Nearly 500 virtual conferences, more than 100 speakers... Climate Week NYC in New York was the major climate event of the year. We were present at this unprecedented virtual edition, taking place in the context of the pandemic, with the strong ambition to move faster in the face of the climate emergency. In particular, thanks to ENGIE Impact’s LiveHub, hosted in collaboration with The Climate Group, which brings together 250 companies that are committed to the planet. A summary of the week.
The Prince of Wales opened the ceremony and officially launched Climate Week NYC with a keynote speech calling for “swift and immediate action” on climate change.
10 a.m. “How companies are adapting their strategy for a zero-carbon world”
Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group, Marc Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Unilever, Professor Rebecca M Henderson of Harvard Business School, Zhonguo Li Founder and President of LONGI and Mathias Lelièvre CEO of ENGIE Impact came together to talk about how companies are adapting their strategy to face climate change.
Mathias Lelièvre, CEO ENGIE Impact
“The ENGIE model has really evolved over time, so that it also addresses the issue of clients outside our company and supports clients in this same transformation. We have seen considerable changes (...). We have reduced our carbon emissions by 50% over the past four years, disposing of all coal- and oil-related assets to only really reinvest in renewable and clean energies.”
“Climate Week is a crucial time, bringing together world leaders committed to the climate issue for direct and critical discussions around the challenges we face, but it cannot be limited to a simple discussion and each leader must be ready to move on to action.” Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman of ENGIE’s Board of Directors.
Questioned by Mike Pierce, Corporate Partnerships Director of The Climate Group, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, gave a reminder of the key points for taking action.
11.45 a.m. “The role of finance in a green recovery”
Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), explained the importance of the “role of finance in the green recovery”. It means taking action now for this transformation, for three reasons:
“At the IMF, we are providing the analytical underpinning as to why a green recovery is robust and is better for the world we are going to live in.”
9.45 a.m. How governments and businesses are achieving green economic recovery
With Helen Clarkson, CEO The Climate Group, Mathias Lelièvre, CEO ENGIE Impact. Only 30% of businesses are on track to achieve their zero-carbon transition goals. How can they be helped to assess every aspect of their activity and reinvent their way of working, with sustainability as a common thread? This is a unique moment to build a zero-carbon road map.
For the first time, the inaugural RE100 Leadership Awards, presented in partnership with ENGIE North America, recognise member companies that have gone “above and beyond” in the transition to 100% renewable electricity.
For these inaugural awards, there were six winners: Chanel, Apple, Iron Mountain, Novo Nordisk, Salesforce Schneider Electric and TSMC
“As we close out 2020 over the next few months, the renewable energy industry is poised to play a leadership role in the dual crises of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.”
2 p.m. “Presentation of the results of a global survey on obstacles and levers for success”
While only 45% of business leaders see the sustainability of their activity as a high or top priority today, 75% believe it will be in five years. Over 75% believe that committing their business to a decarbonisation strategy will be a competitive advantage. But less than 13% believe today that their initiatives have been successful.
How can these companies be supported in their move from ambition to action on a global scale?
On this last day, many topics came under discussion:
In these uncertain times and in the wake of green recovery, Climate Week brought together world leaders committed to the climate. It is now time to act!