09 Sep Climate Week NYC: 10 Themes and Why They’re So Important
By Karly Pulido, Senior Consultant, CvCC
September is here and Climate Week NYC is just around the corner. Climate Week NYC will take place from September 21- 27. This year’s online digital platform will give attendees various opportunities to learn and network with esteemed professionals in the climate arena. This year’s event will focus on rebuilding post COVID-19.
With the hundreds of events being hosted, all events are categorized into 10 themes. All ten themes are crucial to solving the climate crisis.
- Clean Energy Transition
What is it? This theme will dive into the global collaborations that are necessary to attain net zero emissions by 2040. The Clean Energy Transition Program will include sessions in renewable energy, the shift from fossil fuels, and decarbonization.
Why is it important? To combat climate change, alternative energy sources outside of fossil fuels are necessary. To ensure energy security, fuel diversification is also needed. Relying on fossil fuels alone will not secure an energy dependent future. Renewable energy will never “run out”, in its nature, it will continue to renew itself and supply for future populations. To ensure a healthy and energy secure future, global collaborations and policies are necessary. These collaborations will ensure that all global populations have equal access to energy and ensure that is distributed fairly.
- Transport and Infrastructure
What is it? This program will observe the possible solutions in transforming the transportation sector. Most importantly this program will focus on electrification and how to develop the necessary infrastructure for incorporating electric vehicles into cities around the world.
Why is it important? Traditionally automobiles have ran on over exhausted fossil fuels that lead to air pollution and reduce air quality. In addition, the transport sector accounts for 30% of global emissions. By transforming our transportation industry and providing the necessary infrastructure to do so, cities can dramatically improve their air quality and reduce emissions.
- Industry and the Built Environment
What is it? This program focuses on industries that are difficult to evaluate and are often placed on “the back burner”. Some of the topics that will be included are heavy industry steel and cement.
Why is it important? Understanding the impacts of the materials that go into the construction of a building are critically important. Materials such as steel and cement are the foundation of many buildings in the United States, however, they have embodied carbon that contribute greatly to climate change. This program is necessary as it requires industry leaders to think about buildings and their respective industries in a life-cycle approach.
- Finance, Investment and Jobs
What is it? A theme focused on financial opportunities to combat climate change and how we can invest in sustainable options for the future.
Why is it Important? To create a change, we need to “green-up” our economy. This means creating green jobs, paying the true price for our carbon emissions, and recovering from the pandemic in a way that invests back into a sustainable economy.
- Food and Land Use
What is it? An in-depth look at how we use our land for agricultural purposes and the types of impacts we can expect to see from over-exhausting our resources. This program will provide attendees with strategies to eat more sustainably and farm more responsibly.
Why is it important? We eat three meals a day and many of us can become disconnected with the agricultural intensive processes that are required for food to arrive on our plate. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), agriculture contributes to about 58% of total anthropogenic emissions. To mitigate climate change, we need to support food companies that do not over exhaust our land and we also need to adopt more sustainable eating habits.
- Nature and Science
What is it? This program helps build a stronger relationship between humans and the natural ecosystem. It will examine topics such as biodiversity, sensitive ecosystems, and conservation.
Why is it Important? When humans begin to look past themselves, they gain a better understanding of their role in this planet. Examining the necessities of one’s self alone will not help fight climate change. But examining the role we play in the greater ecosystem and realizing our power to destroy or repair our natural surroundings and acting upon that, is the greatest impact we can have on our planet.
- US and International Policy
What is it? This theme will focus on policies within United States and International governments that are developed or are trying to be developed to mitigate climate change.
Why is it important? Policy is the axle in which the wheel turns. Without effective policy, enterprises and consumers will be less motivated to act sustainably. An economy-wide market-based approach is needed to fight climate change and governmental policies are the axle in which the wheel turns.
- Youth, Public Mobilization and Justice
What is it? This is a platform for grass root activism and youth groups. Think Greta Thunberg. This theme allows global communities to join forces and engage the public. It will also look at the intersectionality between social and environmental issues.
Why is it important? We all have a voice and if we don’t use it to make a change, a change will never happen. Whether its marches, petitions, or activism groups, policy and law makers need to know that there are people who care. This theme is also important as it looks at the intersectionality between environmental and social issues. These issues often go over-looked and it is time to shine the light on them.
- Sustainable Travel and Tourism
What is it? This will examine the various modes of travel, accommodations, hospitality establishments, and tourist attractions that can play a force in sustainable development. Topics discussed can include green hotels, advances in aviation, and how to sustainably re-open travel and hospitality businesses.
Why is it important? Traveling is inevitable. Whether its for work or vacation it has become a commonality in many American lifestyles. However, traveling long distances especially through aviation is very carbon intensive. Air travel alone accounts for 2.5% of global carbon emissions. In addition, many travelers adopt different habits when they are away from home that also contribute to climate change, such as leaving lights on, wasting food, taking long hot showers, etc. The travel and tourism sector has many challenges that need to be addressed to tackle climate change.
- Climate Impacts and Adaptation
What is it? This theme focuses on building resilient communities that can adapt to climate disasters. Experts will collaborate and talk about ideas that can minimize the negative impacts of climate change in vulnerable communities that are susceptible to flooding, droughts, hurricanes, and other climate change phenomena.
Why is it important? With increasing global temperatures, it is difficult to ignore the signs of climate destruction throughout the world. Extreme weather conditions and natural disasters continue to rise due to climate change. There are millions of people living with these harsh realities every day. As global citizens, we must work together and build stronger cities that can adapt to climate phenomena.