The countdown to Climate Week NYC 2015 is well underway, and this year’s events are poised to be bigger than ever.
Organized by leading sustainability nonprofit the Climate Group, Climate Week NYC is the annual international platform for governments, businesses and civil society to collaborate on low-carbon leadership and innovation. This year’s lineup features more than 150 affiliate events all over New York City, ranging from public gatherings in Times Square to panel discussions headed up by organizations like the Ford Foundation, Baker & McKenzie and Columbia University.
With U.N. discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals taking place during Climate Week in New York City and COP21 on everyone’s minds, 2015 is shaping up to be an “important year for the climate,” Eduardo Gonçalves, international communications director for the Climate Group, said in a media briefing last month. So, it’s even more important to make the business case for climate action and a low-carbon society — and both COP delegates and the public will be watching to see which corporate announcements come out of Climate Week.
Climate action: The role of the private sector
In late August, General Mills announced a commitment to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent across its full value chain – from farm to fork to landfill – over the next 10 years. The commitment was calculated using science-based methodologies in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CEO Kendall Powell said during a Climate Week media briefing in August.
The private sector is uniquely poised to innovate when it comes to tackling supply chains and achieving carbon reductions that will help us move the needle, Powell told journalists.
“Companies deal with risk all the time, and we get paid basically to mitigate risks,” Powell said. “So, these are actually muscles that are very well-developed in organizations … We’re very good at piecing together action plans and mitigating risk.”
General Mills is one of 289 companies and investors committed to curb GHGs through the We Mean Business coalition (WMB). Launched at Climate Week NYC 2014, WMB helps businesses and investors rally around climate action. The coalition started big, with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Ikea CEO Peter Agnefjäll issuing public calls-to-action, and it now works with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors.
It also partners with the Climate Group and CDP on the RE100 initiative, in which leading firms commit to using 100 percent renewable energy.
The organization will host a panel at Climate Week, where we can expect climate action announcements from the likes of Procter & Gamble and Walmart, Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business, said during a Climate Week media briefing.
Don’t miss a beat
TriplePundit will be tweeting and reporting all the action from New York City during Climate Week. Keep an eye out for announcements coming out of the U.N. SDG discussions, the U.N. Private Sector Forum, the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative and more.