10 Events to Attend This Climate Week NYC

A view of New York City at dusk during Climate Week NYC 2021
A view of New York City during the Climate Week NYC 2021 cocktail reception at Peak at Hudson Yards on Sept. 20, 2021. Luiz C. Ribeiro for the Climate Group
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Starting Monday, Climate Week NYC is launching again for its first fully in-person program since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted lives across the world more than two years ago. 

2022’s week, which runs from September 19 to 25 in conjunction with the UN General Assembly, will build on the momentum of last year with the same theme of “Getting It Done.” While Climate Week 2021 was the most ambitious and well-covered to date and drew important commitments from key stakeholders, more needs to be promised and accomplished in order to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050.

“Climate Week NYC 2022 will reflect on the successes [of] 2021, but more importantly, it will explore and confront where we have fallen short,” the Climate Group’s North American communications manager Rhiannon Williams told EcoWatch in an email. “As nation states come together later in the year for COP27, Climate Week NYC will address where collectively and individually business and government need to increase ambition. And bring those decision makers together to discuss how we do it.”

The Climate Group has been organizing Climate Week NYC for a total of 14 years in order to gather political, business and environmental leaders as they travel to New York for the annual UN gathering there. Part of this year’s goal is to help hold leaders accountable as they turn commitments into action. 

“Once a business or government has made a commitment, it can feel like the hard work is over for the internal champions that pushed it through. But the opposite is true,” Williams said. “A climate commitment is the beginning of a story, not the end.”

The pandemic forced the week online for all-virtual programming in 2020 and the Climate Group put together a hybrid program in 2021, but Williams said it was important for the key players to meet face-to-face once again this year.

“Events such as Climate Week NYC punctuate the year, bring people together and provide deadlines to work towards,” Williams said. “They also keep the climate crisis firmly on the agenda and help hold decision makers to their commitments. In-person events can also inspire new commitments, providing space for people to share the ideas, insights and innovation we need to keep driving climate action forward.”

That said, the week’s organizers have learned from the experience of livestreaming the event last year and plan to keep offering this for certain events this year and into the future in order to reach as many people as possible. 

So here’s how to participate in Climate Week NYC 2022 whether you can make it to New York or not. 

Virtual Participation 

Climate Group is bringing together government, business and civil society leaders to discuss the biggest issues in climate during both the Opening Ceremony and something called the Hub Live. The Opening Ceremony takes place on Monday, September 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time and consists of three main sessions — “Climate in the geopolitical context of today,” “The cold truths for a warming world: what’s stopping us from ‘Getting it Done’?” and “Putting equity back into our economy: making the green economy work for everyone.” 

The Hub Live will run Tuesday, September 20 and Wednesday, September 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern, and you can tune in to watch more than 1,000 decision makers discuss how to “Get It Done.” 

To register for the livestreams, sign up here: https://www.climateweeknyc.org/livestream-registration

Themed Events

There are also more than 500 events — both in-person and online — organized in conjunction with Climate Week NYC. This year, the events are gathered around 10 main themes: Built Environment, Energy, Environmental Justice, Transport, Finance, Sustainable Living, Nature, Policy, Industry and Food. 

The themes were inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Williams said. The organizers then considered which of these goals they could influence most in their New York City setting. 

“We have been building on action in these areas every year, and working hard to engage local stakeholders in each theme in the week,” Williams said. “For example, this year our advertising campaign around the city highlighted local environmental justice groups like Riders Alliance, WeAct and BlocPower.”

EcoWatch has highlighted 10 events you can attend for each of the 10 main themes, but there is much more to chose from. You can also check out the full calendar of events here: https://www.climateweeknyc.org/event-search

1. Built Environment – Climate Week 2022 at NYBG: The New York Botanical Garden is organizing a whole slew of remote and in-person activities and events focused around the role that plants can play in solving the climate crisis. This includes The Bond of Live Things Everywhere, a blend of Black poetry and performance curated by poet and scholar Joshua Bennett that incorporates the nature of the Mitsubishi Wild Wetland Trail and runs from September 17 to November 6. Multi-Day; Register here: https://www.nybg.org/event/climate-week-2022/

2. Energy – G20 Global Action on Renewables: This webinar will present renewable electricity initiative RE100’s findings on how far the renewable energy transition has advanced in G20 countries and who needs to pick up the slack. Tuesday, September 20, 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Eastern; register here: https://www2.theclimategroup.org/l/717413/2022-09-07/jt198

3. Environmental Justice – A Just Transition = Indigenous Self-Determination: This event from Securing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the Green Economy (SIRGE) Coalition and A Growing Culture will examine how to transition to renewable energy without stepping on the rights of Indigenous people in the supply chains of new technologies. Both in-person and online, it will also feature snacks and performances by Pavel Sulyandziga Jr. (Udege). Tuesday, September 20, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Eastern; Register here:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScZxUGBZ3v2ERw6FKSQ1FGVmROSCwHzti5va65O0ZnRI666lA/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0

4. Transportation – Inspiring the Adoption of of Sustainable Mobility – Lucid Air Ride & Drives: Ever wondered what it’s like to drive an electric vehicle? Car company Lucid is offering people an opportunity to test drive its new Lucid Air car. You need to be at least 21 years old with a proper license to drive, but younger people can ride along. Wednesday, September 21 to Friday, September 23; Register here: https://luciddrivingexperience.com/nycclimateweek

5. Finance – You Can’t Fix What You Can’t Measure: S&P Global Sustainable1 will present an in-person panel of experts to discuss how to actually turn corporate, governmental and financial climate commitments into reality. Wednesday, September 21, 12:30-6:30 p.m. Eastern; Register here: https://events.spglobal.com/event/bc170867-ebf3-423d-a828-2c379780a571/summary?RefId=Nest&rt=suGjbadFj0uCGwHKysKQtQ

6. Sustainable Living – Mindfulness in the Face of Eco-Anxiety and Climate Grief: Spending a week immersed in the climate crisis can be overwhelming. That’s why the Tzu Chi center is hosting a session to help you process these emotions in a healthy way by bringing in three mindfulness practitioners to lead yoga, meditation and group therapy. Wednesday, September 21, 7-8:30 p.m. Eastern; Register here: https://tzuchicenter.org/events/mindfulness-in-the-face-of-eco-anxiety-and-climate-grief

7. Nature – Kitchen Crafting with The Local Alchemist  x NYC Climate Week: This free in-person workshop hosted by the Mason Jar will teach you how to reuse kitchen waste in a tasty way by making your own infused oils and vinegars. Thursday, September 22, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Eastern; Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kitchen-crafting-with-the-local-alchemist-x-nyc-climate-week-tickets-415477453247

8. Policy – Fridays for Future NYC Global Climate Strike: Join young people as they demand that President Joe Biden declare a climate emergency, at a march from Foley Square to Battery Park. Friday, September 23, 2-4:30 p.m. Eastern; Register here: https://fridaysforfutureusa.org/sept-23/

9. Industry – Confronting Plastics: A Strategic Ethical Response: The petrochemical industry considers plastics their next growth market, but their impact on human health and the planet is devastating. This in-person and online event will bring experts and activists together with ethicists and theologians to discuss how the long life of plastics harms humans and the environment. Saturday, September 24, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern; Register here: https://tzuchicenter.org/events/confronting-plastics-a-strategic-ethical-response

10. Food – Very Veggie Food Festival: Come celebrate the end of Climate Week NYC by enjoying vendors from around New York City who cook up tasty vegan and vegetarian food. The vendors will set up shop at the main level of the Tzu Chi Center for Compassionate Relief. Sunday, September 25, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Eastern.

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