding climate agreement that is fit for the climate challenges of the twenty-first century. We need the broadest possible participation, with common but differentiated commitments from all countries, which reflect individual capabilities as they evolve over time." 

Develop renewable and low-carbon energy
Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union
“Africa’s surging economic growth can be fuelled by an energy mix that emphasizes the development of its vast renewable energy resources. Low-carbon economic development powered by renewable energy can help meet the challenge that climate change presents all while improving the livelihoods and economic well-being of people all over Africa.”

Establish a price for carbon emissions
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, UN Messenger of Peace
"We need to put a price tag on carbon emissions, and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy, they don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny"