TED Countdown Summit – Summary

For four days in October, the TED Countdown team brought together over a thousand activists, industrialists, scientists, artists, investors, politicians and many others – to collaborate and commit to action on climate. This event was designed to spread knowledge and hope before COP26.

Some talks have already been released, including the unedited talk from the closing event of the Summit. This features a discussion between Patricia Espinosa (Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC), Laurence Tubiana (CEO of the European Climate Foundation) and Gonzalo Munoz, (the UN’s High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP25). They talk about their experiences from Paris, their fears and the human-ness of the COP process. They talk of the importance of building trust and generating urgency to accelerate action.

On 30 October, a live stream event took place that featured snippets from many of the talks. The video of the event has been released (2 hours 32 minutes) and gives a taste of what the four days must have been like!

Check out the following as you work through the video:

16:35:00 Amina Jane Mohammed – the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

21:36 John Doerr and Ryan Panchadsarum’s six objectives to decarbonise and transform society. (See their book called Speed and Scale).

46:06 Ermias Kebreab, Animal Scientist on how seaweed added to animal feeds reduces methane emissions from livestock.

1:14:25 Enric Salla, Marine Ecologist on rewilding our planet and the 30 by 30 campaign that aims to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030.

1:19:00 Shweta Narayan, Climate and Health Campaigner, on how the climate crisis is a health crisis. It is impossible to have healthy people on a sick planet.

1:20:11 Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, Clean Air Advocate who shared the heartfelt story of her 9-year-old daughter, Ella. Ella was the first person in the world to have air pollution noted as the cause of death on her death certificate. Soot is now being found in mothers’ placentas. Air pollution is an invisible global pandemic.

1:23:42 Ma Jun, Environmentalist, talks about the power of transparency in China to hold governments and corporations to account for their carbon emissions.

1:34:28 Xiye Bastida and Shiv Soin – two impressive young activists listing six key demands to stop global warming.

1:41:53 Solomon Goldstein-Rose explains that we will need five times as much electricity by the end of the century and how we need a range of renewable energy sources to meet that demand.

1:49:46 Vishaan Chakrabarti, Architect and Author talking about the Goldilocks sweet spot of housing – 3 storey buildings where the rooftop space is sufficient to provide power to meet the energy needs of the inhabitants using solar panels and batteries – and where combined wastes are composted.

1:55:32 Monica Araya from the Drive Electric Campaign. Aiming for all new sales of electric vehicles by these dates: 2030 buses, 2035 passenger cars and 2040 freight vehicles. The full talk is available here.

2:05:40 Sophia Kianni, Climate Knowledge Translator. Did you know that most knowledge about climate change is in English, so this is a big problem for the 70% of the global population who do not speak this language. Sophia set up an international youth-led nonprofit called Climate Cardinals to translate climate science into hundreds of languages – using 6,000 volunteers, from 41 countries. Phenomenal!

2:09:19 Farwiza Farhan, Forest Conservationist talked about Sumini’s story. Sumini leads a team of women to save the forests, yet cultural norms exclude her from being part of the decision making processes in her village in Indonesia. We need more women in the position of leadership!

2:11:51 Nemonte Nenquimo, Indigenous Leader from the Amazon, passionately asks us to respect the forests. She talks of the forest as being her home her life, full of knowledge. She points out what she uses to eat, heal, make baskets, and how Cowari (non-forest people) think of the forest as a place of resources to extract. Mother Earth is waiting for us to protect her.

2:14:22 Sister True Dedication, Zen Buddist Nun explains why it is so hard to change the direction of our civilisation. What is missing is insight and how awakening involves the whole body, not just the mind. When we are rushing to do something, are we saving time, or losing it?

Well worth a look.

The Summit’s home page details the program so you can search for individual talks as they are released.