There is a building sense of urgency among leading businesses, public figures, and concerned citizens as the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (COP21) approaches.
In December, over 190 government representatives will gather in Paris to discuss a new agreement on climate change. The message to them is clear: We need bold action.
Diverse groups are expressing a shared desire for a more rapid and ambitious plan to achieve a low-carbon economy, and that there is a business case for doing so. In the US, companies have pledged billions of dollars for climate action, President Obama’s administration is committing millions to the Clean Power Plan, and several state governments have set ambitious emissions-reduction targets alongside other subnational governments.
In a call on Tuesday, Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said he expects the organization’s upcoming Climate Week NYC 2015 to “play a key role in the build up to Paris by calling for that transition to a low-carbon economy to be accelerated on the back of real economic and business benefits.” He added, “The irreversible and irresistible conversion to a low-carbon economy is what Climate Week, Paris and everything that happens beyond, is all about.”
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Climate Week NYC is a series of events from September 21-27, in support of the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Climate Group has received more requests for affiliate events this year than ever before. Last year, 140 affiliate events took place as part of Climate Week.
Leading up to the event, The Climate Group will be publishing a series of exclusive interviews with key figures from around the world on its newly launched digital channel, ClimateTV.
Each day of Climate Week NYC 2015 will have a theme and announcements of sustainability commitments. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Apple’s new headquarters would be the “greenest building on the planet.” The Climate Group continues to leverage relationships with leading businesses such as General Mills and action groups such as We Mean Business to keep companies involved and taking meaningful steps toward a low-carbon economy.
On the subject of Climate Week, General Mills Chairman and CEO Ken Powell said, “Every company, individual and government have a part to play in protecting our planet. Our greenhouse gas emissions goal is an ambitious one, but it is one that we believe is achievable with the support and partnership from equally ambitious partners.”
On September 27, the UN General Assembly will be taking place as part of the unofficial negotiations leading up to COP 21. Climate Week NYC will have a half-day follow-up event on September 28, related to reaching an agreement in Paris.
UNFCCC Spokesperson Nick Nuttal said he remains optimistic about achieving a meaningful outcome in Paris: “Paris is not a five-year business agreement — not a five-year, short-term plan — but is something that will take this world, and its people, businesses and its countries all the way through this century to keep us under that 2 degree centigrade goal.”