What isClimate Week NycSEPTEMBER 24-30, 2018
Taking place between September 24-30, 2018, in New York City, Climate Week NYC is one of the key summits in the international calendar and has been driving climate action forward since it was launched by The Climate Group in 2009.
Businesses, governments, academic institutions, arts and music organizations, and NGOs are all invited to participate in the iconic week, through the Climate Week NYC Affiliate Events program. From panel discussions, to concerts, exhibitions and seminars, organizations and individuals can play a pivotal role in advancing the debate, driving awareness, and keeping climate action at the top of the global agenda. Climate Week NYC 2017 was host to more than 100 affiliate events.
Climate Week NYC is brought to you by The Climate GroupLearn More
Read what happened
Climate Week NYC 2017 brought together global leaders from business and government across New York City from September 18-24 to showcase the unstoppable force for action on climate change. Over 140 official affiliate events were also hosted throughout the week in a powerful show of support for the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In this blog, Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, looks at the key takeaways from this year's summit.
I’ve just returned from my first Climate Week NYC as CEO of The Climate Group, which was hectic, exhilarating, and the source of a lot of renewed optimism and ambition for us as an organization.
This year’s summit was particularly timely. With President Trump’s announcement on the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in June swiftly followed by a season of extreme hurricanes, the climate is firmly in the news.
Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group, participated at the Climate Week NYC 2017 Opening Ceremony
But across Climate Week NYC, September 18-24, 2017 we didn’t dwell on the US federal government. Instead, we focused on the wealth of action taking place.
On the Monday, we launched a report authored by NewClimate Institute and The Climate Group, powered by CDPdata, which showed that the commitments from cities and businesses can take the US halfway to meeting its Paris commitment by 2025.
We also launched the Climate Optimist campaign, in partnership with Futerra, which aims to spread the word about climate action and focus on what is happening, rather than the doom and gloom.
The ambition of this campaign is to reach beyond the climate bubble, to those who know climate change is happening but don’t hear about action and solutions, and therefore feel despondent.
Clarkson launched the Climate Optimist campaign, in partnership with Futerra, which aims to spread the word about climate action
And then on the Tuesday we launched EV100, our new electric vehicles campaign, the latest in our suite of leading corporate low carbon initiatives. 10 companies were announced at the launch – including Chinese internet giant Baidu, HP, and LeasePlan – all with very different models and motivations for joining.
The commitment looks at either the corporate fleet (both purchased and leased) or charging infrastructure for staff and customers - and in some cases, both. At the event, The Climate Group was also announced as an official partner of Formula E.
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.
EV100 was launched at a special event which saw 10 members companies announced
In summary, the week demonstrated bold, ground-breaking action from companies, from the sub-national governments we work with, and many others from across the globe. We think that this amounts to an unstoppable force of action, whatever turns are taken by the White House. That’s reason to feel optimistic. We would like to say thank you again to all our Climate Week NYC 2017 sponsors.
NEW YORK: “Job creation through clean energy is one of the best bets we can possibly make,” says Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State, in a Climate TV interview filmed at Climate Week NYC in September.
The ninth annual summit - organized by The Climate Group - focused on how acting on climate change drives to innovation, jobs and prosperity for all. “We are experiencing great success in Washington State,” confirms Governor Inslee in the interview, “simultaneously fighting climate change and building jobs.”
Washington is home to the largest manufacturer of vanadium flow batteries in the world – a technology that Forbes defined as ‘the energy storage breakthrough we’ve needed’ to scale-up the adoption of renewable energy.
Innovation in the State is also being spearheaded by a leading manufacturer of carbon fiber for electric cars and a thriving wind turbines industry, which has helped reduce the cost of wind power by over 50% between 2010 and 2015.
Business news television channel CNBC “just named us as the number one place to do business in the United States,” says Governor Inslee. “We are proud of that, and at the same time we’re defeating climate change: good days in Washington State.”
According to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2015 Washington was the leading producer of electricity from hydroelectric sources in the country – which makes the state the nation’s top producer of carbon free energy.
Washington is also implementing ambitious policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG), with the goal of returning to 1990 levels of emissions by 2020, with the aim of reducing them to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050. It has also ensured the State’s electric utilities must obtain 15% of their electricity from renewables by 2020, while undertaking all cost-effective energy conservation projects.
The State also recently implemented a “cap-and-reduce” program, similar to “cap-and-trade” systems adopted in other states such as California, which put a cap on carbon pollution and required major sources – including the makers of transportation fuels – to reduce those emissions by a set rate annually.
The Washington Department of Ecology has a plan to help reduce carbon pollution.
Washington State is one of the founding signatories of the Under2 Coalition, of which The Climate Group acts as Secretariat. The Coalition brings together leading states, regions and cities with a public commitment to reduce their GHG emissions by 80-95% on 1990 levels, or two metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent per capita, by 2050.
“I’m thrilled to be here in New York with Climate Week NYC with my fellow leaders of Québec, California and Hawaii,” says Governor Inslee. “We call ourselves ‘the can-do coalition’: we can defeat climate change, we must defeat climate change.”
During Climate Week NYC in September, The Climate Group – in collaboration with Futerra – launched the “Climate Optimism” campaign, an initiative aimed at shining a light on climate change solutions and positive climate actions that are already happening around the world.
“We are optimistic about [defeating climate change],” says Governor Inslee, “so spreading that information of success is very important, particularly since we have a climate denier in the White House. But here’s the good news: the President of the United States cannot stop California, or Washington, or Hawaii – or Québec. We are moving with or without him, as the future of our country.”
Such optimism is justified, adds the Governor, “because of the incredible rate of technological innovation: the price of solar panels and wind [turbines] is coming down dramatically, in many places today solar energy is competitive with coal-based power and is continuing to drop. So, if you believe in human intellect, you are believing we can win this battle through developing new clean technologies: and we’re doing that in my State.”
An IPSOS survey presented during Climate Week NYC, on behalf of The Climate Group and Futerra, shows that a majority of people globally are optimistic about addressing climate change if we act now – with people in emerging economies the most positive about the role of new technology.
“Join this ‘can-do coalition’,” is the Governor’s appeal to his fellow political leaders and business pioneers. “Join us on the parade of those who believe in the march of progress, join us in believing in ourselves, that we can beat climate change. We must have victory here, because without victory there’s no survival. So, join us for the victory party.”
NEW YORK: Community members have “a joint responsibility to take more action” on climate change, says Jenny Bofinger-Schuster, Sustainability Director, Siemens AG, in a Climate TV interview filmed at Climate Week NYC in September.
Siemens, the global engineering and technology giant, was a key participant at the iconic summit, which is hosted annually by The Climate Group, and focused on how climate action is spurring innovation, jobs and prosperity for all.
The summit, which saw over 140 events take place across New York City from 18-24 September, showcased the leadership of forward-thinking businesses and governments in tackling climate change while grasping its opportunities.
“It’s important that we take that action together,” underlines Jenny Bofinger-Schuster. “We need the governments, we need the private sector, we need states, we need cities and many, many more. Climate Week NYC is the perfect location to bring all these people together, who must work as multipliers, who have to win over others to drive action.”
Innovation is at the core of Siemens’ values, and is reflected in the sustainability initiatives of the company’s “Strategy Program Vision 2020”, which aims to make the company carbon neutral by 2030.
To date, half of Siemens’ sites in Germany use 100% green energy, which has reduced emissions by more than 400,000 tons of CO2 in the first year – with expected annual savings of more than US$24 million from 2020 onwards.
“It’s our role to provide the technology and the innovation also to other businesses, so that they become more efficient,” says Jenny Bofinger-Schuster. “It’s our role to be a leader in this battle against climate change – to show that it works, that there is a positive business case, that there are great opportunities for doing this; but also to give the right technologies, the right solutions, also the right vision on what they can do.”
Siemens wants to achieve carbon neutrality through a host of initiatives such as a dedicated energy efficiency program, using decentralized energy systems, reducing emissions from its vehicle fleet and powering part of its production facilities and buildings through green energy. The company also plans to invest about US$120 million in energy efficiency projects by 2020, and is expecting to reduce its emissions by an annual 80,000 metric tons.
In addition to its 2030 carbon neutral commitment, the company is also helping its customers to follow this pathway. “We are helping our customers to improve their operations, so that they can become carbon neutral too,” concludes Jenny Bofinger-Schuster. “In the last year, our customers saved 500 million tons of CO2 emissions by using our environmental portfolio.”
- Read this blog from Dr. Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Managing Board, Siemens AG, on the joint responsibility of businesses, communities and cities to take action on climate change