Looking for ways to get involved with Earth Day from home? Climate Week NYC is now bringing you Earth Day programming!
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we’re launching our very first Earth Day events program. Throughout the month of April, organizations around the world are hosting virtual events so that we can maintain momentum on climate action while following social distancing guidelines. Our thoughts are with our global partners and all those being affected by the global pandemic. In these challenging times, our commitment to tackling climate change remains strong.
We’ve highlighted some of our favorite virtual Earth Day events below, and we encourage you to explore the full list of opportunities. From webinars to virtual panels, digital media campaigns and virtual 5Ks, the community is getting creative to ensure that we can all still come together to celebrate Earth Day and accelerate climate action.
If you’re looking to understand the role of business in the climate crisis, Climate Decade: Halving Global Emissions by 2030, hosted by The Climate Group, is an intimate panel that aims to explore how businesses are key actors in accelerating the clean revolution. The panel will feature members from The Climate Group’s various business actions programs who will discuss their ambitious commitments, actions, and barriers in addressing the climate emergency. Register here.
Make Climate Art for Congress your next creative homeschool activity. Through an innovative campaign that brings together art, education, and activism, The Climate Museum is encouraging young people to create illustrated notes that emphasize the fundamental right of all young people to a livable future. These notes will then be sent to their representatives in Congress. This call to action is targeted at elevating the voices of young people of all ages and perfect for kids who aren’t able to be around their classmates all day.
Just like millions of others around the world, you may have been planning to strike for climate on Earth Day. From April 22-24, youth climate activists across the country and the world are organizing virtual Earth Day Climate Strikes. Sign up for updates on the planned 72 hours of online climate strikes which will include teach-ins, musical performances, and more.
Especially due to the current pandemic, you may be interested in the relationship between climate and health. The Aspen Institute is hosting some of your best options. You can hear from Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz during their webinar Earth Day 2020: Action on Climate and Health. If you’re wondering how to stay engaged in climate action while social distancing, the Future Leaders Climate Summit: Climate Activism in the Age of COVID-19 will take a look at how you can stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic. This conversation is led by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, Alexandria Villaseñor, founder and Executive Director of Earth Uprising, and Benji Backer, President and Founder of the American Conservation Coalition.
Get moving for Earth Day by participating in the WE ACT Virtual Earth Day 5K! During the week of Earth Day, all registered participants will be able to run or walk the Earth Day 5K at a time and place of their choosing. Through participating and fundraising for this event, you will be doing more than just celebrating Earth Day's 50th Anniversary – you'll directly support WE ACT's work to develop climate resilience for frontline communities.
Make a change today to combat the climate crisis through Earth Challenge 2020! Organized by Earth Day Network, this is a unique initiative to show how small acts and changes in behavior can become global change. As it mobilizes the global community, the initiative is a perfect way to connect with a larger network right from home.
And last, but not least, Earth Day Initiative has turned their planned in-person festival into a fantastic Earth Day 50 Virtual Kick-Off. The kick-off will offer virtual booths and performances as well as presentations and discussions. Join them on April 19th to get ready for a great Earth Week at home!
As we look forward to Climate Week NYC 2020, rest assured that it will take place as scheduled on September 21-27, 2020. Climate Week NYC will launch a virtual platform that will host The Climate Group’s major events. The approach will ensure that should the situation in September limit the scale of physical events, a full program can still happen through a virtual platform. We will continue to update with more information as we approach the week.
Virtual approach will allow largest climate week to continue, whatever Coronavirus travel restrictions are in place at the time.
New York, NY – April 6, 2020 – Today, The Climate Group, has announced that Climate Week NYC will not be postponed and will take place as scheduled on September 21-27, 2020.
The Climate Group will launch a virtual platform that will host all major Climate Week NYC events to ensure that delegates and speakers can join irrespective of any restrictions at the time. This will allow far more businesses, citizens and politicians across North America and the world to join. In an election year for the United States, and the first year of the climate decade, this will allow for a stronger focus on whole US and international participation in the program.
The approach will ensure that should the situation in September limit the scale of physical events, a full program can still happen through a virtual platform.
The decision is even more critical given that COP26, the annual UN hosted national climate summit, is to be postponed until 2021. It will ensure that the growing momentum seen over the last few years from campaigners can continue, with forward looking climate leaders able to demonstrate that 2020, a year of huge government intervention, can still deliver huge climate action.
Climate Week NYC is run in association with the United Nations and the City of New York. It brings together national, state and regional government leaders, businesses and the broader climate sector to accelerate climate action. Last year, over 350 events took place throughout New York City as part of the official program, which brought together political announcements, business leadership events, and grassroots activity.
Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group, commented:
“We have made the decision that we cannot afford to cancel or delay the important conversations, commitments and negotiations that need to take place. The decision to postpone COP26 to 2021 was undoubtedly the correct thing to do to allow diplomatic negotiations to take place at a time when they can be given the right level of focus. We believe that Climate Week NYC has an important role to play in supporting that process at a time when it will be needed most.”
“The sweeping international pandemic has been upmost in our minds as we have made this decision, especially as New York City and New York State have suffered so severely in recent weeks. However, necessity is the mother of invention and through technology, we can not only deliver Climate Week NYC in 2020, but also showcase what a truly successful virtual offering can look like.”
“Every year we say, “For New York, For the World,” and this year will be no different. NYC will be hosting an even greater global effort in tackling climate change. We believe in a just transition; climate action must be carried out in a way that protects livelihoods. The Coronavirus pandemic has shown how our global community is willing to care and able to change.”
Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor of New York said:
“We are leading the nation with our aggressive efforts to make New York more efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Week NYC brings experts and stakeholders together to advance our collective goals to make the state cleaner and greener. We are committed to building on our ambitious clean energy agenda to protect the environment, create new jobs for the future, and combat climate change.”
Daniel Zarrilli, NYC’s Chief Climate Policy Advisor, said:
“As New York City is focused on an immediate public health crisis, we cannot lose sight of the looming climate crisis and the threats to public health and well-being that it will cause.
“Looking toward September, New York City is proud to again serve as the global host for Climate Week – this year being done with an innovative, digital-first approach. We applaud The Climate Group for taking this creative action as we adjust to new realities in a way that still pushes forward the collaboration necessary to confront our climate crisis. Here in New York City, we remain committed to ending the age of fossil fuels and investing in clean energy climate solutions as part of our world-leading Green New Deal climate policy. Taking on the fossil fuel industry, getting our emissions to net zero, building greater resiliency citywide, and making sure all New Yorkers have a fair opportunity to thrive — these may not be easy, but they are necessary if we are to secure a livable future for the next generation.”
Basil Seggos, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner, said:
"Climate Week NYC is a critical opportunity to bring together scientists and policymakers from around the world to advance our collective efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic has shredded the premise that government can ignore science. Climate change is an irrefutable scientific fact and New York communities have already experienced its wrath in the form of flooding and severe storms. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is advancing its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including the critical work of the Climate Action Council, to establish the pathway to a zero-carbon future."
Alicia Barton, President and CEO of NYSERDA said:
“This event illustrates the existential threat climate change poses to us and how only through a collaborative effort will we ensure a cleaner and greener planet for generations to come. We have witnessed Governor Cuomo’s resolute and unwavering leadership through the COVID-19 crisis, and it is that same leadership that New York and others around the world who will gather for Climate Week 2020 are demonstrating each day to ensure we are advancing clean energy solutions to meet our climate goals.”
Fred Dixon, President and CEO, NYC & Company said:
“We are pleased to once again collaborate with the Climate Group to advance the dialogue around climate change through Climate Week NYC. Even in these challenging times, we are eager to do our part to ensure that climate action continues to be a priority and that New York City’s tourism industry supports this critically important mission.”
Visit www.climateweeknyc.org or follow #ClimateWeekNYC to receive regular announcements and keep up to date with Climate Week NYC 2020.
Notes to editors
This year saw the biggest Climate Week event on Earth to date; Climate Week NYC, encompassing the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit and a significant upsurge of youth-led climate activism.
Crucially, the week provided a global stage that inspired participation and action from businesses, governments and civil society. All eyes were truly on New York City, with the hashtag #ClimateWeekNYC trending in the city and garnering more than 807,000,000 impressions on social media across the month of September.
Hosting presidents, policymakers, business leaders and campaigners, Climate Week NYC 2019 brought together all those fighting to tackle climate change with the most ambitious and comprehensive program to date. Over 350 events took place across the city – more than doubling last year’s record – including more than 20 events hosted by The Climate Group, as well as bilateral meetings, networking sessions and interviews.
The Opening Ceremony, which took place ahead of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, set the tone for the challenges and opportunities ahead. The morning boasted a stellar speaker line up of world leaders, U.S. governors and global business chiefs, including; Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the President of the Republic of Costa Rica; Pedro Sanchez, the President of the Government of Spain; Mette Frederiksen, the Prime Minister of Denmark; Governor Newsom of California; Governor Inslee of Washington State; Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the OECD; John Kerry, the former U.S. Secretary of State; Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever and Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE Group.
The Hub this year continued to establish itself as a central platform for businesses, governments and the wider climate community to tackle the most pressing issues in the fight against climate change. Over 1,000 delegate attended various sessions across the two days, inspiring discussions and providing solutions, as well as facilitating new partnerships to extend action beyond Climate Week NYC.
In addition, more than 20 new business commitments were made on cleaner, smarter energy as part of our corporate leadership initiatives, meaning that almost 300 multinationals across every major sector are now committed to climate action. Overall these members represent US$5.5 trillion in combined revenue, with operations in more than 140 markets and comprising more than 16 million employees – almost double the workforce of New York State.
A particularly noteworthy announcement at the opening ceremony came from RE100 member, Unilever, on its remarkable progress towards the goal of becoming a carbon neutral company before 2030. The business revealed that its operations across five continents – including factories, offices, R&D facilities, data centers, warehouses and distribution centers – are now powered by 100% renewable grid electricity. While this is a hugely impressive achievement, what’s equally significant was an honest discussion about the challenges of accessing renewables at some of Unilever’s global sites. This is yet another example of how multinational companies can send a strong demand signal directly to markets where renewables are harder to source, helping to accelerate the transition to clean energy.
Off the main stage, hundreds of side events kept the city engaged with the global climate agenda, from film screenings and panel discussions to nature walks and theatre shows. For the first time, Climate Week NYC also proudly partnered with Global Citizen to host a Youth and Activism program to highlight the global leadership of young people and their influence on climate action, as well as providing an opportunity for them to host, attend and support events and activities taking place during the week.
Reflecting on the discussions, debates, commitments and actions that have come out of this year’s Climate Week NYC, it’s clear there is a shared vision across our powerful network of governments and businesses to shape the world for the better.
Next year’s Climate Week NYC will take place between September 21 – 27 2020, alongside the United Nations General Assembly, just weeks ahead of a significant U.S. election and a critical COP26 in the United Kingdom. Our work is cut out for us, but we know what needs to be done: we must halve global emissions in the next 10 years. So, it’s time to buckle up – the Climate Decade is coming.