September 23rd was an exciting day for me to say the least. The Opening Ceremony of Climate Week 2013 was scheduled for 10.30am. It was also the 5th anniversary of this initiative and the 5th year that Swiss Re was its founding sponsor.
Walking to the event early that Monday morning gave me time to reflect on the engagement. Climate Week NYC started as an idea developed by The Climate Group, the United Nations and Swiss Re to hold an event just 70 days before the potentially game changing international climate negotiations of 2009 in Copenhagen. It was to be the last opportunity to rally support and address the public, business leaders, governments and international media on the need for an agreement to be reached at the meeting in Denmark. Ultimately, the Copenhagen negotiations failed to reach their goal but the value of staging a high profile climate focused event in New York City was established. From being conceived as a one-off event the Climate Week project became an ongoing initiative.
It seemed fitting that on the last day of Climate Week 2013 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published their 5th assessment report on climate change. It confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt that human activities are causing the climate to change and change in a way which will burden our families and businesses to an unacceptable level. As a CEO reminded me at the Opening Ceremony last week: "Swiss Re should be proud that it has consistently spoken out on the need to take climate change seriously". I hope you agree.
To view photos from this year's event please follow this link: http://www.swissre.com/clients/newsletters/climate_week_2013.html
Category: Climate/natural disasters: Climate change, Disaster risk, Floods/storms, Resilience
Location: New York, NY