New York’s most famous buildings will go green on the eve of the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC, Sunday September 23, 2018.
- The Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Madison Square Garden, 1 Bryant Park (Bank of America Tower), One Five One (formerly 4 Times Square), Javits Center Crystal Palace, Pier 17 and the historic Coney Island Parachute Jump all lit up green on Sunday evening to welcome Climate Week NYC
- Global political leaders take the stage at the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC on Monday September 24, including Rt Hon Jacinda Arden, Prime Minister, New Zealand, President Jovenel Moïse, Republic of Haiti, and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
- Climate Week NYC takes place September 24 – 30, with 149 events taking place across the five boroughs of NYC
New York City, Sunday September 23, 2018
New York’s famous skyline was transformed on Sunday evening to celebrate the 10th year of Climate Week NYC, the biggest climate week event on earth. Some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden and One World Trade Center, were lit up green on the eve of the Opening Ceremony – which kicks off the week of varied, exciting events across the city.
The Opening Ceremony, taking place at 9:00am EST, will feature announcements from heads of state including the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand; President Hilda C. Heine of the Marshall Islands; President Martín Vizcarra of Peru; President Jovenel Moïse of the Republic of Haiti; and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Some of the leading figures from the world of business will also come together to make a series of announcements and commitments in an urgent bid to accelerate climate action and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. This will include Brad Smith, President and CLO of Microsoft; Stephen Badger, Chairman of Mars; Paul Coster, Executive Director of JP Morgan; Robin Chase, Co-founder of Zipcar; and Tony Milikin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer for Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer.
The Empire State Building, official lighting partner for Climate Week NYC, as well as all of the other buildings, lit up green from sundown until 2am Monday. In addition, NYC & Company, who are supporting Climate Week NYC and helped light the skyline green, have provided space for a major marketing campaign across New York City, including advertisement on LinkNYC screens that raise awareness of what people can do to take climate action.
Climate Week NYC, which takes place during the United Nations General Assembly, is endorsed by the United Nations as well as by the Mayor of New York City.
“We are honored to again welcome The Climate Group and Climate Week NYC for the 10th year,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this month. “Here in New York, we’re taking bold action on climate. Through our ground breaking OneNYC strategy and our ambitious 1.5˚C Plan, we’ve committed our city to hit the highest goals of the Paris climate agreement. We’re divesting from fossil fuels, mandating that our largest buildings cut their emissions, and investing in electric vehicles. Through investments in resiliency and sustainability, we are building a fairer city for all.”
All photo credits to Jordan Danielle
Climate Week NYC Media Portal
This year we have introduced a Climate Week Media Portal – you can log in here to find all the latest on Climate Week NYC including press releases, as well as agendas, logos, photographs and videos in the lead up and during the week itself. The link to log in to the Portal is here – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for password access.
About The Climate Group
The Climate Group’s mission is to accelerate climate action to achieve a world of under 2°C of global warming. We do this by bringing together powerful networks of business and governments that shift global markets and policies. We focus on the greatest global opportunities for change, take innovation and solutions to scale, and build ambition and pace. We are an international non-profit organization, founded in 2004, with offices in London, New Delhi and New York. Our business campaigns are brought to you as part of the We Mean Business coalition. Visit TheClimateGroup.org and follow us on Twitter @ClimateGroup and Facebook @TheClimateGroup.
About Climate Week NYC
Climate Week NYC is the time and place where the world gathers to showcase amazing climate action and discusses how to do more. Taking place between September 24-30, in New York City, this is the 10th annual Climate Week NYC, run by The Climate Group in coordination with the United Nations and the City of New York. Climate Week NYC is one of the key summits in the international calendar and has been driving action forward since it was first launched by The Climate Group in 2009. We host government ministers, investors, governors, CEOs and mayors from across the world; they are shaping markets and setting policy to make climate action a reality. Visit ClimateWeekNYC.org and find out more on Twitter #ClimateWeekNYC.
Climate Week NYC Sponsors and Supporting Partners:
With thanks to AB InBev, Microsoft, Mars, ROCKWOOL Group, JP Morgan Chase & Co, International Copper Association, Bank of America, National Grid US, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate, Anesco, LeasePlan, Estée Lauder Companies, Orsted, TERI, Essential Costa Rica, IKEA Group, Raw London, Pfizer, Solid Power, S&P Global, The Rockefeller Foundation, WePower, 3Degrees, Lyft, Empire State Building, Event! Merchandising, NYC & Co., The New York City Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency, The New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.
By Paulette Frank
How can we inspire more action to protect planetary health at the pace and scale the world needs? Paulette Frank, Johnson & Johnson’s Worldwide Vice President for Environmental Health, Safety & Sustainability, asserts that public health could be the unifying motivator to tackle both air pollution and climate change simultaneously.
When people typically think of climate change they think of polar bears or melting ice caps. When people think of air pollution they think of smoking tailpipes and billowing smoke stacks. But the question is: do people connect the two? Do they recognize that climate change and air pollution are interconnected, as are their related human health impacts?
Ambient and household air pollution are together responsible for one in nine deaths, making air pollution among the leading causes of death globally and attributable for more than twice the deaths from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Nine out of ten peoplebreathe air containing high levels of pollutants — many of the world’s megacities exceed World Health Organization’s guideline levels for air quality by more than five times, representing a major risk to human health.
Specifically, the connection between climate and air pollution comes down to short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) like black carbon, methane and ground level ozone. These SLCPs primarily come from the burning of carbon-based fuels — typically fossil fuel combustion in high and middle-income countries and burning of biomass in low-income countries — and account for 85% of airborne particulate pollution. These pollutants are also a leading cause of many non-communicable diseasessuch as heart disease, stroke, COPD, and lung cancer.
Consequently, the actions that can improve air quality and human health can also mitigate climate change. Johnson & Johnson has been building the case for positive climate action for decades. We have set our own public environmental performance goals for nearly 30 years, including goals to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations and we share our progress every year in our Health for Humanity report. We joined the Climate Group’s RE100 (Renewable Electricity 100) campaign in 2015 with an aspiration to source all our electricity from renewable sources.
Would more people take personal action to address climate change – such as walking, biking, and taking public transportation – if they knew the same actions improved the quality of the air they breathe? Would more people demand access to renewable energy? Would more people be inspired to care for the health of our planet if their own health depended on it? At Johnson & Johnson, we believe the answers are yes. By leveraging health as a motivator and shifting environmental conversations from climate science to something as universal as the need to breathe clean air, we believe that individual communities and policy makers will take more action to improve environmental health.
This is why Johnson & Johnson became one of the founding partners of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health, a group bringing together top medical associations representing more than 500,000 clinicians to help educate Americans about the health effects of climate change and promote life-saving actions, including the decreased use of carbon-based fuels. We believe these trusted advisors and community members are some of the best messengers to help raise awareness and reframe the conversation on climate change.
We also support the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of 90 of the world’s largest cities, to drive policy action and impact at a city level. Most of global greenhouse gas emissions are generated in cities and 68% of the global population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. Through C40, we are working with 30 cities to conduct research and identify climate actions that deliver air quality and public health benefits with the aim of increasing political and financial buy-in to drive greater action and impact at scale.
Improving the health of our planet is a task beyond the capabilities of any one individual, company, or government. At Johnson & Johnson, we are committed to doing our part by using our global reach and resources to spark broader conversations and encourage more actors to participate at all levels and sectors of society. We believe one of those conversations must be about the inextricable link between human and planetary health. The time has come for a different, and more holistic, dialogue on climate health. With health as a unifier, we can motivate more people to start caring for the planet like our health depends on it – because it does.
Climate Diplomacy Project Coordinator, Camilla Munkedal, shares her thoughts on what’s required to accelerate global climate action
September 19, 2018
Next week’s Climate Week NYC 2018 will convene businesses, governments, academic institutions, and civil society organizations to demonstrate once more the importance of non-state action for limiting the rise in average global temperatures below 2˚C. It will do so by showing what’s been done, how it’s been done, and why we need to be doing more.
Taking place just 10 days after the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, Climate Week will pick up many of the same themes. One particular event to do this will be the ‘Accelerating global climate action post-GCAS’ panel discussion at The Hub on September 25 hosted by ClimateWorks Foundation. This event will feature expert speakers from Mission 2020, The Climate Group, WWF, CISL, and the We Mean Business coalition. The diversity of strategies of such a range of organizations may beg the question: what is the most effective strategy for accelerating global climate action?
Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to think about this question in some detail as part of a small team developing a new ‘Climate Diplomacy’ program for the Under2 Coalition. Based on this experience here are my thoughts on what’s essential for accelerating action:
1. Provide compelling evidence
To accelerate global climate action, the first crucial step is to continue producing and disseminating evidence, especially to those outside the ‘climate bubble’. We must continue raising the point that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is higher than at any point in time in the past 400,000 years; that continued rise in global emissions may lead to dangerous scenarios; but also, that tangible solutions are already out there.
2. Lead by example
Evidence must be followed by action, and here leading by example is crucial. Leading by example is when the state of Telangana in India embeds energy efficiency building standards into its building approval system, it’s when Shenzhen in China converts all 16,000 of its busses to electric vehicles, and it’s when Acre in Brazil implements a ground-breaking forest conservation law that maintains 86% of its original forest cover. Leading by example fosters the political and economic confidence that we need so urgently to accelerate global climate action, and it provides new solutions that can be shared with others.
3. Form coalitions
If leading by example is the crucial second step, forming coalitions it the third. Coalitions such as the Under2 Coalition, the Alliances for Climate Action, and We Mean Business help spread the stories of climate action and they enhance collaboration among non-state actors. By giving a voice to individual actors, coalitions help secure finance and enhance political will for accelerating climate action.
4. Work ambitiously
Alongside providing the evidence, leading by example, and forming coalitions, the final important lever is to work ambitiously by using existing frameworks to exert pressure on those that have committed to act. The new Under2 Climate Diplomacy program we’re seeking to implement aims to achieve this level of ambition by increasing intelligence sharing among sub-national governments, by improving collaboration between different types of non-state actors, and by putting in place structures that will enable sub-national governments to engage more effectively at the national and international level. In laying out these objectives, the Climate Diplomacy initiative has the ultimate goal of building the political confidence of individual countries to significantly ratchet their Paris Agreement NDCs in 2020 and 2025.
This is an ambitious goal - but accelerating global climate action has to be.