Climate Week NYC in review: our biggest and best summit yet
- 30 September 2013
From September 23-30, The Climate Group hosted Climate Week NYC 2013, our fifth anniversary. With the support of Swiss Re, the summit’s founding sponsor, HP and Solar City, the Lead Sponsors, Official Media Partner The Weather Company, and supporters New York City, NASDAQ, the National Grid, the UN Foundation, and the UN Environment Programme, the summit mobilized a group of powerful leaders to demand climate action and low carbon growth. Here are just a handful of the moments that made it our biggest and best Climate Week NYC yet.
At the Climate Week NYC 2013 Opening Ceremony on September 23, leaders from around the world and across the political spectrum - including President of the World Bank Jim Kim, US Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair - came together to call for governments and businesses to move from debating the science to delivering low carbon economic growth, just days before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was due to be released and expected to show virtually unanimous scientific consensus around man-made climate change.
They were joined by a number of CEOs and executives from top companies, including Phil Ryan, Swiss Re, Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard, Harry Verhaar, Philips, Steve Howard, IKEA, Nancy Pfund, SolarCity as well as entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson and Tom Steyer, International Rescue Committee Chairman and CEO, David Miliband, faith leader and Professor of Biology at Gordon College Dorothy Boorse, former Republican US Representative Bob Inglis, Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.), and the President of the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association, Pamela Johnson, who all agreed we must move beyond climate science debate to action--in America and internationally. Read an event write-up here.
The Climate Group also released a briefing, including some simple infographics, as a basis of discussion among the leaders at the Opening Ceremony. The briefing focuses on US efforts to reduce emissions and what actions can be taken in the coming years to set the US on the path towards a truly low carbon, resilient society. Read it here and share the on-page infographics with just one click.
A coalition of voices also joined together in a Swiss Re sponsored panel which followed the Opening Ceremony, to call for increased levels of climate resilience one year on from Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. They warned that America's current levels of resilience remain insufficient to manage the impacts of extreme weather and urged businesses and governments to further integrate climate risk considerations into decision-making processes as a matter of urgency.
On Tuesday September 24, another panel featuring a compelling mix of exciting start-ups and the world’s most successful listed consumer companies including Facebook, Nike and IKEA, discussed the growing sphere of low carbon innovation, suggesting ways big and small businesses alike can embrace it. Read an event summary. On the theme of encouraging innovative, low carbon start-ups, at this panel we also announced the EarthHack crowd-sourcing contest winner.
During the evening, we honored Christiana Figueres, UNFCC, Mayor Bloomberg and the Dutch Postcode Lottery with The Climate Group Leadership Awards.
Then mid-week was a live Twitter Q&A on the future of LED lighting with Harry Verhaar of Philips, and on Thursday September 26, The Weather Company hosted a day-long 'Climate Conversation', where Mayor Bloomberg announced that New York City was experiencing the cleanest air quality in over 50 years.
The Climate Group's main events of Climate Week NYC 2013 concluded on Friday, as we hosted a live video with the IPCC climate scientists, who spoke to our studio and web audience hours after releasing the IPCC AR5 report, which says humans are to blame for climate change. We also published a five-part briefing series covering the basics of climate science, ahead of the broadcast. Read them here.
This year the summit’s events don’t stop at one week either! There are over 60 events happening across NYC for the next couple of weeks, so check out the full Climate Week NYC calendar to see what’s happening near you.