CEOs express urgency in tackling America’s climate challenges at Climate Week NYC 2013 launch

17 July 2013

NEW YORK: The countdown to Climate Week NYC 2013 kicked off today with a NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony and panel discussion on the opportunities for America in clean energy investment and tackling expensive, runaway climate change. 

The NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony marks the official launch of Climate Week NYC 2013 activities, which takes place from September 23-30. You can watch the video below.

America's future

Before the ceremony, The Climate Group co-hosted a panel discussion where J. Eric Smith, CEO, Swiss Re Americas, Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney (US Marine Corps, Ret.), Former Commanding General of Parris Island, and CEO of the American Security Project and Amy Davidsen, Executive Director, The Climate Group, North America shared insights on the opportunities, urgency and resiliency needed in order to ensure that America meets its climate challenges.

During his speech, Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, stated the urgent need for the US to act on climate: “Climate change threatens national security because it is a ‘threat multiplier’, or an ‘accelerant of instability’ that affects issues like food, water, energy security. It will drive migration, economic challenges."

He added: “Managing this risk requires a prudent response, the first step of which is an energy debate that addresses the challenges of the 21st Century. The greatest dangers lie in our being unprepared.”

J. Eric Smith, CEO, Swiss Re Americas, stressed the importance of cooperating to halt the risks associated with climate change and build a stronger America. He said: “By addressing the crisis of climate change, through prevention, preparedness and financial protection, we can make our communities more resilient. But no sector — not private insurers, not the public realm — can tackle this challenge alone. It demands partnership. We need to adapt to the risks presented by severe weather and climate change and insurance has a vital role to play.

“We look forward to developing the discussion around these topics at Climate Week NYC in September and hope to see you there. It is exactly the kind of forum that brings the public and private sectors together and enables an essential dialogue to occur.”

Climate Week NYC

Now in its fifth year, Climate Week NYC - the global summit that convenes the world’s top business, government and thought leaders to discuss how clean tech innovation can boost growth and create jobs - is supported by Founding Sponsor Swiss Re, Lead Sponsor Hewlett-Packard and Supporting Sponsor NASDAQ. Climate Week NYC is organized by international non-profit The Climate Group.

In the panel discussion, Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director, The Climate Group, said: “The setting here at NASDAQ underscores that climate change is not just an environmental issue, but one of the greatest economic issues and opportunities. It is an opportunity to create what we call a Clean Revolution: a swift, massive scale up of clean energy and infrastructure, efficiency, and smart technologies and design, which creates sustainable, long-term economic growth

Amy concluded: “So please join us in September to explore this opportunity during a week of diverse meetings and events, beginning with the Opening Ceremony on Monday, September 23. And help us make the next five years the turning point for greater climate action – for our economy and for the health, security and prosperity of ourselves, our children and theirs, for generations to come."


Watch the Swiss Re and NASDAQ bell ringing - New York Times Square

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