This article looks into Climate Week 2017. What are the key takeaways from this year’s event and what can we learn for the future.

Climate Week pic

Climate Week took place from 18-24 September 2017. It has been one of the key dates in the international calendar for driving the climate agenda forward since it was launched in 2009. We have come a long way since then.

I would say that it has a good mix of government activity, business representation and NGO representation. Sometimes these events can get pulled too much in one direction but Climate Week manages to find a sweet spot between these three competing agendas.

This year it was centered on the slogan of innovation, jobs & prosperity. I can’t fault this whatsoever, it is very positive and optimistic, whilst also hammering home the idea that this is a business issue as much as it is any other type of issue.

climate slogan

For me, the key takeaways from this year’s event would be the incredible robustness of businesses commitment to tackling climate change. That was really good to see. I have linked some of the best words I came across on this year’s event below.

At Climate Week NYC, business leaders charge forward

The incredible excitement and passion shown by many state, municipal and city leaders was also heart-warming. Climate change is a global issue, but its solutions are profoundly local. These leaders in local areas have the power to change the world.

The third big takeaway for me was the incredible excitement that continues to surround electric vehicles. For more information on this, please visit the link below.

The Climate Group Launches Pioneering Global EV Campaign at Climate Week NYC

Lastly, on the political front, Nicaragua’s decision to join the Paris Climate Agreement was unexpected and momentous. For more on this, please see below.

Nicaragua to join Paris climate deal

In terms of what we can learn for the future, I definitely think there is scope for Climate Week to become more global in scope. Climate Week NYC is meant to be the collaborative space for climate-related events in support of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

But my experience of being denied affiliate status for my events as they were not held in New York was disappointing. Climate change is a global phenomenon that will shape every corner of the earth. I think that a more coordinated, global approach with people encouraged to host their own events under the Climate Week banner would go a long way to raising the profile of climate change at the UN General Assembly. The UN assembly was hijacked by geopolitical manoeuvring; this cannot continue to happen as climate change was conspicuous in its absence from the UN this year. A more global orientation for Climate Week 2018 would address this.

What you need to know

Climate Week 2017 was a success. There were lots of positive takeaways from this year’s event. But a more global focus would allow it to exact leverage from the UN General Assembly that it is designed to coincide with.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. What was your experience of Climate Week 2017?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

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