Looking Back on a Huge Week for Climate Progress
Last week was a very eventful and important one for ecoAmerica and the climate movement.
It started off on Sunday, September 20, with the Climate Health Summit in Washington, D.C. This event, held by Climate for Health, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and a number of other prominent health organizations, brought together climate and health leaders from around the country to share research and knowledge and develop strategies for promoting climate solutions.
On Monday, September 21, Climate Week NYC kicked off, featuring some 120 events including conferences, debates, Twitter chats, and panel discussions all aimed at driving climate action. One of the biggest things to come out of Climate Week NYC this year was the announcement by nine Fortune 500 companies that they would be committing to using 100 percent clean energy.
Also last week, Pope Francis made his first trip to the U.S. In inspiring speeches before the White House, Congress, and the U.N., he made a powerful moral plea for climate action and working together for the common good.
We were fortunate enough to watch the pope arrive for a midday prayer service on Wednesday at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, which is directly across the street from ecoAmerica’s D.C. office.
Thursday morning, as the pope was addressing Congress, hundreds gathered on the National Mall for the Moral Action on Climate Justice rally. That evening, Blessed Tomorrow, along with other prominent faith groups, honored the pope’s visit with a Coming Together in Faith Celebration at Washington National Cathedral. Friday was our Coming Together Religious Leadership Convening + Discussion, where 150 national religious and climate leaders gathered to watch a live stream of the Pope’s U.N. address and collaborate on ways to activate and support climate solutions.
Friday also saw the opening of the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations. Following the pope’s stirring address, the U.N. formally adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals intended to eliminate global hunger and poverty while promoting economic growth. Climate action, abundant clean energy, resilient infrastructure, and sustainable use of resources are among the goals.
And last but not least, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced Friday that China would be adopting a nationwide cap-and-trade program – the world’s largest. This move could take away one of Congress’ last excuses against climate action.
With such a wealth of inspiration, progress, and collective determination, we have more and more reasons to feel confident in the success of the Paris climate conference in December. Let’s keep this momentum going.