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Monday September 21 General

Iconic NYC Buildings Go Green for the Biggest Global Climate Event of 2020 - Climate Week NYC

There are over 450 events happening during Climate Week NYC, hosted from 20+ different countries.

September 20, 2020, New York City – This evening, New York City’s iconic buildings went green for the launch of the biggest and most global Climate Week NYC yet (September 20-27, 2020).

Empire State Building, One World Trade, Hudson Yards, Top of the Rock, Javits Center, One Five One West 42, One Bryant Park, Pier 17, Coney Island Parachute Jump, The Weylin, The Shops at Columbus Circle, Bronx Terminal Market, and Madison Square Garden all showed their support for climate action and building a better future.

Climate Week NYC 2020 will feature 450+ panels, workshops, art shows, and film screenings, hosted from 20+ different countries around the globe, including India, Colombia, Ecuador, United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Denmark, and more.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of international non-profit the Climate Group, organizers of Climate Week NYC, said:

Our recent research showed that Americans are demanding bolder and more ambitious climate action from both businesses and governments. Climate Week NYC 2020 is a testament to that. With over 450 events hosted from 20 different countries, the entire world is calling for climate action now.

New York City is famous for its resilience, boldness and commitment to building a better future. While we invite the world to take part in Climate Week NYC online, it is fantastic to have the physical support of some of the city's most famous landmarks. For New York, for the world!"

The night also saw the launch of the Climate Clock on the instantly recognizable metronome in Union Square. It transformed into a climate countdown clock to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis.

Stephen Ross, Chairman of Related Companies, said: "

The Climate Clock will remind the world every day just how perilously close we are to the brink - and that it’s not too late to do something about it. Climate change is reversible. This initiative will encourage everybody to join us in fighting for the future of our planet.”

The initiative to light New York City green was supported by NYC & Company, who is the Sustainable Travel and Tourism program partner for Climate Week NYC. NYC & Company will host an NYC & Company Talks virtual event on September 24 to discuss the latest climate action in NYC.

Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company, said:

“Seeing New York City’s skyline illuminated in green tonight serves as a powerful reminder to the world that sustainability and the ongoing conversation around climate change are more important than ever. As New York City and the tourism & hospitality industry continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown, it is imperative that this continues to be a priority for us all.”

Highlights of the Climate Week NYC 2020 events program include:

  • Virtual Summit and NYSE Bell Ringing for KRBN – Join a Virtual Summit and Bell Ringing with 68th Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, delivering the keynote speech, and remarks by Nobel Prize winning economist, Robert Engle.
  • 10,000 Teachers – 10,000 Teachers is an army of climate ambassadors that bring healthy discourse, levity, and personal responsibility to the issue to students and beyond at the level that works within their individual communities. This live event features a diverse panel of speakers, including Roy Wood Jr. from The Daily Show, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Comedian and Climate ‘Actionist’, Chuck Nice.
  • Climate Policy in the New Normal – The New Republic presents a dynamic, virtual panel on climate policy in the new normal. Speakers include Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation and Bill McKibben, American environmentalist, author.
  • Energizing America – The United States has an opportunity to accelerate clean energy transitions abroad and build job-creating industries at home by investing in innovation. Join the Center on Global Energy Policy for the global launch of Energizing America, which lays out a roadmap to triple U.S. federal investment in clean energy research, development, and demonstration to $25 billion by 2025.
  • Glacier: A Climate Change Ballet – A part of Climate Week NYC last year, this ballet will now share the full production with the world.
  • Economic Impacts of Climate Change on the Outdoors and the Outdoor Recreation Industry – Climate change is, beyond doubt, the biggest existential threat facing the outdoors and the outdoor industry. Representatives from REI Co-op, the Outdoor Industry Association and Protect Our Winters will discuss the multiple perspectives shaping our path forward and how we hope a consumer, advocacy, and business-focused strategy forward will mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis.


  • Exponential Climate Action Summit – This summit brings together the foremost thinkers and doers in climate action to discuss what innovations and policies exist that can bring the required change. The digital summit includes a stellar speaker lineup: Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Action Champion of the United Kingdom; Christiana Figueres, Founding Partner at Global Optimism and Former Executive Secretary of UNFCCC; and Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group.
  • Covid’s Lessons for Climate and Inequality: From Sacrifice Zones to Justice – The coronavirus crisis carries essential lessons for us all as we confront the climate emergency.  Join experts from the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, CityLab, and the NAACP Climate and Environmental Justice Program to learn more about America’s profound inequality and its disastrous consequences for the physical and economic well-being of communities of color as well as the overall health of our society.
  • Bursting the Climate Bubble: Building a Movement to Accelerate the Race to a Zero-Carbon World – Join Jo Confino and special guests, including Vice President Al Gore, on the importance of building a global movement in the race to a zero-carbon world. In this one-hour session, we will hear about how to engage far greater numbers of people to help accelerate and mainstream solutions to the climate crisis.

The Opening Ceremony takes place on Monday, September 21, 2020. Speakers include His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales; Mark Chambers, Director of New York City's Mayors Office of Sustainability; Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, Executive Director, North America of 350.org; Mathias Lelievre, CEO, ENGIE Impact; Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart, Inc.; Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; and Zhenguo Li, Founder and President of LONGi Group.

For the first time, Climate Week NYC will be hosted online. For more information follow us on Twitter and the hashtag #ClimateWeeKNYC. Make sure to download the new Climate Week NYC mobile app to keep up to date with all the events and watch all our events on our Facebook Watch page. Visit our website for more information.



Notes to Editors


Media enquiries

For any Climate Week NYC enquiries, including interview requests, please contact media@theclimategroup.org.

For all other media enquiries, please contact:


About Climate Week NYC

Climate Week NYC is the time and place where the world gathers to showcase amazing climate action and discuss how to do more. Run by international non-profit the Climate Group, in association with the United Nations and the City of New York, Climate Week NYC annually brings together voices from across the spectrum to debate and implement climate action now.

Climate Week NYC 2020 Sponsors

Walmart, Opening Ceremony Sponsor; ENGIE Impact, The Hub Live Sponsor; Unilever, Platinum Sponsor; LONGi Group, Platinum Sponsor; L’Oréal, Platinum Sponsor; McKinsey & Company, Knowledge Partner; Johnson & Johnson, Gold Sponsor; S&P Global, Gold Sponsor; AstraZeneca, Gold Sponsor; AB InBev, Gold Sponsor; The Estée Lauder Companies, Gold Sponsor; JinkoSolar, Gold Sponsor; Amazon, Gold Sponsor; AT&T, Silver Sponsor; Google, Silver Sponsor; Edison International, Silver Sponsor; Bank of America, Silver Sponsor; Morrison & Foerster, Silver Sponsor; Trane Technologies, Silver Sponsor; International Copper Association, Silver Sponsor; One Earth, Silver Sponsor; Signify, Supporter Sponsor; Sungrow, Supporter Sponsor; NYC & Company, Sustainable Travel and Tourism Program Partner; Global Citizen, Youth, Public Mobilization and Justice Program Partner; American Museum of Natural History, Nature and Science Program Partner; Columbia University, US and International Policy Program Partner; Ørsted, Clean Energy Transition Program Partner; Environmental Defense Fund, Finance, Investment and Jobs Program Partner; Master Card, Climate Week NYC Community Partner; The Nest Summit, Official Event Partner; We Mean Business, Supporting Partner; Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Supporting Partner; Facebook, Social Engagement Partner; The New Republic, Media Partner. 

About the Climate Group      
The Climate Group drives climate action. Fast. Our goal is a world of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with greater prosperity for all. We focus on systems with the highest emissions and where our networks have the greatest opportunity to drive change. We do this by building large and influential networks and holding organizations accountable, turning their commitments into action. We share what we achieve together to show more organizations what they could do. We are an international non-profit organization, founded in 2004, with offices in London, New Delhi and New York. We are proud to be part of the We Mean Business coalition. Follow us on Twitter @ClimateGroup.

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