The NYC Climate Week 2022, run by Climate Group, returned in person after a three-year hiatus. The theme this year focused on Getting It Done. Businesses, governments, and experts within the environmental sector talked about huge commitments towards decarbonization – intending to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and become net zero by 2050.
The week consisted of over 500 specialized events that were centered around ten themes; Built Environment, Energy, Environmental Justice, Transport, Finance, Sustainable Living, Nature, Policy, Industry, and Food. CEO Helen Clarkson urged that climate action must be at the forefront of geo-political agendas and stated “a commitment is the first step you must take, not the last.” Some highlights that shine a light on progression include:
National Grid committed to becoming fossil fuel free by 2050. In doing so, they are transforming Long Island into a clean energy hub. The plan incorporates four elements which include, providing solar and offshore wind energy, creating clean hydrogen to fuel power plants and heat homes, implementing battery storage to store wind and solar energy, and modernizing the transmission networks. The offshore wind projects will power over one million homes, and the clean power plants will bring $1 million and hundreds of jobs to Riverhead, NY.
Climate Group launched EV100+ to phase out the world’s heaviest and most polluting vehicles. Medium- to heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV) represent 4% of all vehicles on the road but account for 40% of emissions and ⅓ of fuel. Five global businesses agreed to transition their fleets to combat this and achieve zero emissions by 2040.
The Governor of California highlighted his recent leadership initiatives described as “the nation’s most aggressive climate measures in history.” The California Climate Commitment is a $54 billion investment that aims to advance economic opportunity and environmental justice across the state. California will experience; 4 million new jobs, a 60% decrease in air pollution, a 91% decrease in oil consumption, a 92% decrease in fossil fuel use in buildings and transportation, and a 94% decrease in refinery pollution. Other states may be influenced to adopt similar initiatives.
Doconomy launched “The 2030 Forecast” in Time Square. For the first time, the public can see the nation’s carbon emissions in real-time. The goal of this climate literacy project is to track the progress of reducing emissions to align with the objectives within the Paris Agreement.
Adam McKay, director of the climate change satire movie “Don’t Look Up”, donated $4 million to the Climate Emergency Fund. The CEF helps fund organizations that are involved in environmental activism. Since 2019, CEF has funded 91 organizations, trained 22,000 activists, and mobilized over 1 million activities. Adam’s donation will further its mission by assisting countless more organizations in their fight for climate action.
The week carried high energy and enthusiasm from individuals spanning PepsiCo, Google, Climate Cardinals, the UK government, state legislatures, and countless local organizations. Climate Group emphasized urgency, accountability, and environmental justice to show that actions must be taken now, across all sectors, and include all people. Overall, the ambitious announcements from speakers sparked hope and inspiration that policy, collaboration, and innovation will push this country forward to better address the adverse effects of climate change.