What isClimate Week NycSEPTEMBER 18-24, 2017
Climate Week NYC gathers the most influential leaders from business, states and cities annually to share why and how they are embracing the opportunities of the clean economy. In 2017, Climate Week NYC will celebrate the scale of global climate action and how we ensure jobs and prosperity for all.Learn More
It is the fourth year in a row that the Empire State Building has been the official Lighting Partner for the summit, which is organized by The Climate Group annually to showcase climate leadership from business and sub-national governments.
The exterior lights above floor 72 will go green from sunset tonight until 2:00AM on Saturday in a further show of support for the summit, which also counts the City of New York as an official partner.
Climate Week NYC 2017 is taking place from September 18-24 and is the collaborative space for over 100 affiliate events in support of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY LEADER
The lights that will illuminate the top floors of the famous tower are powered by a computer-driven light-emitting diode (LED) system. Energy efficient lighting is central to The Climate Group’s LED-scale up program, which calls for every city and utility in the world to switch to LED street lighting – or the energy efficient equivalent – by 2025. With potential energy savings of up to 50-70%, LED lighting is viewed as an immediate opportunity to drive significant emissions reductions.
The building underwent a ground-breaking energy efficiency retrofit recently with partners including Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Controls, JLL, NYSERDA, and Rocky Mountain Institute. The project is projected to save 38% of the building's energy and US$4.4 million annually.
Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) , praised the Empire State Building’s retrofit at CWNYC event in 2014, saying: “What could be more symbolic of a city’s net zero efforts?”
The ninth Climate Week NYC was launched by The Climate Group at a high-level Opening Ceremony on Monday which saw the launch of a global #ClimateOptimist campaign, aimed at changing the dominant narrative on climate change. The campaign is based on a recent survey which shows that a majority of people globally are optimistic about our ability to address climate change, with 64% of global citizens believing it is solvable if we take action now.
The Climate Group also launched a ground-breaking new campaign on electric vehicles (EVs) on Tuesday at a special event at Spring Studios. The EV100 initiative aims to fast track the global transition to electromobility; by signing up, companies can use their collective buying power and influence to build demand, cut costs and remove barriers to adoption.
Climate Week NYC 2017 also saw five major companies join The Climate Group’s RE100 campaign, run in partnership with CDP, committing to source 100% renewable power across their global operations. Global financial institutions Citi and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were announced as new campaign members on Tuesday along with one of the fastest-growing beverage companies, Califia Farms, and UK investment management company Jupiter Asset Management. Leading global financial services firm Morgan Stanley also joined the campaign on Friday.
BUSINESS AND SUB-NATIONALS DRIVING US CLIMATE ACTION
A new report was also launched on Monday which shows how ambitious climate commitments from US states, cities and businesses could significantly mitigate the impact from President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.
The findings from the report - ‘States, cities and businesses leading the way: a first look at decentralized climate commitments in the US’ – which was authored by NewClimate Institute and The Climate Group and powered by CDP data, show that the US could meet half of its climate commitments under the Paris Agreement by 2025, if the 342 commitments included in the analysis are implemented.
NEW YORK: Demonstrating clear corporate leadership during Climate Week NYC 2017, RE100 member Carlsberg Group has highlighted the importance of working in partnership with others to reduce emissions and address climate change.
In an interview for Climate TV, recorded prior to the Opening Ceremony, Flemming Besenbacher, Chair of Board, Carlsberg Group, said, “Partnership is very, very important for us… we can learn from other industries; we would like to collaborate with others.”
“I’d say that actively engaging with other companies, also university partners, and learning from each other, is very, very important for Carlsberg, and we’ve been doing that for many years.”
“I see more and more young people stepping up and saying they want to change things,” Besenbacher said later in a panel discussion with Siemens, the International Copper Association, PepsiCo and Walmart – another RE100 member. “We want to engage consumers, that’s why we’ve established a zero- carbon bar.”
The Group’s new pop-up bar in Copenhagen, is designed to be climate-friendly and CO2-neutral.
“We’re extremely proud of this installation… it’s a good way for us to interact with consumers and talk to them about important issues like climate change, and how we – as consumers and producers – can play an important role,” said Anders Bering, Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, Carlsberg Group.
Carlsberg has set itself a target to become fully CO2 neutral in all its breweries by 2030, and to help deliver on this, recently joined RE100 with a commitment to sourcing 100% renewable power for its global operations.
“It’s in Carlsberg’s purpose to brew for a better today and tomorrow, and you could say it’s in our DNA to push the boundaries,” Bering said.
Also highlighting the central role of business at the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC were Stephen Badger, Chairman of the Board, Mars, Inc. and Kathleen McLaughlin, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart, who gave examples of the actions their companies were taking in their value chains to engage suppliers and customers on climate change.
Just last week, Mars announced a pledge to invest US$1 billion to slash greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain by 67% by 2050.
At the Opening Ceremony, Anne Finucane, Vice Chair, Bank of America – which joined RE100 at Climate Week NYC last year – underlined the business case for big banks to transition to 100% renewable electricity. “We’re all making money at it,” she said, “you will see greater investment in renewables because we see business there.”
Eight new companies joined RE100 for Climate Week NYC 2017, taking the total number of members to 110. Together, the companies are creating demand for over 150 TWh of renewable electricity – more than enough to power New York State.
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by Marie Reynolds
NEW YORK: The Climate Group launched a groundbreaking new campaign on electric vehicles (EVs) at Climate Week NYC 2017 on Tuesday at Spring Studios in New York City. EV100 aims to fast track the drive towards electric vehicles; by signing up, companies can use their collective buying power and influence to build demand, cut costs and remove barriers to adoption.
The campaign was launched at the ‘VELOCITY – Accelerating Climate Action’ event, which saw The Climate Group partner with Formula E, VICE Impact and Spring Studios to demonstrate the need for faster action, greater impact, and convergence across all sectors in the fight against climate change.
Ten leading companies - Baidu, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Heathrow Airport, HP Inc., IKEA Group, LeasePlan, METRO AG, PG&E, Unilever, and Vattenfall - were announced as members of the campaign –the first of its kind.
Opening the event, Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “We’re trying to gather companies to make global commitments on EVs and hit these goals by 2030. We want to make electric vehicles the new normal.”
Joining Helen on stage at the event were Pia Heidenmark Cook, Acting Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group, Melissa Lavinson, Chief Sustainability Officer, PG&E Corporation, and Mike Lightfoot, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, LeasePlan. Together they discussed the value of EVs, remarking on how EV100 can significantly help to lower emissions.
Pia Heidenmark Cook said: “IKEA Group wants to show that a transition to electric vehicles is possible, bringing benefits for both the global climate and the local environment around our stores. That’s why we are excited to join EV100 as founding members, and accelerate the change towards more sustainable transportation.”
Wang Lu, Vice President, Baidu, said: “We are delighted to be the first Chinese company to join EV100. As one of the world’s leading IT companies, we are inspired to create a better future for all through technology innovation, and are committed to sustainability across our business operations. We have already made significant progress in promoting low carbon electromobility. We hope that other Chinese companies will follow our lead.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, and ambassador for the EV100 campaign added: “This is going to be as or more important than the digital revolution.”
THE US CLIMATE IMPACT DEBATE
Velocity also brought together Kyung Ah Park, Head of Environmental Markets, Goldman Sachs, Governor Jay Inslee (Washington), Mayor Jacki Biskupi (Salt Lake City) and Eric Roston, Bloomberg LP, in a discussion chaired by Vice Creative Officer, Eddy Moretti, on how state, city and business leadership can make up for the US Federal Government withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
Governor Inslee passionately highlighted how US states and cities would continue to deliver on the agreement, saying: "Donald Trump cannot stop us from our ultimate destiny of leading the fight against…He can tweet, he can wave his arms around, but he doesn't have the authority to stop us"
Receiving a resounding applause from the audience, he went on to say, "climate deniers do not belong in any position in office, we have to deliver that message"
Looking at the business angle, Kyung Ah Park highlighted the need for collective action, to create a “market-driven pull that policy wouldn’t be able to stop”.
EVEN MORE CORPORATE COMMITMENTS
The event also welcomed even more RE100 members; global financial institutions Citi and JPMorgan Chase & Co. beverage company Califia Farms, and UK investment management company Jupiter Asset Management.
Run by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP, RE100 brings together businesses committed to sourcing 100% renewable power across their global operations. The news follows last week’s announcement that The Estée Lauder Companies, Kellogg Company, DBS Bank and Clif Bar & Company have also joined RE100. The campaign now includes 110 of the world’s most influential companies who are generating demand for over 150 TWh renewable energy annually – more than enough to power New York State.
Matt Arnold, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co., said: “Business has an essential role to play in advancing the transition to clean energy and a safe climate. Our commitment to source renewable power for 100% of our global energy needs by 2020 – which is paired with a plan to facilitate US$200 billion in clean energy financing through 2025 – is driven by ‘out-of-the-box’ innovators and a commercial approach that will deliver a more resilient energy supply chain.”
LEADING ON CLIMATE ACTION
Later, global businesses and RE100 members Philips Lighting, DBS Bank, Kellogg Company, AB InBev, General Motors and JPMorgan Chase took to the stage in two sessions to discuss how and why businesses can accelerate commitments. Members of The Climate Group’s EP100 campaign on energy productivity, H&M and Mahindra, also participated in the session.
Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer, Kellogg said the business risks posed by climate change impacts was a reason to act on renewable energy, and underlined that consumers expect global brands to act responsibly.
David Tulauskas, Director of Sustainability, General Motors, said that young people had high expectations of their employees, while Michael Norton, Managing Director of Real Estate, JP Morgan highlighted the cost benefits of taking action, and the falling cost of renewables being a key factor in the company’s decision to target 100% renewable power by 2020.
General Motors also announced that it would power its Ohio and Indiana plants entirely with wind energy, meaning that renewable energy will cover 20% of the automaker’s global electricity load. Helen Clarkson hailed the achievement as “a fantastic show of commitment at CWNYC- and all achieved in just a year since the company joined RE100".
Vanessa Rothschild, Sustainability Business Controller, H&M, said: "We want to make fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable… First of all we reduce the amount of energy we use, then ensure what we do use comes from renewable sources".
Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra Group, said:"EP100 and RE100 work fantastically well together - and for an automaker that makes business sense."
The ‘VELOCITY’ event saw Formula E announce The Climate Group as an official international foundation partner. The partnership will focus on championing EV100 to global businesses, building on Formula E’s global success in turning technology ambition into successful global sports events. Formula E will also be a Global Ambassador for EV100.
Formula E’s vision is that one day every car in the world will be electric, with the transition making a significant contribution to addressing challenges like climate change and inner-city pollution. Collaborating at a global level with multiple stakeholders, Formula E is offering a R&D platform to accelerate the rate of technology development and enable a smoother transition toward clean energy.
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO, Formula E, said: “I’m delighted that Formula E has joined forces with The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative as a partner to promote electric, sustainable mobility. Our partnership with the EV100 campaign is proof that change is already happening and causing a positive shift in attitude towards cleaner transportation. Formula E shows that electric isn’t just the technology of the future - it’s the technology of today. I’m glad to see other leading companies follow suit as part of this new agreement.”
VICE Impact is also joined The Climate Group and Formula E to announce a multi-year collaboration to drive the program forward. VICE Impact will utilize its unique approach to information to help the partnership secure even greater numbers of businesses committed to EV100, and involve global audiences in following their progress from commitment to delivery and impact.
Katherine Keating, Publisher, VICE Impact, said: “EV100, along with RE100 and EP100, is shaping the global response to climate change. It captures the profound shift in pioneering companies' investment and long term strategies away from fossil fuels and towards electrification and alternative sources of energy. There is an environmental reality, but there is case for hope in the age of genuine business sustainability.”