New York, 5 November 2017 – A star-studded ensemble performance led by legendary singer-songwriter Patti Smith of her hit song ‘People Have the Power’ had the crowd on their feet at a packed Carnegie Hall in New York City on Sunday. The closing number was a moving and fitting finale for an unforgettable evening of performances to raise awareness around climate action.
The concert, a partnership between Pathways to Paris, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and 350.org, brought together internationally acclaimed musicians and speakers including Patti Smith, Joan Baez, Bill McKibben, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Olafur Eliasson, Tanya Tagaq, Flea, Talib Kweli, Cat Power, Michael Stipe, Tenzin Choegyal, and Pathway to Paris founders Rebecca Foon and Jesse Paris Smith - for a night of incredible musical performances and speeches.
Welcoming the 2,000-strong crowd to the event, UNDP’s Director of Communications Mila Rosenthal said the evening was an opportunity to “come together to raise our voices to fight climate change.”
“Tonight, we’re thinking of all the stories of people around the world who are struggling with the effects of climate change: struggling to grow food where the water has dried up or the soil is blowing away. To hold back flood waters and rising oceans from their homes”, she continued.
Jo Scheuer, Director for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction in UNDP's Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, said it didn’t matter where you were from, climate change was a “global phenomenon.”
At the same time, there were reasons to be hopeful, Scheuer added. “We have been humbled by how many countries are around the world are responding to demands for change,” he said.
“Some countries have pledged to switch to 100 percent renewable energy; others have committed to reforest entire regions; yet others have set deadlines to shift away from fossil fuels. Are these targets, in their current form, enough to get us where we need to be? No, we know that. But it’s an incredible start.” He concluded.
UNDP is the United Nations’ largest provider of grant assistance for climate action. Since 2008, UNDP has supported more than 140 countries to access more than US$3.2 billion develop and implement climate initiatives.
Disclaimer: All views expressed by individual artists and partner organizations are their own. UNDP does not endorse or approve comments or positions.