Clean Revolution launched at Climate Week NYC

19 September 2011

NEW YORK: Today The Climate Group launched the three-year Clean Revolution campaign during the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC, the annual global forum which aims to mobilize an international public-private response to climate change, and officially begins today.

The campaign aims to inspire, catalyze and enable a group of the world’s most influential business, government and thought-leaders to take transformational action on climate change, creating a tipping point for the low carbon economy.

The Clean Revolution is a massive upscale of clean energy, clean technologies, design and new business practices. It is the only viable way to secure economic growth, tackle climate change and ensure that the nine billion people that will be on the planet by 2050, will not only subsist – but thrive.

“This year the human population will exceed 7 billion. The only path to alleviate poverty, avert dangerous climate change and ensure sustainable development is to ensure that modern energy is made available to all, and that it is provided as cleanly as possible,” said Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations. “I commend The Climate Group for its Clean Revolution campaign, and call on leaders from government, business and civil society to work together towards a green, low carbon future.”

We are extremely proud to again join The Climate Group in launching Climate Week NYC," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "With the United Nations in town this week, Climate Week NYC helps call the attention of world leaders and world media to the goal of reducing the impact of climate change. Over the past year, New Yorkers have had a taste of what climate change may mean for our city with some of the most extreme weather we have ever seen -- perhaps a warning of what the future holds if we do not act now. In New York City, we've taken action with out comprehensive sustainability agenda PlaNYC and by becoming a charter member of the C40 Climate Leadership Group. With the stakes as high as they are, just doing nothing is no option and it's our cities that must take the lead."

"To avert climate change we will need leadership. And we need a new vision for the world that inspires leaders to step up and make commitments towards transformational action that will help unlock a better, smarter, more prosperous future for all,” said former UK Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Tony Blair. “I have worked closely with The Climate Group for over seven years, now. Their unique ability to convene key business and government stakeholders, communicate the economic opportunities presented by bold climate action and drive leadership is unparalleled. Recently I accepted the position of chairing The Climate Group's International Leadership Council. In this role - and over the next three years - I will be working with The Climate Group to help convene the world's most influential business and government leaders and ask them to take transformational action which will create jobs, ensure economic growth and halt climate change.”

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group said: “The Clean Revolution campaign is a call to action. It is about highlighting the economic opportunity in a low carbon economy. It’s about inspiring leaders to step up and take transformational action to help us secure a better, smarter, safer, more prosperous world. A world with enhanced economic growth, more jobs and increased energy security. Our campaign demonstrates that the Clean Revolution is not only possible – it’s already underway.”

As part of the campaign, today The Climate Group launched a new website,, which currently features eight case studies (Better Place, BT Group, China, IKEA, New York City, Scotland, South Australia, Suzlon) profiling business and government leadership in the low carbon economy, with more case studies to be added.

The Climate Group and its partners aim to make the website the world’s most comprehensive compilation of information and best practices for how governments and businesses are implementing the Clean Revolution. Both the United Nations and the World Bank endorse the website.

Jean Charest, Québec Premier, said: "According to the United Nations Development Program, 50 - 80% of the actions needed to create prosperous low carbon economies will take place at the sub-national level. As a proud member of The Climate Group, Québec is at the forefront of the Clean Revolution, with its development of clean, renewable hydro power and its implementation of an ambitious sustainability agenda, notably in Northern Québec with the Plan Nord. Québec already has one of the lowest levels of GHG emissions per capita in North America. I am eager to pursue Québec’s new partnership with The Climate Group through the EV20 Policy Initiative, which will make it easier for state and provincial governments to share best practices on electric vehicles. I now call upon all sub-national governments to also put sustainability and the green economy at the heart of their plans for economic growth and join the Clean Revolution."

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, said: "We are delighted to be involved in the Clean Revolution campaign. UNEP’s work on the Green Economy underlines the enormous environmental, social and economic gains likely in both developing and developed countries from fast tracking such a transition.

“Sharing success stories is one, often powerful way of assisting leaders in government, business and cities to overcome concerns and be inspired to come on board. The case studies profiled on can be part of the urgency and momentum needed to make the Durban UN climate conference and next year’s Rio+20 the success stories they need to be too,” he added.

"Despite some progress, current plans to limit greenhouse gases remain inadequate," said Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change, the World Bank. "At present, we are sadly not on track to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees and developing countries will be most affected. Far more needs to be done."

"Around the world, developing countries are increasingly taking action to combat the catastrophic consequences of climate change. We need to show how these actions can lead to a new way of thinking, a low carbon future built on green growth," Steer continued. "To this end, the World Bank is a proud partner of The Clean Revolution campaign – and I commend The Climate Group for helping us to showcase business and government leaders who are taking transformational action on climate change."

Following the announcement of The Clean Revolution campaign, a select group of business leaders participated in an hour-long panel discussion on “The Role of Business in a Clean Revolution.” The discussion focused on why climate change and sustainability matter to the business leaders taking part in the panel, the changes they have seen since they started investing in clean technologies, their key adaptation success stories and how other businesses can follow.

Panelists included Wang, Shi, Chairman, China Vanke Corporation, Michel Liès, Chairman, Global Partnerships, Swiss Re, Mark Vachon, Vice President, GE Ecomagination, Mike Ward, President, IKEA, North America and Victor Der, General Manager North America, Global CCS Institute. The discussion was moderated by Ed Crooks, the Financial Times US Industry and Energy Editor.

Opening Ceremony events

Rethinking Resiliency: Innovative Solutions for Climate Adaptation panel

Additionally, The Climate Group, along with Swiss Re, Founding Sponsor of Climate Week NYC, hosted a panel discussion, Rethinking Resiliency: Innovative Solutions for Climate Adaptation, which explored how businesses and governments can work together – in times of fiscal austerity - to implement innovative solutions for climate adaptation.

The panel explored which solutions look most promising, what the barriers to successful adaptation are and how they can be overcome. Walter Bell, Chairman, Swiss Re America Holding Corp. gave the welcoming remarks and Amy Davidsen, Executive Director, The Climate Group, North America made the opening remarks.

The keynote speaker was Rebeca Grynspan, Associate Administrator, UNDP. Speakers in the panel included Anne Hastings, CEO, Fonkoze Financial Services, Michel Liès, Chairman, Global Partnerships, Swiss Re, John E. Morton, Vice President for Investment Policy, US Overseas Private Investment Corp., US Overseas Private Investment Corp. and Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change, the World Bank. The panel was moderated by Dr. Juan Jose Daboub, CEO, Global Adaptation Institute.

Michel Lies, Chairman, Global Partnerships, Swiss Re, noted: “Being the Founding Sponsor of Climate Week NYC and our close relationship with The Climate Group are core components of our strategy to engage key, influential groups, of government, business and civil society leaders on the adaptation to, and mitigation of, climate change. This week's program is one of many initiatives Swiss Re has undertaken to educate and facilitate effective ways of increasing society's resilience to natural catastrophes.”

Powering the Clean Energy Revolution: A Business and Government Leaders Dialogue

Concurrently, The Climate Group and the Global CCS Institute, Supporting Sponsor of Climate Week NYC, held a roundtable discussion, Powering the Clean Energy Revolution: A Business and Government Leaders Dialogue, to discuss how climate change leaders must promote carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the importance of its role in tackling climate change.

“The Global CCS Institute is a proud supporter of Climate Week NYC 2011, which provides a much needed, wide reaching platform to discuss how we revolutionize the way we produce and consume energy," said Victor Der, General Manager-North America, Global CCS Institute. "If we are to achieve the kinds of global emissions reductions that are necessary for a sustainable future, we must ensure that technologies like carbon capture and storage play the important role that they can in responding to the world’s energy needs”, he added. 


See the full Events calendar for Climate Week NYC 2011

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