Sep 28 2022 - Seattle, WA, USA

Here’s What You Missed at Climate Week NYC 2022

“Together is the only way forward” decal on window outside of The Climate Pledge summit at Climate Week New York.

By The Climate Pledge Team

Last week, Pledge signatories from across the globe joined business and government leaders at the annual Climate Week conference in New York City to discuss how we go further, faster.

Every year international leaders from business, government, and civil society congregate in New York City for a week-long conference to spotlight global climate action—and on the heels of a historic climate bill (the recently passed U.S. Inflation Reduction Act) urgency with a dash of optimism pervaded the air in every session.

Here’s your breakdown of Climate Week’s noteworthy moments, including our first ever Climate Pledge Summit:

Monday: A Collective Call for Climate Action

We kicked off climate week with a social media takeover involving over 70 signatories across multiple platforms encouraging ambitious climate action with one key message: be the planet’s turning point. Alongside this demonstration of collective commitment, signatories shared concrete actions their businesses are taking to meet the Pledge and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Water.org Makes a Splash at The Climate Pledge Leaders’ Reception

Amazon’s Kara Hurst (Vice President of Worldwide Sustainability), Sally Fouts (Head of the Climate Pledge), Gary White, and Matt Damon (Co-founders of Water.org and WaterEquity) at the 2022 Climate Week NYC Leaders’ Reception.
Amazon’s Kara Hurst, Sally Fouts, Gary White, and Matt Damon at the 2022 Climate Week NYC Leaders’ Reception.

At the Climate Week NYC Leaders’ Reception, Amazon VP of Sustainability, Kara Hurst announced a partnership with Water.org to help provide access to safe water for 100 million people. This $10M financial announcement was followed days later by a panel discussion at The Climate Pledge Summit with Adam Selipsky (CEO, Amazon Web Services), Gary White (CEO & Co-Founder, Water.org and WaterEquity), and Matt Damon (Co-Founder, Water.org) focusing on the importance of the private sector in providing access to clean water.

Wednesday: Amazon Accelerates Renewable Energy Commitments with 71 New Projects

Amazon announced the expansion of its renewable energy investments with 71 new projects—379 total—further solidifying its place as the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world. Included in the announcement is Amazon’s first renewable energy project in South America—a solar farm in Brazil—and its first solar farms in India and Poland. 

Thursday: Signatories Convene at First Ever Climate Pledge Summit

On September 22nd, The Climate Pledge hosted our first in-person signatory experience, The Climate Pledge Summit. The day-long event brought together senior executives from our signatories for a series of panel discussions addressing Pledge progress, future focus areas, and opportunities for joint action.

In addition to panel discussions, select Climate Pledge signatories and Climate Fund recipients gave Summit attendees a sneak-peek of their latest innovations and case studies through interactive exhibits. The displays allowed audience members to experience Pledge signatory innovations on a tangible level.

Grace Zuncic and Annie Agle on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.
Grace Zuncic and Annie Agle on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.

Carbon Neutrality and Conscious Capitalism

Grace Zuncic (Chief People and Culture Officer, Cotopaxi) and Annie Agle (Senior Director of Impact and Sustainability, Cotopaxi) discussed how newly-announced signatory, Cotopaxi, reached carbon neutrality through problem solving and clear goal setting.

A Cotopaxi exclusive Del Día bag – their most popular sustainably sourced product. Cotopaxi sources non-virgin and alternative materials for their products and ensures, rights are maintained throughout their supply chain.
A Cotopaxi exclusive Del Día bag – their most popular sustainably sourced product.

Environmental Justice and Corporate Responsibility

Van Jones (co-founder, Dream.org) accompanied panelists Halla Tomasdottir (CEO and Chief Change Catalyst, BTeam) and Gilbert Campbell (CEO, Volt Energy) on stage for a conversation about the importance of a ‘just transition,’ and how businesses can start to incorporate environmental justice into their sustainability plans.

Van Jones, Halla Tomasdottir, and Gilbert Campbell on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.
Van Jones, Halla Tomasdottir, and Gilbert Campbell on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.
Lee Kindberg and Melissa Peterson on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.
Lee Kindberg and Melissa Peterson on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.

Decarbonizing Ocean Shipping

Lee Kindberg (Head of Environment and Sustainability, Maersk) and Melissa Peterson (Clean Energy executive, Ørsted) discussed how their collaboration to launch low carbon ocean shipping services at scale aims to reduce the 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions associated with ocean shipping.

Maersk and Ørsted debuted models at scale to show the magnitude of the ships and wind turbines alongside international monuments like the Empire State Building and the Eifel Tower.
Maersk and Ørsted debuted models at scale to show the magnitude of the ships and wind turbines

For the Health of People and Planet

Celebrity chef Tanya Holland (as seen on Bravo TV’s Top Chef) took the stage with Peter McGuinness (CEO, Impossible Foods) for a conversation about the global food system and its ability to enable climate change solutions.

Tanya Holland and Peter McGuinness on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.
Tanya Holland and Peter McGuinness on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.

Driving Corporate Action

Dara Khosrowshahi (CEO, Uber) and Jackie Davalos (Tech Reporter, Bloomberg) shed light on Uber’s commitment to go fully electric by 2030 and advocated for transparency in emission reporting.

Dara Khosrowashahi and Jackie Davalos on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.
Dara Khosrowashahi and Jackie Davalos on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.

Our Path Forward

Christiana Figueres (co-founder of The Climate Pledge and Global Optimism) addressed the crowd with an inspiring (and motivating) lecture about the current state of the climate crisis, what’s at stake for humanity, and the future we’re helping create by taking ambitious climate action.

Christiana Figueres on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.
Christiana Figueres on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.

Future of Flight

Blain Newton (Chief Operating Officer, BETA Technologies) took attendees on a journey through BETA Technologies’ first cross-country mission of their fully-electric, zero-emission aircraft.

Beta VR Flight Simulator and STEM engine display spotlight electric technology. Beta, a recent recipient of the Climate Pledge Fund, is reshaping air transportation with its fully-electric, zero-emission aircraft.
Beta VR Flight Simulator and STEM engine display spotlight electric technology.

The Pivot from Voluntary to Mandatory

Mindy Lubber (President and CEO, Ceres) and Kristen Sullivan (Partner, Deloitte) discussed current policy initiatives in the United States and Europe, highlighting key themes and considerations for signatories.

Mindy Lubber and Kristen Sullivan on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.
Mindy Lubber and Kristen Sullivan on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.

Water is the Way

Adam Selipsky, Matt Damon, and Gary White joined Al Roker (co-host of the Today Show) to discuss the power of clean drinking water, and how businesses can come together to make real change.

Adam Selipsky, Matt Damon, and Gary White on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.
Adam Selipsky, Matt Damon, and Gary White on stage at The Climate Pledge Summit.