Peace Boat US recently participated in Climate Week NYC, the biggest climate summit of 2020, taking place during the United Nations General Assembly. As part of our campaign for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Peace Boat US produced a series of events between September 21 and 30 in collaboration with partners including the organization SIMA Social Impact Media Awards. These events shed light on how the world could transition to a net-zero climate future, and explored various ways to create a more sustainable world.
The events for Climate Week NYC were organized in ten themes: Clean Energy Transition, Transport & Infrastructure, Industry & Built Environment, Finance, Investment & Jobs, Food & Land Use, Nature & Science, US & International Policy, Youth, Public Mobilization & Justice, Sustainable Travel & Tourism, and Climate Impacts & Adaptation.
Throughout the week, Peace Boat US participated in four main events, starting with a webinar titled, “Climate Resiliency in Big Ocean States”, organized by Oceanic Global on September 24. This event focused on how the tourism and hospitality sector can drive efforts to achieve coastal resiliency in island nations (Big Ocean States). Stakeholders from the private sector, government, community organizations and the next generation of ocean leaders convened to discuss the need to engage all voices and highlight scalable climate solutions in place globally including those identified through The Oceanic Standard (TOS) program. The session started with keynote addresses from Kate Brown, Executive Director of Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and Nikola Simpson, Head of Blue Economy Accelerator Lab at UNDP Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean, followed by breakout sessions for Industry Leadership, Community Organizing, and Youth Leadership. Guest speakers including Emilie McGlone of Peace Boat US, and members of the Oceanic Global team facilitated each of the discussion sessions. Themes featured in the webinar included the strong connection between the ocean and climate change, recognizing coastal communities in SIDS as a powerful lynch pin for climate action, and highlighting both plastic pollution and carbon emissions as outputs from the fossil fuel industry, requiring solutions to address a shared root cause.
Another key event organized by the ocean community was the Marketplace of the Future: A World’s Fair of Sustainability, on September 25. In this one day virtual fair, people gathered to learn important information related to oceans, climate action, and sustainable living. This world fair included information on Food & Agriculture, Clothing & Fashion, Circular Economies, Ocean Restoration, Energy, Future Meets Past, Carbon, Greener Cities, and Environmental Social Justice. Conducted in two stages, participants were free to join sessions with speakers from organizations such as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, Carbon Calories, and the Earth Institute. Peace Boat US organized an informational booth at the fair, inviting participants to learn more about our programs for ocean conservation and the SDGs through short films and via video chat at the booth.
Peace Boat US also participated as a speaker in the Youth Innovation Masterminds virtual reality event which was part of the YOUNGA Forum on September 28, together with partners from Restore Coral in Mexico and the Overview Collective. This event was geared towards youth delegates, based on live events which connected them directly to eminent speakers in an intimate immersive setting. In this forum, speakers and delegates discussed global challenges, co-created solutions and exchanged ideas. The event aimed to inspire youth from around the world to become young changemakers.
Climate Week culminated on September 30 with the Climate Cinema – a virtual film festival for impact. Organized by Peace Boat US, this event was a full-day experience of theater, short films, documentaries and immersive technology which highlighted innovative solutions for the environment. The Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA) provided the virtual theater necessary to showcase thirty-nine inspiring films. Highlights showcased included Against The Tide: a Journey for Climate Hope from Peace Boat, Ghost Fleet, The Wetland, Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors, Sea Walls: Artists For Oceans from the PangeaSeed Foundation, Terra Nova by composer Christophe Chagnard, UNDP’s Equator Prize top 5 films and many more. In addition to screening these films, Peace Boat US organized interviews with producers of the films, with behind the scenes discussions about the impacts of the films on environmental action. All movies highlighted the efforts of community leaders, activists and youth in their endeavors to create a greener planet. The Climate Cinema contributed to the wave of dialogue and change through film, and also served as a fundraiser for Peace Boat US work to raise awareness about important global issues.
Peace Boat US was excited to participate in such a large-scale event with a global reach, and to work with esteemed speakers and passionate youth from around the world. From ocean conservation to reducing carbon emissions, plastic pollution to sustainable fishing, Peace Boat US raised awareness of various major environmental concerns which directly impact the climate. As an international organization committed to promoting the Sustainable Development Goals, along with educating people about various issues which plague the planet, Climate Week NYC was an exciting opportunity to join partners from around the world in a united voice for climate action.