Did you catch the six hours of presentations of the TED Countdown on 10 October 2020? This amazing event brought together over 50 speakers that covered many subjects relating to how we can change climate change.
This event marked the global launch of a year of accelerating progress on climate action leading up to a major Countdown Summit in October 2021. The Summit will be held in Edinburgh in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow.
At COP 26 all 195 countries that signed on to the Paris Agreement will be asked to ramp up their commitments so that emissions can halve by 2030, and halve again by 2040, so that we have a chance of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
TED Countdown showed just how doable this is. There were scientists, artists, royalty, pop stars and even Pope Francis gave a heartfelt presentation. The event was in five sessions each hosted by high profile activists including Al Gore, Jane Fonda and Chris Hemsworth. The sessions focused on urgency, leadership, transformation, breakthroughs and action.
My favourite sessions? It is hard to choose…
- Johan Rockstrom who describes how we have ten years to transform the future of humanity – or destabilise the planet.
- Christiana Figueres, my hero, who personifies stubborn optimism.
- Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the mayor of Freetown in Sierra Leone who is planting two million trees a year.
- Rose Mutiso who is helping African women become scholars and thought leaders.
- Karen Scrivener who has pioneered a new form of cement that creates 40% less carbon emissions (Cement is responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon footprint!)
- Sophie Howe, from Wales, who in her government job, advocates for future generations – that resulted in funds for a planned new motorway being diverted to expanding public transport and cycleways.
- Prince William and Pope Francis were also not to be missed.
There are millions of amazing people taking action to transform our world to create a sustainable, fairer future. Through Zonta Says NOW we are too.