The unstoppable force for action on climate change is reason to be a Climate Optimist

Reading time: 5 minutes
29 September 2017

Climate Week NYC 2017 brought together global leaders from business and government across New York City from September 18-24 to showcase the unstoppable force for action on climate change. Over 140 official affiliate events were also hosted throughout the week in a powerful show of support for the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In this blog, Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, looks at the key takeaways from this year's summit.

I’ve just returned from my first Climate Week NYC as CEO of The Climate Group, which was hectic, exhilarating, and the source of a lot of renewed optimism and ambition for us as an organization.

This year’s summit was particularly timely. With President Trump’s announcement on the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in June swiftly followed by a season of extreme hurricanes, the climate is firmly in the news.

Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group, participated at the Climate Week NYC 2017 Opening Ceremony

But across Climate Week NYC, September 18-24, 2017 we didn’t dwell on the US federal government. Instead, we focused on the wealth of action taking place.

On the Monday, we launched a report authored by NewClimate Institute and The Climate Group, powered by CDP data, which showed that the commitments from cities and businesses can take the US halfway to meeting its Paris commitment by 2025.

We also launched the Climate Optimist campaign, in partnership with Futerra, which aims to spread the word about climate action and focus on what is happening, rather than the doom and gloom.

The ambition of this campaign is to reach beyond the climate bubble, to those who know climate change is happening but don’t hear about action and solutions, and therefore feel despondent.

We would love you to join us and Opt In (and you can also buy a t-shirt here!).

Clarkson launched the Climate Optimist campaign, in partnership with Futerra, which aims to spread the word about climate action

And then on the Tuesday we launched EV100, our new electric vehicles campaign, the latest in our suite of leading corporate low carbon initiatives. 10 companies were announced at the launch – including Chinese internet giant Baidu, HP, and LeasePlan – all with very different models and motivations for joining.

The commitment looks at either the corporate fleet (both purchased and leased) or charging infrastructure for staff and customers - and in some cases, both. At the event, The Climate Group was also announced as an official partner of Formula E.

The partnership will focus on championing EV100 to global businesses, building on Formula E’s global success in turning technology ambition into successful global sports events.

EV100 was launched at a special event which saw 10 members companies announced

In summary, the week demonstrated bold, ground-breaking action from companies, from the sub-national governments we work with, and many others from across the globe. We think that this amounts to an unstoppable force of action, whatever turns are taken by the White House. That’s reason to feel optimistic. We would like to say thank you again to all our Climate Week NYC 2017 sponsors.

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