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High-level speakers confirmed for Climate Week NYC Opening Ceremony

28th June 2021 5 min read

June 28, 2021, London – With just under three months to go until Climate Week NYC (September 20-26) kicks off, the international non-profit Climate Group has today announced an array of high-level business and government leaders set to speak on the Opening Day (Monday, September 20). Speakers include Alok Sharma, President for COP26; Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All & Co-Chair of UN-Energy; and the UNFCCC’s High-Level Champions for UK and Chile, Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz, respectively.

Opening Ceremony, September 20

Marking the official start of Climate Week NYC, the Opening Ceremony will bring together leading decision-makers, thought leaders, and international figures from business and philanthropic sectors, who will address the world on climate action and how to achieve a green and inclusive recovery. Speakers include Badar Khan, President, National Grid, US; Nicolas Hieronimus, Chief Executive Officer, L’Oréal; Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer and Executive Vice President of the Fondation L’Oréal; Nancy Mahon, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability, The Estée Lauder Companies; and Dickon Pinner, Senior Partner and Global Leader, McKinsey Sustainability.

Key themes for this year’s Opening Ceremony include what a just transition really means, what we must deliver in the Climate Decade, and what real leadership looks like. The event will be hosted in New York City and broadcast live through an interactive digital platform for an invited audience of climate leaders. The Climate Week NYC Opening Ceremony and The Hub Live will also be streamed online and available to a global audience. Further details regarding physical events and activations throughout the week will be confirmed later this summer.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of Climate Group, commented:

“The theme of this year’s Climate Week NYC is ‘Getting It Done’, which is about leaders demonstrating how they are going to deliver on their commitments and inspiring others to do more. Let’s talk about the actions that need to be taken – right now – to transition the global economy rapidly, and at scale. We’ll be kicking things off at the Opening Ceremony, and I’m looking forward to hearing from leaders across business and government tell us how they are going to get it done.”

Nicolas Hieronimus, Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal, said:

“At L’Oréal, we are committed to creating the beauty that moves the world. It is a mission that translates to many facets of our global business, but most crucial of them all is our ability to meaningfully contribute to climate solutions. Over the last decade we have completely transformed our company and we are accelerating our efforts to ensure that we operate within the planetary boundaries as determined by environmental scientists, and by 2025 we will achieve 100% carbon neutrality at all our sites around the globe. Through our sustainability transformation, L’Oréal for the Future, we are harnessing the power of beauty to do our part—and to bring along our partners, suppliers, and 1.5 billion consumers in doing so. We are proud to be the Opening Ceremony Sponsor of Climate Week NYC 2021 and to work with the global community to address the climate crisis we collectively face.”

UNFCCC Opening Day Event, September 20

Following on from the official Climate Week NYC Opening Ceremony, UNFCCC will host an event, ‘Delivering the Promise of Paris’, which will shine a spotlight on the most recent transformational action plans from Race to Zero members across the world. Global leaders including Alok Sharma, President for COP26, and High-Level Champions for UK and Chile, Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz, will assess the transition from ambition to implementation at this noteworthy event.

Gonzalo Muñoz, Chile COP25 High-Level Climate Action Champion, said:

"Climate Week NYC is a critical milestone for both Race to Zero and Race to Resilience. I’m excited to join voices from across the global economy who can demonstrate how radical collaboration is fundamental for driving the twin goals of reducing emissions and building resilience within this critical decade of delivery. This Opening Session will showcase what real economy actors are already doing to accelerate the transition, and will lay out what more needs to happen to put us on track for halving emissions by 2030."

Nigel Topping, UK COP26 High-Level Climate Action Champion, said:

“Climate Week NYC is a chance to show the world what is at stake at COP26. I’m looking forward to joining global leaders in this Opening Session to explore the immediate actions required to deliver the promise of the Paris Agreement. Join us on the September 20, to hear what is needed, what is possible and what is already underway to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve a net zero, resilient world in time."

The full Climate Week NYC events calendar will be available later this summer and the mobile phone app will launch at the end of August. The Climate Week NYC app will include a list of all the events happening during the week and the community directory: local sustainable businesses in New York City that the public can support, from zero-waste stores to ethical fashion brands. Event submissions (in-person and virtual) are now open for Climate Week NYC 2021.

Visit or follow #ClimateWeekNYC to receive regular news and keep up to date with Climate Week NYC 2021.

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Media registration is now open and free for the Opening Ceremony (September 20) and The Hub Live (September 21-23) events. Registration closes September 17, 2021.

For any Climate Week NYC enquiries, including interview requests, please contact:

Climate Week NYC 2021 Sponsors and Partners

National Grid, Headline Partner; L’Oréal, Opening Ceremony Sponsor; ENGIE Impact, The Hub Live Sponsor, The Climate Pledge, Platinum Sponsor, PwC, Platinum Sponsor; The Estée Lauder Companies, Platinum Sponsor; McKinsey & Company, Knowledge Partner; Oliver Wyman, Research Partner; Unilever, Gold Sponsor; Dell Technologies, Gold Sponsor; Hydro-Québec, Gold Sponsor; Johnson & Johnson, Gold Sponsor; Lenovo, Gold Sponsor; Bank of America, Gold Sponsor; Breakthrough Energy, Gold Sponsor; Siemens, Gold Sponsor; Edison International, Gold Sponsor, Forum for the Future, Gold Sponsor, AB InBev, Gold Sponsor; Procter & Gamble (P&G), Silver Sponsor; Morrison & Foerster, Silver Sponsor; PepsiCo, Silver Sponsor, International Copper Association, Silver Sponsor; Facebook, Silver Sponsor; Sungrow, Supporter Sponsor, Ørsted, Supporter Sponsor; Oatly, Supporter Sponsor; EnergyRE, Reception Sponsor; Mastercard, Community Partner; Barings, Finance Program Partner; Palmetto, Energy Program Partner; Saint-Gobain, Built Environment Program Partner; The Solutions Project Environmental Justice Program Partner; Earth Justice, Policy Program Partner; Conservation International, Nature Program Partner; Con Edison, Transport Program Partner; Junk Kouture, Sustainable Living Program Partner; Race to Zero, Partner; The Nest Summit, Official Event Partner; Ford Motor Company, The Nest Summit Sponsor; atmosfair, Carbon Offsetting Partner; NYC & Company, Tourism Partner; Columbia Climate School, University Partner; Grist, US Media Partner; JCDecaux, Media Partner; Canary Media, Media Partner; NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, Supporter Partner, COP26, Supporter Partner