Climate Week Brings Thousands Together for Clean Innovation

Climate Week NYºC 2010 opened today with more than 2,000 people expected to attend the events and presentations that are focused on bringing together the world's most influential government and business leaders to discuss what it will take to unlock the financing needed to ignite a clean industrial revolution.

The Climate Group and partners that include the United Nations, the city of New York and founding sponsor Swiss Re kicked off Climate Week with an opening ceremony at the New York Public Library that drew about 300 people. (Analyses, reports and other Climate Week coverage is available at GreenBiz.com/ClimateWeek2010.)

Throughout the week international leaders in government, business and the nonprofit world will headline discussions on how best to capitalize on the progress made by cities, states, regions and corporations around the world since Climate Week NYC last year.Climate Week Inset

Participants include Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Prince Albert II of Monaco; George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC; and Alan Salzman, CEO and managing partner of VantagePoint Venture Partners.

Topics will include risk transfer and adaptation in developing economies, the launch of the EV20 alliance -- a group focused on speeding the deployment of electric vehicles -- and policies to stimulate the growth of emerging clean technologies.

"Climate Week NYºC 2010 provides an essential global platform to discuss the fundamental changes needed in the way we produce and consume energy," said Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group. "Cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 will require investment of US$45 trillion. Financing of this magnitude will require the biggest public-private partnership of all time but will unlock a clean industrial revolution that will be good for the economy, good for jobs and good for the environment."

Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasized that it was important for government to lead this dialogue with business on clean energy partnerships. "Government and business everywhere need to work together in public-private partnerships to cut emissions and be on the forefront of clean energy and clean air," Schwarzenegger said. "Much like we in California did by passing the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), those taking part in Climate Week NYC are also taking this vital step to help unlock the critical finances, technologies and policies we need to secure new jobs and future economic growth."

The backdrop for Climate Week NYºC is once again the annual UN General Assembly, where the focus will be on progress made towards the Millennium Development Goals. Not surprisingly, addressing climate change underscores several of the most important MDG goals including global partnership, ending poverty, environmental sustainability and clean energy access for all.

This year's Climate Week NYºC activities, anchored by a series of high-level meetings, panel discussions and cultural events, will establish a context for discussions at the 2010 UN Climate Change Conference (COP16) in Cancun, Mexico later this year.

Next Page: The EV 20 Initiative and other Climate Week highlights.