Climate Week NYC

Big Business Make Pledges for the Environment

Skyscrapers, traffic jams, Broadway plays, and the bright lights of displays in Times Square are the scene for New York City. In late September, the city that never sleeps turned its attention to global climate change and played host to the annual Climate Week NYC summit.

And what a week it was. Climate Week is set to have quite an impact over the long term. And not just because of the firecracker speech that youthful activist Greta Thunberg delivered at the United Nations. The event also saw some of the world’s biggest corporations making very big promises on carbon reduction.

Corporate pledges

This development was already in the making before the opening day of the summit.

On September 19, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company was beefing up its commitment to sustainability. He committed to 80% renewable power use within five years. Amazon will then work to bring that number up to 100% by 2030, he said.

Climate Week NYC - Deutsche Telekom has pledged to move quickly on climate issues.
Deutsche Telekom has pledged to move quickly on climate issues.

As Climate Week NYC got underway, its organizer, the non-governmental organization (NGO) The Climate Group, reported that the roster of companies committed to its RE100 initiative now included nearly 300 multi-national firms . Alone, these firms have a combined revenues of around $5.5 trillion. Among the new additions to the list are Target, the US retail powerhouse; Jinko Solar, China’s largest manufacturer of solar power modules; and Deutsche Telekom, the largest telecommunications provider in Europe. DT is laying out an ambitious plan to address climate issues, pledging to reach 100% renewable energy use by 2021.

Not surprisingly, The Climate Group’s list does not include a large number of oil and gas operators. Hor, several major producers gathered during Climate Week arguing they are making an effort to reduce emissions and forestall global temperature increases. The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) is funding investments in technology to lower emissions.

Big Oil responds

Climate Week NYC - Climate activists have questioned the move towards widespread adoption of natural gas.
Climate activists have questioned the move towards widespread adoption of natural gas.

Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, also spoke emphatically, suggesting that oil and gas companies might end up making some of the largest contributions to emissions-reduction campaigns. “The change that needs to take place — the trillions of dollars of investment — is only going to come from companies with resources and scale,” he said.

These remarks are a clear sign that climate activists’ messages have made their way into oil companies’ boardrooms. They show that oil and gas producers believe they have a role to play in the fight against climate change.

Pink Petro responds

At its 3rd Quarter GCC member meeting, Pink Petro extended invites to 60 organizations across oil, gas, utilities and renewab les to look at the workforce needs that will address climate. “The war for talent is real and the entire energy sector is facing a shortage. We need the best and brightest and most diverse minds to fuel the energy transition. That means taking action”, said Katie Mehnert, Founder & CEO of Pink Petro. The summit split up the 80 leaders into work groups to tackle the defined issues.

The Workforce of the Future summit it just “a start”, says Mehnert. “We are showing unified support to build the best workforce to tackle these challenges in energy.”

To join Pink Petro as a corporate member, learn more here.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Sustainability & Climate, Energy Insights

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