The official Climate Week NYC 2020 events program is now live. For the first time ever, Climate Week NYC now includes virtual events from all over the world and we’ve invited a global audience. The week will be filled with dynamic conversations to drive climate action. From virtual ocean odysseys and climate ballets to sustainable investment workshops and TED talks, Climate Week NYC brings together a diverse range of events.
Climate Week NYC takes place September 21-27, 2020. As the largest climate summit taking place this year, it’s the go-to destination to stay engaged on the climate crisis. Climate Week NYC will explore what lessons we can learn in the pursuit of a net-zero future through just transition and how we can build a better future for both people and planet.
Adam Lake, Head of Climate Week NYC, said: “We’re really excited that Climate Week NYC is going to be able to bring together so many important events and conversations, both in New York City and around the world.
With an understandably strong focus on digital events this year, we’re grateful to work with Facebook to help support event organizers use tools and platforms to host events and connect with the climate community. Together, Climate Week NYC 2020 will be the most engaging, inclusive and truly global Climate Week we’ve ever seen.”
Facebook is supporting Climate Week NYC to enhance the digital experience for both event organizers and the global community. Through Facebook and Instagram, audiences will be able to take action right from their couches.
Edward Palmieri, Director of Sustainability at Facebook, said: “This year, we are honored to be partnering with the Climate Group to bring people together from around the world in support of climate action. Partnering with industry leaders such as the Climate Group is a core part of Facebook’s strategy to address climate change and we are excited to continue our involvement in Climate Week NYC to help accelerate solutions.”
The events program this year is organized by ten programs, including Youth, Mobilization and Justice, Industry and the Built Environment, Sustainable Travel and Tourism, Clean Energy Transition and more.
Miranda Massie, Director of the Climate Museum, said: “Last year we hosted or participated in more than ten Climate Week NYC events—not to mention the many more we joined as attendees! Climate Week NYC is a profoundly meaningful convening, more so than ever this year as we grapple together with the challenge and promise of an unprecedented moment, making connections for collective action on climate across the world.”
The full Climate Week NYC events program is available on our website and on the new Climate Week NYC app that will launch in mid-August.
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By Stephen Donofrio, Principal & Founder of GreenPoint Innovations / GreenPoint EARTH
We’re at a critical turning point for people and the planet. People all around the world are taking to the streets and joining in solidarity, alongside government, businesses, and a diverse mix of organizations for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine a better future for all.
This future must be more equal.
It will have a more stable climate. It will see an end to poverty. It will honor the health of all living things.
In order for this future to become reality, there’s no doubt that we’ll need sweeping systemic changes, on the scale required to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the greatest global challenges that we face today.
How do we imagine a better future together?
The solutions are all around us. And many more are being developed. Just like anything else, we need to make sure people know about them.
GreenPoint Innovations has always believed in the power and inspiration of art, storytelling, and the showcasing of solutions to affect change. Creativity can help us interpret science and demonstrations can help us understand it.
We use art to create and inspire solutions for all people, regardless of creed or demographic. It’s a way to capture people’s attention, to start a conversation and raise awareness around the issues. Rather than leave it at simply that, art can also offer a platform and spark dialogue around solutions that leave no one behind.
From our beginnings in 2014, artists and innovators have been our essential teammates. Through collective action, dialogue, and the creative process, we have helped communities learn about climate problems, while simultaneously highlighting solutions that are within our reach.
From the screens, to the streets.
Ahead of Climate Week NYC 2020, the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, and the 5th Anniversary of the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDG), we are launching a new global initiative, ‘GreenPoint EARTH 2020: Screens-to-Streets.’ Screens-to-Streets will inspire all people, businesses, and governments to act on climate and build a better future with the incredible power of ‘Art + Purpose.’
GreenPoint Innovations has teamed with the Climate Group’s Climate Week NYC and the UN SDG Action Campaign to put out a universal call to artists for new works that speak to the urgent need to rebuild better from the pandemic. Artists are prompted to focus on the Climate Week NYC 2020 thematic areas – from ‘Clean Energy Transition’ to ‘Youth, Public Mobilization and Justice’ to ‘Nature and Science’ – and their connection to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In close coordination with the GreenPoint team, artists will safely create these works in their personal studios or homes. One of our goals is to support artists who are helping the planet - a judging committee will select artists to be provided small financial grants and their works to be featured prominently. In September, one artist or team will be selected to bring their idea to life with the first 'Streets' mural activation in NYC (additional locations will depend on the art submitted).
In this critical moment of rapid change and upheaval, storytelling is now more important than ever.
It takes a village - all are welcome to be a part of this exciting new platform. Learn more about how to participate.
By Sandra Noonan, Chief Sustainability Officer, Just Salad and Leigh Anne Statuto, MBA in Sustainability Candidate at Bard College and Summer 2020 Sustainability Fellow, Just Salad
“A calorie label simply isn’t enough anymore – we need to know how our food choices affect our well-being at a planetary level,” says Sandra Noonan, Chief Sustainability Officer of Just Salad.
Half of Americans feel “helpless” when it comes to solving climate change. Yet we have an extremely powerful tool available to us three times a day – what we eat!
With the food supply chain making up a quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually, there is a huge opportunity to mitigate the effects of climate change through more conscious food choices. In fact, Project Drawdown has identified the adoption of plant-rich diets as one of the top five actions we can take to curb global warming significantly.
Enter Just Salad’s newest sustainability endeavor: carbon labeling. Our commitment is to display the estimated greenhouse gas emissions for each of our menu items by Climate Week NYC 2020.
A Collective Responsibility
Just Salad has already taken a number of steps to run a climate-smart business. In 2019, we replaced grass-fed beef on our menu with plant-based Beyond Beef® and launched a food scrap separation program in our kitchens. We’ve run a Reusable Bowl program since 2006, keeping waste out of landfills, and we’re now requiring guests to opt in for plastic utensils on our digital ordering platforms including orderjustsalad.com.
This year, as COVID-19 gave many of us a new perspective on human and planetary health, Just Salad saw an opportunity to shine light on the link between our dietary choices and climate change. Our decision to carbon label our menu was inspired by studies showing that consumers support climate-related disclosures on the products they buy.
A team of MBA students from New York University’s Stern School of Business worked with us to determine how we would estimate the emissions of our menu items. With limited financial and staff resources for this project, we decided to estimate “cradle to farmgate” emissions which include farm-level production and upstream resources. Eventually, we’d like our calculations to also reflect transportation, which generally makes up less than 10% of food-related emissions.
So what did our calculations reveal, and how does one read a carbon label?
- For starters, 1 kg CO2e is equivalent to the emissions from driving 2.5 miles in an average passenger vehicle.
- The emissions from the daily American diet are 4.7 kg CO2e per day on average -- though that number needs to come down if we are to reduce food-related emissions to levels recommended by climate experts
- Three-quarters of our menu items are below 1 kg CO2e altogether. By contrast, a quarter-pound beef patty has a footprint of 3.75 kg CO2e.
Through our carbon labels, we’re trying to inspire a new way of eating that takes planetary health into account. We call this “climatarianism.” The Nutrition Facts label was introduced in 1994 and today many of us can’t imagine making food purchasing decisions without glancing at the calorie count. In a few years’ time, perhaps we will say the same thing about carbon labels.
Universal Carbon Transparency
Your daily carbon footprint goes way beyond your diet. It includes things like air conditioning, plane trips, and every product you purchase from shampoo to clothing. According to the organization Carbon Calories, each of us should be living within a daily carbon quota of 16,668 g CO2e (or 16.7 kg CO2e) for the year 2020. Furthermore, that quota must fall 7-12% this decade to meet global emissions reductions targets.
Without universal disclosure of carbon emissions, it’s impossible for consumers to track or budget their daily carbon emissions. Luckily, carbon labeling on consumer products is beginning to gain traction. Companies like Unilever, Logitech and Oatly have committed to carbon transparency on their products. This is what it will take to move us towards a future where we count carbon the same way we track calories or daily expenditures.
Climate Week NYC 2020 should mark the start of a consumer-led shift toward carbon transparency, an age when we collectively reduce carbon emissions by learning to live and purchase within planetary boundaries. The first step in doing that is to understand the impacts of our choices. Carbon transparency is an important step in that direction.
Over to You
- Are you new to Just Salad? First-time guests can use code CLIMATARIAN to receive $5 off through orderjustsalad.com.*
- We want to hear your thoughts on carbon labeling! Email us at email@example.com or find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
*Offer valid for new customers only on orderjustsalad.com. Offer ends 8/5/20. Minimum order value $10 before tax and tip. Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions.
Just Salad is a member of the Climate Action is Our Business campaign run through Climate Week NYC.