Record number of events and headlines: Climate Week NYC 2014 in review

9 October 2014

NEW YORK: Host to a record 144 events, the sixth edition of Climate Week NYC was our biggest and most impactful yet. Here are just a few of the many highlights.

The day after more than 300,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan to demand climate action, and on the eve of his Leaders’ Climate Summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during our Opening Day on September 22: "Climate change is the defining issue of our time. Now is the time for action… That is what Climate Week NYC represents. […] Over the years, Climate Week NYC has grown to become a valuable global platform for climate leadership.”

As the collaborative space for all events in support of the UN Climate Summit, there’s no doubt Climate Week NYC 2014 helped spur climate change back into global headlines.

“It doesn’t cost more to deal with climate change; it costs more to ignore it.” – John Kerry [Watch video

Alongside the UN Secretary-General, US Secretary of State John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim were joined by 30 other world leaders, top corporate executives including those from Lockheed Martin and HP, and heads of influential sub-national governments, who conveyed their vision for a vibrant, low carbon economy.

Big headlines

Climate Week NYC 2014 generated a record amount of media coverage with more than 1,300 news stories reaching an estimated 1 billion people across 40 countries. On social media too, we hit more than 150 million impressions on Twitter – a 38-fold increase on last year.

Much of this unparalleled media response was generated by the many new commitments made throughout the Opening Day, which had over 300 attendees and more than 7,000 views on the livestream

During the event, we launched We Mean Business, an unprecedented collaboration between business groups working with the world’s most influential companies to drive climate action. Peter Agnefjäll, CEO of IKEA, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple and other leaders conversed with UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, as the coalition’s new report The Climate Has Changed: Why Bold, Low Carbon Action Makes Good Business Sense was unveiled, which provides compelling evidence for smart climate action from corporates.

“It’s great for the environment, and by the way it’s also good for economics.” – Tim Cook, Apple [Watch]

We also launched our RE100 campaign - which celebrates and encourages major businesses to commit to 100% renewable power - with executives from Swiss Re, IKEA and Mars.

“Investing in renewable power makes complete business sense” – Steve Howard, IKEA [Watch]

Climate leadership

In the afternoon Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec and Co-Chair of The Climate Group States & Regions Alliance - members of which govern 313 million people and represent 11% of global GDP - was joined by the Governor of Vermont and the Mayors of Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro, to discuss how low carbon policies implemented at the sub-national level can be scaled up, which was followed by the launch of a key report on policy innovation and the Compact of States and Regions.

Then looking in particular to innovation in the low carbon economy, leaders from Broadscale Group, BT and NewWorld Capital Group discussed emerging clean technologies’ role in supporting low carbon growth. [Watch]

In a separate panel convened by the American Security Project, military chiefs from Bangladesh, the UK and the US discussed the threats that climate change poses to security around the world and highlighted why action is needed now. [Watch]

We were honored to receive closing keynotes from two very inspiring voices, who called for urgency on climate action as we fast-approach global climate talks.

“It is hard to imagine anything that poses a greater challenge and opportunity for humanity. We are running out of time.” - HRH The Prince of Wales 

"COP20 will bring the global debate to Peru, and strengthen the foundations of a climatically and environmentally responsible country. We must also recognize that COP20 is an opportunity to improve as a country.” -Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of Environment for Peru and UNFCCC COP 20 President 

Climate Week NYC legacy

Of course it was the 144 affiliate events that took place across the city which boosted the extraordinary engagement in NYC and around the world online, which ranged from climate conversations with religious leaders to experts discussing how climate risk and clean energy investment impacts the insurance industry. See a full calendar of events.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, says what really made a difference during this week of mobilization was the level of commitment from corporates and sub-national governments, and the scale of collaborative efforts. He said: “From investors shifting their money out of fossil fuel stocks to a timetable for ending tropical deforestation, from commitments by cities, states and regions to set and report on ambitious emission reduction targets to new corporate commitments to renewables, ‘bottom-up’ actions took center stage. Finally, we saw a shift from words to action.”

Our CEO also invites you to return next year, when Climate Week NYC - now widely recognized as a key moment in the international climate calendar - is set to make an even bigger impact just weeks ahead of the global climate talks. “We have exciting plans for Climate Week NYC 2015. We very much hope you will join us again to keep the momentum going at this decisive time, just weeks before the global climate talks in Paris.”





Created in 2009 by The Climate Group, Climate Week NYC - which was marked by the Empire State Building's LEDs lighting green - this year boasted more than 144 events across New York, as the collaborative space in support of the UN Climate Summit


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