- Colmena Lab
Tips to understand the Climate Week NYC
From September 19 to 25, International organizations, business and government representatives, and civil society will meet to promote global climate action.
From September, 19 to 25, 2022, the fourteenth Climate Week NYC edition will be held in the framework of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly that began on September 12 and will end on September 27. This event is hosted by the Climate Group in collaboration with the UN, the COP27 Presidency, and the City of New York in a live event, with some online spaces.
The climate summit, having Getting it done as its slogan for this year, will be held at a time when the climate emergency is intensifying and the measures implemented by the UN parties are insufficient, contrary to what science demands, as indicated in the 'United in Science' report, presented last week.
According to this multi-agency study led by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), we are moving in the wrong direction, and unless we take more aggressive action, the physical and socio-economic impacts of climate change will become increasingly devastating. Greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations continue to rise and reach new highs. After a temporary decline due to confinement, fossil fuel emission rates now exceed pre-pandemic levels. The ambitious emission reduction pledges for 2030 need to be seven times higher in order to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C set in the Paris Agreement.
"Floods, droughts, heat waves, extreme storms and forest fires are getting even worse, breaking records with alarming frequency. Heat waves in Europe. Severe floods in Pakistan. Prolonged and intense droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States. There is nothing natural about the new magnitude of these disasters. This is the price to be paid for humanity's addiction to fossil fuels. The report shows that the impacts of climate change are moving into uncharted territory of destruction. Yet every year we insist on doubling down on this addiction to fossil fuels, even as the symptoms are rapidly worsening," said Guterres.
To this end, this edition of Climate Week in New York is transcendental, as it will focus on the fulfillment of climate objectives and the need to increase the commitments made by governments, companies, civil organizations and international cooperation organizations prior to COP27.
WHO WILL ATTEND?
The opening ceremony on September 19 will be an opportunity for heads of state, government officials, CEOs and civil society representatives to share their global perspective on climate change and their respective actions.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will speak at the opening.
Climate, energy, food and global security are now more interconnected than ever before. This year's events have exposed the fragility of our systems and the dangers posed by our short-term decision making when facing competing and connected global challenges. Asking how we address these challenges together is one of the most important questions of our time. Yet there will be other questions that will seek answers at this summit:
What bold decisions are needed now to deliver on the promise of peace, prosperity and the Paris Agreement? How do we seize the moment to drive climate action? How do we prevent global security and energy concerns from being used against net zero transition? How do we address the interconnected risks of conflict, energy and food security? What shared solutions are available today?
TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED
The top 10 topics that will be addressed at more than 500 events both in New York and around the world during this week are: built environment, energy, environmental justice, transportation, finance, sustainable life, nature, policies, industry and food.
Buildings account for nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions and one-third of global energy demand, making it crucial to target net-zero buildings powered by renewable energy. This program explores the impact of buildings and infrastructure on climate. These hard-to-reduce sectors pose the greatest challenge, but also the greatest opportunity, ensuring this program to address these challenging industries.
It is responsible for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, and energy is the world's most polluting sector. To halve global emissions by the next decade, the necessary measures and actions must be taken. This program unites policy and industry experts for a global collaboration in pursuit of a net zero future through a fair transition. It is time to include renewable energy, fair and equitable transition, clean energy policies, decarbonization, green economic agendas and zero emissions commitments.
Racial and socioeconomic justice is critical to climate action all around. Privilege, power and oppression play an integral role in deciding who is most affected by the climate crisis: Indigenous Peoples and Black communities, as well as migrants. This is a space for amplifying the voices and stories of those who bear the worst of climate impacts, but left out of decision making. This means learning and letting the most vulnerable communities lead, and focusing environmental justice in all climate conversations. It involves a debate about Indigenous Peoples' traditional knowledge and best practices, climate impacts, and climate refugees.
The transportation sector is the fastest growing contributor to climate change, accounting for a quarter (23%) of global emissions. Electrifying transportation systems are part of initiatives to combat climate change and improve air quality. We must not forget that the raw materials for electric cars come from the exploitation of mines that also affect the planet. We must explore other transportation methods and models that focus on the collective and local economies, to avoid moving food from one continent to another. This is the only way to achieve clean and efficient systems. This program shows how we can scale innovation to build a cleaner, zero net emissions future. This dialogue includes, but is not limited to, electric vehicles, zero emission vehicles, public transportation, air pollution and air quality and health impacts.
Shifting to a low-carbon economy can generate economic momentum and create millions of jobs, which is more important now than ever as countries and cities work to rebuild in the wake of the global pandemic. This program focuses on financial opportunities for identifying and mitigating climate risks as part of a green recovery. It provides a lens to explore initiatives and roadmaps for the public and private financial sector to address climate change and discuss sustainable development. In fact, climate finance, investment, employment opportunities and green economic recovery will be discussed.
The individual's collective action and lifestyle changes can be a dynamic part of climate action. From choosing to travel with a sustainable and community-based tourism perspective, looking for slow fashion alternatives and learning about the ecological impacts of what we use, to dining at low-waste restaurants, we can all be part of the solution, without forgetting that we are only a fragment of the change and that large companies are responsible for large-scale pollution. This space gathers a diverse range of events to inspire everyone to be an ally of our planet and shares tips on how our daily lives can be transformative for ourselves and the environment. Topics include sustainable and waste-free living, sustainable food, food waste, circular economy and youth mobilization.
From oceans to forests, nature plays an essential role in the well-being and support for all species. Here, we address the importance of preserving and restoring the Earth's ecosystems and biodiversity. The goal is to build a deeper connection between humans and nature and to analyze our role toward building a better natural world for the future. We will discuss ecosystems, oceans, ecological conservation, weather patterns, best Indigenous practices, species conservation (plants and animals) and soil quality.
Political action is imperative to accelerate and support climate action. Political leverages provide the framework to influence companies, states and individuals to act on climate action and accelerate the transition to zero net emissions. From electric vehicle tax credits, forest and indigenous territory conservation, anti-extractivist and wealth sharing policies, to national manufacturing laws, this program considers policy at all levels: local, state and international.
Concrete and steel manufacturing are currently some of the largest emitters of carbon emissions globally, followed by plastics and aluminum. The space provides an opportunity to discuss how these industries can reduce industrial energy consumption and improve efficiency. A circular economy can reduce CO2 emissions from these important industrial sectors, such as plastics, steel, aluminum and cement, by 40% globally.
The world' s food system currently contributes 21-37% of total GHG emissions. Terrestrial ecosystems and regenerative strategies are fundamental to the climate conversation. We will assess the ways in which we can reduce GHG emissions from food production and agriculture, and focus on sustainable food, land restoration and more. Topics include agriculture, agroforestry and forestry, food travel, food waste, regenerative agriculture, Indigenous land management, carbon sequestration, climate-friendly diets, land restoration, conservation and healthy soils.
After Climate Week NYC was held virtually in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this edition expects the physical participation of thousands of people to contribute to the fulfillment of climate goals and the need to increase the commitments made by companies, governments and organizations.
As we head towards COP27, to be held in November in Egypt, we have reached a critical time for climate action, with most countries' commitments to reduce their emissions falling short of the targets set out in the Paris Agreement. Moreover, the ravages of the health pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine have diverted the attention required to address the climate crisis and have caused global inflation.