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Culture

What Not to Miss During New York’s Climate Week

Talks, workshops, demos, and tours worth checking out at the United States’ biggest — and most chaotic — climate event.

New York City.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

There is no bigger climate event in the country than Climate Week NYC — and, it might be fair to say, no event more impenetrable. With over 400 talks, workshops, demos, screenings, tours, karaoke parties (???), private events, and networking mingles, and no central event space, trying to make sense of what to see and where to go is not for the faint of heart. Looking at the seemingly endless events calendar, you get the impression that you should have begun strategizing back in August.

If you are not one of those people with amazing foresight, though, then the first full day of Climate Week could have you scrambling. Some cool events are already sold out; others are invite-only. Here’s Heatmap’s last-minute guide to saving your Climate Week:

Monday

Lucid Air Demo Drives

From: Ongoing

Where: Lucid Studio, 2 9th Avenue

Do luxury EVs have you curious? Then put your name on the waitlist for a demo drive of a Lucid Air on “a designated route through the iconic streets of Manhattan,” followed by a poke around the automaker’s Meatpacking District flagship studio. Learn more here.

Book Talk with Jeff Goodell, author of The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet

From: 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Where: The Institute for Public Knowledge, 20 Cooper Square, 2nd floor

Jeff Goodell has a knack for timing; his “propulsive” new book on extreme heat was met with raves when it came out this summer during the deadly heat dome in the southwest. On Monday night, he speaks with The Institute for Public Knowledge’s Eric Klinenberg and Eleni (Lenio) Myrivili, the chief heat officer of Athens, Greece, about “life and death on a scorched planet.” Learn more here.

Up2Us2023: A Better World Is Possible

From: 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Where: Virtual and at Adler Hall at The New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th Street

The climate crisis has a communication problem. At this event, Scott Z. Burns (the writer/director of Apple TV+’s Extrapolations), Project Drawdown’s lead scientist Dr. Kate Marvel, Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, and other major climate communicators will discuss how to better speak about the collaborations, actions, and global solutions at hand. Learn more here.

Tuesday

The Nest Climate Campus

From: Sept. 19 at 8:30 a.m. - Sept. 21, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Javits Center

The Nest Climate Campus at Javits Center is its own ecosystem within the greater Climate Week — you have to register (for free) separately, but once inside you have access to “the Climate Collective,” an “energetic networking space” filled with demos, products, and activations, as well as the main stage, where there will be speakers including former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and her fellow America Is All In co-chair, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee (on Thursday). Learn more here.

The Roadmap for Decarbonizing Cities

From: 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Where: Sustainability Summit NYC, 666 3rd Avenue, 21st Floor

Cities are responsible for two-thirds of global energy consumption and 70% of carbon emissions annually — but how do you go about making a whole entire urban environment greener? This short discussion is hosted by the Consulate General of Denmark in New York, and will feature Sharon Dijksma, the mayor of Utrecht — one of Heatmap’s seven sustainable neighborhoods of the future — as one of the speakers. There will be an opportunity at the end to ask questions. Learn more here.

Classic Harbor Line AIANY Climate Change Tour: Resiliency, Sustainable Architecture and the Future of NYC

From: 2:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Where: Departs from Chelsea Piers (Pier 62) - W. 22nd Street and Hudson River

It can be easy to forget that Manhattan is an island — and susceptible to all the climate impacts that come with it. As such, to really understand how New York is changing, you need to get out on its waterways. Expect to see examples of green infrastructure, tidal marshes, and wetlands, and learn the “steps that interdisciplinary teams of urban planners, architects, landscape architects, developers, and community groups are taking to address storm surges, intense rains, and hotter temperatures.” If you miss the boat, another sailing will take place on Wednesday. Learn more here.

Wednesday

The Climate Boot Camp

From: Wednesday through Saturday

Where: Virtual

Want to seriously up your sustainability and organizing games? The EcoActUs Working Group is offering a free, seven-and-a-half hour “Climate Boot Camp,” which involves insight from “52 expert climate leaders [about what] needs to be done about the climate crisis and how to get it done — in a series of 8-to-15-minute presentations.” The bootcamp is self-guided and virtual, and comes with a free e-workbook with “160 curated drill-down links to lectures, websites, podcasts, music, art, and film.” Learn more here.

Demo Hall: Hard Tech Solutions to the Climate Crisis

From: 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Where: Near Washington Square Park (exact location available upon RSVP)

Are you eager to actually get your hands on “prototypes of the technology reshaping the energy and climate economy”? Over 20 companies will be showing off their clean-tech solutions in this demo hall, with an accompanying “fireside chat” between Dr. Evelyn Wang, the director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and journalist Molly Wood starting at 5 p.m. See the full list of attendees and learn more here.

SAVE HER! The Environmental Drag Show

From: 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Where: House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn

Forget about going to some boring networking mixer this Climate Week, because Pattie Gonia and VERA! are hosting “performances by nine sustainability drag queens, kings, and things” at the House of Yes. Start planning your outfit now: The theme is “Mother Nature’s Disco,” complete with an accompanying mood board to get you started. Learn more here.

Thursday

The New York Times’ Climate Forward events

From: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Where: Virtual

The New York Times is hosting a day-long Climate Week event featuring presentations by Bill Gates, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Vice President Al Gore, chef José Andrés, tidying expert Marie Kondo, the President of the World Bank Group Ajay Banga, and others. In-person tickets are currently waitlist only and start at $350, but attending the event virtually is free for New York Times subscribers and includes access to a Slack channel set up for remote attendees. Learn more here.

Global Choices: An Evening On Ice

From: 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Where: Virtual and at The Explorers Club, 46 E. 70th Street

How long will it take someone at the Explorers’ Club’s “Evening On Ice” event to make an “Ice, Ice, Baby” reference? Find out for yourself by RSVPing to learn more about the global “ice crisis,” featuring speakers who will discuss “the science and geopolitics” behind disappearing ice and snowpack, as well as “hopeful pathways forward.” Learn more here.

Friday

Tripling Global Clean Energy Capacity By 2030: Is It Enough? Is It Possible? Will It Be Fair?

From: 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Where: Virtual and at Volvo Hall, Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue

RMI brings together government and clean-energy leaders to discuss “how powerful change drivers can accelerate renewable energy deployment globally by the end of this decade.” The discussion will have a particular emphasis on the Global South, especially as it pertains to adopting global energy targets around COP28. Learn more here.

Marketplace of the Future

From: 2:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Where: Starrett-Lehigh Building, 601 West 26th Street

“Everything from solar power, electric vehicles, compost programs, building retrofits, and circular fashion will be available to explore” at the seventh annual Marketplace of the Future exhibition. Tickets for the day cost $49.87. Browse the speakers and events here and learn more here.

Saturday

Meet the New York Climate Exchange

From: Tours start 11:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 1:45 p.m.

Where: Liggett Ter­race, Governors Island

When it is completed in 2025, the New York Cli­mate Exchange will be a 400,000-square-foot cam­pus on Gov­er­nors Island “ded­i­cat­ed to research­ing and cre­at­ing inno­v­a­tive cli­mate solu­tions that will be scaled across New York City and the world.” You don’t have to wait 15-plus months for an official introduction, though: This free tour and informational session will get you up to speed on the Climate Exchange, which will one day serve 600 post­sec­ondary stu­dents, 4,500 K‑12 stu­dents, 6,000 work­force trainees, and up to 30 busi­ness­es through its incu­ba­tor program. Be sure to check out other Governors Island events happening this week too. Learn more here.

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Jeva Lange profile image

Jeva Lange

Jeva is a founding staff writer at Heatmap. Her writing has also appeared in The Week, where she formerly served as executive editor and culture critic, as well as in The New York Daily News, Vice, and Gothamist, among others. Jeva lives in New York City.

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