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The city behind Climate Week NYC

4th October 2021 Climate Group 6 min read

To put on the biggest Climate Week in the world, we need the biggest platform in the world. 

The continuing theme of Climate Week NYC over the years has always been “for New York, for the world” - we broadcast our message from New York, and the city helps us to spread it around the world. New York City is famous for its resilience, boldness, and commitment to building a better future. As we invited the world to take part in Climate Week NYC 2021, it was fantastic to see support and action right here in our local community. 

New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, kicked off Climate Week NYC with some major announcements. 

At the Opening Ceremony, Governor Hochul announced two major green energy infrastructure projects to power New York City with wind, solar, and hydropower projects from upstate New York and Canada. If approved, these infrastructure projects would create thousands of jobs statewide, bring billions in economic development investments, including targeted investment to support vulnerable communities, reduce the City's reliance on fossil fuels, lower carbon emissions and significantly improve air quality and public health, while accelerating progress to exceed New York's goal for 70% of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. 

Combined, the awarded Clean Path NY (CPNY) project, developed by Forward Power (a joint venture of Invenergy and EnergyRe) and the New York Power Authority, and Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) project, developed by Transmission Developers, Inc. (backed by Blackstone) and Hydro-Québec will: 

  • Produce approximately 18 million megawatt-hours of upstate and Canadian renewable energy per year.

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 77 million metric tons over the next 15 years.

  • Provide $2.9 billion in public health benefits over 15 years that will result from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including fewer episodes of illness and premature death, fewer days of school or work missed, less disruption of business, and lower health care costs. 

Jeff Bezos, Founder and Executive Chairman of Amazon, made a surprise appearance at our Climate Week NYC Leader’s Reception and pledged $1 billion in grants to support conservation efforts around the world. 

The financial investment will go towards funding conservation projects in places like the Congo Basin, the Andes, and tropical parts of the Pacific Ocean. The $1 billion commitment was “the first of a three-part nature strategy,” and Bezos said future commitments would revolve around food system transformation and landscape restoration. The pledge is part of the Bezos Earth Fund, the Amazon Founder’s $10 billion commitment to support scientists, activists and organizations working to address climate change.  

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Founder and Executive Chairman of Amazon

NYC & Company partnered with Climate Week NYC for the fourth year in a row. 

NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City, partnered with Climate Week NYC for the fourth year. NYC & Co’s mission is to maximize travel and tourism opportunities throughout the City, build economic prosperity and spread the dynamic image of New York City around the world. The partnership aimed to show how sustainable travel and local tourism can be an ally in sustainable development. NYC & Co. also spoke at Climate Week NYC’s Official Event Partner the Nest Summit on 'Sustainable Travel and Greening NYC's Tourism Footprint’ and ‘Taking Action on Urban Resilience'. 

We painted the city green

That same evening, September 20, New York’s skyline lit up green to spotlight the need for global climate action. Various iconic landmarks and venues across the city including the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, One Bryant Park, One Five One West 42, One WTC Podium, Pier 17 and Luna Park at Coney Island all joined in the promotion in solidarity with Climate Week NYC. 

Art showed up for climate action. 

Our friends at the Climate Museum and the American Museum of Natural History, (AMNH) , each hosted and participated in a series of groundbreaking events. Climate Museum Director Miranda Massie explored the explosion of climate arts in the past decade and the role the arts have in building the deep sense of community that we need to confront the scale and urgency of the climate crisis with both ambition and compassion. AMNH organized a whole suite of events, with topics ranging from climate trivia, to tracking wildfires from space, to the impacts of climate change on culture, to a musical performance from a band of endangered creatures called The Omega-3's. 

climate museum
Miranda Massie, Founder and Director of the Climate Museum

The ‘Getting it Done’ message was spread across the city. 

With the support of LinkNYC and JCDecaux, our ‘Getting it Done’ campaign was featured on bus stops and newsstands all across New York City. Thanks to these two, we were able to showcase climate activists from our partners including National GridJunk Kouture, UPROSE and Columbia Climate School giving messages for how they’re Getting it Done.

Getting it done posters
Nadine of Junk Kouture on 'Getting it Done' bus stop poster

Columbia Climate School was our University Partner for Climate Week NYC 2021. 

Established last year, Columbia Climate School represents a historic commitment by Columbia to tackle the climate crisis. The Climate School builds on Columbia’s strengths to solve problems, educate future climate leaders, and generate the knowledge needed to design and inspire solutions as the window to avert the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change closes. They also announced that all future campus construction would be totally fossil fuel free.  

As our University Partner, Columbia Climate school put on over 20 stellar, digital events! Some of which you can still watch here

We were lucky enough to have a number of in-person events in the city. 

  • And many more!

workshop
Junk Kouture Workshop co-hosted by Materials for the Arts

Our ‘Climate Action is our Business’ community shows that getting it done should not be limited to just one week. 

This year, we had the pleasure of celebrating over sixty ‘Climate Action is Our Business’ members whose community organizations and businesses are taking year-round, sustainable steps towards addressing the climate crisis. The campaign’s mission is to promote the accessible, creative, and noteworthy actions that are being taken on a local level to combat climate change as well as to help New Yorkers and visitors discover businesses that are committed to protecting the planet. 

Eating for the planet was made easy and delicious with the help of our Eat for Climate Week restaurants. 

Throughout the week, Eat for Climate Week restaurants across the city promoted and showcased climate‑friendly menu items giving New Yorkers and visitors an opportunity to participate in the biggest climate week event in the world. We even had the opportunity to create an Eat for Climate Week menu, featuring, but not limited to, maple buttermilk cornbread, sesame tofu noodles, and southern fried lasagna.  

ladt
Ladybird NYC's Eat for Climate Week menu item: Kentucky Fried Broccoli