Climate week NYC 2021 has come to an end. The week-long event that started on September 20 showcased more than 500 events virtually from over twenty countries.
The week-long event was organized into seminars ranging from one or two hours, to some lasting all day throughout the week. Some seminars were entirely virtual while others were hybrid with some in person and virtual attendance. The seminars came from all over the world talking about climate issues in Europe to South America. To attend the in-person events in NYC was more difficult this year because of covid restrictions.
However, all talks held at Columbia and Cooper Union Universities were held online and open to the public and they are still available to watch on Youtube. Prominent speakers intervened, ranging from former world leaders such as former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd, leaders in environmental governance in their home nations to heads of philanthropies, environmental organizations, and CEOs of companies concerned with the corporate world’s responsibility on climate change.
This Climate Week NYC, I had the opportunity to meet with @GovKathyHochul at the @javitscenter during the Nest Summit. Conversations like these empower us with the knowledge to make #sustainable changes in our communities and internationally. https://t.co/5J4xzYODqq pic.twitter.com/KDTKHD9IYk
— Marsha Smith (@MarshaSmithCFO) September 27, 2021
Leaders in areas of environmental governance in their home nations took part in panels on how they are addressing issues of climate change specifically related to problems directly within their own countries. This was an opportunity for others around the world to listen in on, learn from, implement, and maybe improve upon how specific issues were being addressed in nations from South America to Europe.
Major corporations CEO’s took part in mentioning and displaying efforts they have made to address climate change in the operations and manufacturing of their products and services. We always hope they are living up to what they say and not just using the event for friendly public relations. It is incredibly important since the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a clear call to action to businesses: we must take urgent action now to protect our planet, and to safeguard our future.
How can businesses change the world? By coming together to fight for the climate. We kicked off Climate Week NYC with a Times Square takeover for @climatepledge. Together, the 200 companies that are part of the pledge are showing they have what it takes to combat climate change. pic.twitter.com/txAIHFeqAr
— the community agency (@tcagency_) September 23, 2021
The events ranged from sustainable marketplaces of the future to discussions about restoring seagrass in Bermuda, to hard-hitting panels about divesting from fossil fuels, to cooking shows focused on racial justice, food sovereignty, and climate jobs. Climate jobs were a major topic raised by the Biden administration and transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg to come out of the infrastructure bill addressing climate change.
This year’s climate week seemed more relevant than ever, considering that 2021 was marked by a record hot summer worldwide, wildfires raging across Europe, Australia, and California, and, just before the event started, a hurricane ravaged NYC with substantial flooding causing much damage.
With the U.S. looking to pass a major infrastructure bill addressing climate change and reaching a goal of net-zero, the industries concerned by this bill were particularly active during the debates focused on it. The New York Climate Week opened with labor leaders speaking on their commitment to green energy and the jobs it will provide for their workers.
The transition to 100% clean energy by 2030 has the potential to create over 10 million jobs in the USA. Join Worley CEO Chris Ashton at Climate Week NYC on 22 September, 10am -11:30 (EST) to hear more https://t.co/a0jfPnxSTN pic.twitter.com/9s5Z15lqZL
— Worley (@Worley_ECR) September 20, 2021
While the Climate Week was happening, the UNGA. was also held in New York with world leaders addressing the issues of climate change in their speeches and mentioning current actions their nations were taking to reach net-zero. China, the last government still financing overseas coal power plants, announced it would end funding for new coal fired power plants abroad. Although, unfortunately, it said nothing about its domestic power plans, a matter of concern since its coal power plants are currently a major cause of climate change.
Frontline communities across the country are placing cutting-edge technology at the service of climate justice, and creating some of the most exciting and practical solutions to the climate crisis. In South Carolina, New Alpha Community Development Corporation secured affordable solar power and efficiency upgrades for low-income customers, and is installing solar powered hydro panels to produce clean drinking water from thin air. When the electric utility in Highland Park, Michigan, repossessed the city’s streetlights, Soulardarity installed solar-powered street lights that also provide public Wi-Fi. Native Renewables is bringing off-grid solar and energy storage to 15,000 homes of Indigenous families living without any electricity in the Southwest. Their stories are guaranteed to inspire.
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Bill Gates has raised $1billion in funding for his clean energy non-profit Breakthrough Energy, thanks to investments from seven major U.S. corporations. The investments have been made directly to Breakthrough Energy’s Catalyst initiative. The aim is to work towards a transition to clean energy and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Jeff Bezos on opening day pledged $10 billion to fight climate change with $1 billion towards conservation: The Bezos Earth Fund pledged $1 billion to conserve and protect vulnerable areas of the world, focusing initially on the Congo Basin, the tropical Andes, and the tropical Pacific Ocean.
.@JeffBezos, this donation is helpful, but @Amazon still earns $4.5B a week and emits tens of millions of metric tons of CO2 annually– more than Switzerland. Next, use your tremendous influence to #LobbyforClimate and continue to address those emissions.https://t.co/3cPD76j5IH https://t.co/mhG6fAulvw
— Lobby For Climate (@LobbyForClimate) September 29, 2021
Climate Week NYC is a great event for the world to come together and share ideas on how to address the international threat of climate change. As more ideas are shared on the issue, yet more ideas emerge and inspire people to do more to fight climate change, raising our hopes that as an international community we may yet achieve net-zero in time to avoid the worst.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: NYC . Featured Photo Credit: Tom Gainor