On 22 September, 2020, NYSERDA, State of Green and Danish Cleantech Hub hosted the virtual “Build Back Greener” event as part of Climate Week NYC to explore American-Danish synergies in the green recovery. The message was clear, a climate crisis and a potential economic downturn require nations, states and cities to rethink their approaches to major global challenges and partner up with the private sector.
Green recovery strategies will create sustainable growth
During Climate Week NYC 2020, high-level speakers from both sides of the Atlantic gathered to discuss green recovery and public-private commitment to the advanced green transition. The speakers were invited to rethink partnerships as a vehicle to accelerate the green transition and growth. With more than 1,000 registered participants, moderated by Connie Hedegaard, chairman for Danish green think tank CONCITO, speakers discussed topics such as partnerships as a way to support innovation, growth and job creation and as a way to spur investments in sustainability.
“We are not wavering. We understand the threat of climate change – and we’re doing something about it”
– Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor of New York State
Among the speakers were Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen and Lieutenant Governor of New York State, Kathy Hochul, and they agreed on the level of ambition towards the green transition by underlining the commitments by Denmark and New York State.
“The economy is in chaos and the coronavirus is still part of our everyday lives but we cannot waste a single day in the fight to save the world. New York State is not going to sit back and wait for the government to act. We have to continue pursuing our climate policies,” said Kathy Hochul, and continued: “We are not wavering. We understand the threat of climate change – and we’re doing something about it, building back greener, investing heavily in renewable energy.”
“We are firmly committed that we will get through the Covid-19 crisis. The climate crisis has a more permanent character, requiring fundamental societal changes,” said Dan Jørgensen.
Denmark and New York are both global frontrunners in the green transition. Denmark has been on a green path since the 1970’s and New York established itself as a global beacon in the field with their commitment to the Paris Agreement, when President Trump announced his plan for the United States to exit the agreement in 2017. Many similarities can be found between Denmark and New York and they provide an opportunity to increase collaboration further and increase private sector involvement to accelerate innovation and the green transition.
While Covid-19 has created high instability, both socially and economically world-wide, it is time to involve methods to overcoming the impact of Covid-19 while pursuing a green recovery. At the event, Ali Zaidi, Deputy Secretary to New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo and Chairman of Climate Policy and Finance stated:
“The more we build things together with everybody at the table, the more we will reinforce our collective climate change mitigation efforts”.
Public-private partnerships as a vehicle for combatting climate change
Green and sustainable transition is discussed across New York during the Climate Week and companies are an essential part of the solution. Green know-how is very sought-after and the climate week is a unique platform for Danish companies because sustainable cities start with sustainable solutions. Many Danish companies have cracked the code for how solutions can be adapted and scaled in new markets, with a focus on tailoring solutions to a city’s specific needs.
“By now it’s clear there’s no silver bullet solution to accelerating the green transition. It requires playing on the full keyboard of climate actions. What role do partnerships play in such circumstances? What are the most important components to mainstream innovative, green technologies or in finding new ways of attacking the challenge?,” asked Jens Birgersson, President and CEO, ROCKWOOL Group.
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