Climate Week NYC: Picturing a Better World Through Storytelling

This year’s Climate Week NYC will feature Columbia professors on communicating climate solutions, financing mitigation and adaptation measures, decarbonizing Columbia's campus, and more.

Adrienne Kenyon
September 16, 2021

Solving the climate crisis will require monumental on-the-ground efforts like phasing out fossil fuels in homes, at the pump, and across our food system. But it will also take imagination. In one Climate Week NYC panel, Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors, journalist and Columbia lecturer Brian Kahn will join a group of writers in exploring the role of storytelling in envisioning and creating a more just and sustainable world.

Imagine 2200 is among more than a dozen planned events featuring Columbia experts during Climate Week NYC, which runs from Sept. 20-26. The Columbia Climate School, which enrolled its first students this fall, is the official university partner of the Climate Group, which hosts the weeklong event series each year. This year, Climate Week NYC convenes key leaders to accelerate climate action and discuss ambitious carbon-cutting commitments ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow.

Topics to be discussed at Climate Week NYC by experts at Columbia and elsewhere include: creating more sustainable food systems, with the CEO of Impossible Foods, maker of plant-based burgers; financing climate solutions, with the chief responsibility officer of the asset management firm, AllianceBernstein; and mapping the spots globally where people are most vulnerable to heat waves and flooding. Here are some Columbia-related highlights in the week ahead:

A pair of farmers inspect their crops

Mon., Sept. 20: Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors

A discussion led by Grist's solutions lab, Fix, will focus on climate fiction and creating visions for the future that are grounded in justice and sustainability.

Mon., Sept. 20: ClimateShot: The Agricultural Innovation Race to Save our Planet

This is a make-or-break year to address the climate crisis and put our food systems on a sustainable path. How can stakeholders join forces to transform our food systems and save our planet?

Wed., Sept. 22: CodeRed: Vulnerability to Extreme Heat, Floods, and Displacement

Climate change is here already, but impacting different regions and groups differently. Mapping humanity’s present and future vulnerability is vital to effective adaptation and greater resilience.

Thurs., Sept. 23: Plan 2030: Pathway to Decarbonize Columbia University's Campuses

Columbia’s sustainability plan lays out a pathway for University campuses to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. What role can students and faculty play in helping to meet this goal?

Thurs., Sept. 23: The Great Pivot: Climate Action and the Finance Sector

Join us for a discussion on the intersection between climate risks and the allocation of private capital, and the role of the financial services industry in achieving climate solutions.