Countdown is a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action.


COUNTDOWN SESSIONS


Launching the Countdown means asking ourselves the big questions: what’s the state of the climate today? What does climate science know? How are we going to achieve a net-zero future? How do we center climate justice in our work? Hear from experts, policymakers and activists in this opening session.

The climate crisis demands leadership at every level. Governments, cities and businesses are three key players in designing and implementing the necessary transition. Speakers in this session will discuss putting climate back on the political and social agenda, rethinking cities, and what businesses can do to transform.

Transforming big systems is a huge task. Energy, transportation, industry and infrastructure all pose their own challenges. And yet that transformation is already happening. The experts in this session will show how and where, and offer powerful ideas for accelerating it: developing an economy without coal, decarbonizing fossil fuels, electrifying mobility and more.


The world around us is mainly made of two things: nature and the materials that we extract from it. To fight climate change, we need to protect and regenerate nature and transform materials into low or zero-carbon alternatives. This session explores the nexus of protection, regeneration and transformation using powerful examples.

It’s time to take action. This closing session will explore the road ahead. How to think urgently and long-term about climate change. How to take into account the interests of future generations in today’s decisions. How we as individuals, communities and organizations can contribute to shaping a better future. The Countdown is on!


COUNTDOWN SPEAKERS

The state of the climate crisis

Johan Rockström
Climate impact scholar

Johan Rockström works to redefine sustainable development.




SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Chris Hemsworth
Actor

An active philanthropist, Chris Hemsworth is passionate about ocean conservation and finding solutions to climate change.



Building a Greener Future

Lisa Jackson
Environment and social VP at Apple

Lisa Jackson is an environmental and social impact leader who has dedicated her career to building a greener and more just economy.


WE CAN CHANGE CLIMATE CHANGE

Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Actor, producer and activist

Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a multifaceted talent and one of the most recognized personalities in the world.



Music Performance accompanying cynthia erivo

His Holiness Pope Francis
Bishop of Rome

Pope Francis is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and a strong advocate of global action against climate change, to which he has devoted his powerful 2015 encyclical "Laudato Si'.


Music Performance accompanied by Gary Motley

Cynthia Erivo
Actor, Performer

Known for her role in the Broadway revival of "The Color Purple," Cynthia Erivo received two Academy Awards nominations in 2019 for her work on the movie "Harriet," about the life of Harriet Tubman.


Rethinking cement

Karen Scrivener
Cement Researcher

Karen Scrivener researches how to make cement and concrete more sustainable.





Host

Govindraj Ethiraj
Journalist & Entrepreneur

Govindraj is a television & print journalist and founder of Boom, a fact-checking initiative. He anchors seasonal shows on Indian news television--the current one being Aegons of Business on Bloomberg Quint.



Bishow Parajuli
Representative & Country Director, United Nations World Food Programme

Mr. Bishow Parajuli, Nepali, took office as United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director to India in September 2019.




Seth Darling
Director of the Center for Molecular Engineering, Argonne National Laboratory

He has published over 130 scientific articles, holds more than a dozen patents, is a co-author of popular books on water and on debunking climate skeptic myths, and lectures widely on topics related to energy, water, and climate.



Prashant Kapoor
Chief Industry Specialist - Green Buildings and Cities - IFC (World Bank Group)

Prashant Kapoor is a passionate advocate for sustainable solutions that align the interests of businesses, governments, financial institutions & civil society.


Becoming an activist combined talk with Activists

Al Gore
Climate advocate


Nobel Laureate Al Gore focused the world's attention on the global climate crisis.




Industrialising India without coal

Varun Sivaram
Clean energy executive, physicist, author

To combat climate change, Varun Sivaram seeks to scale up clean energy technologies and cultivate innovation ecosystems spanning industry, academia and government.



Gayathri Vasudevan
Executive Chairperson, LabourNet

Gayathri Vasudevan co­-founded LabourNet in 2006 with a vision to enable livelihoods and enhance quality of life through Education, Employability and Entrepreneurship. LabourNet has impacted about a million lives.

How to think long-term

Roman Krznaric
Long-view philosopher

Roman Krznaric writes about the power of ideas to change society.






Thomas Crowther
Ecosystem ecology professor

In collaboration with vast networks of ecologists across the world, Thomas Crowther works to address the global threats of biodiversity loss and climate change.

The Race to Zero (combined talk with Alok Sharma)

Nigel Topping
UK High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26

Appointed by the UK Prime Minister in January 2020, Nigel Topping is the UK's High-Level Climate Action Champion.



A glacier, the future and us

Andri Snær Magnason
Writer, poet

Known for his unusual approach to everyday issues, Andri Snær Magnason is a storyteller and environmental activist.



The photographer as climate witness

Stephen Wilkes
Photographer

By blending up to 100 still photographs into a seamless composite that captures the transition from day to night, Stephen Wilkes reveals the stories hidden in familiar locations.

Becoming an activist combined talk with Activists

Nana Firman
Carbon Footprint Activist

Nana Firman wants to unite the world behind a commitment to sustainability and environmental justice.



Music Performance

Sigrid
Singer & Songwriter

From the tiny town of Ålesund in Norway, Sigrid is a remarkable talent with a colossal mind, attitude and voice.



Technology and policy to accelerate change

John Doerr
Engineer and Investor

John Doerr is an engineer, acclaimed venture capitalist and the chairman of Kleiner Perkins.



Music Performance

Yemi Alade
Singer, songwriter, composer and actress

UN Goodwill Ambassador and Afropop artist Yemi Alade is known for her electrifying stagecraft and edgy style.



Prioritizing Africa

Rose M. Mutiso
Energy researcher

Rose M. Mutiso works with a global network of experts finding solutions for energy deficits across Africa and Asia. She is also helping African women become scholars and thought leaders.

Becoming an activist combined talk with Activists

Ximena Loría
Climate education activist

Ximena Loría works to expose the human cost of environmental problems.





The European Green Deal

Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission

Ursula von der Leyen believes that green and digital transformations hold the key to Europe's future prosperity and resilience.





Bittu Sahgal
Editor, Sanctuary Asia

Bittu Sahgal is an environmental activist, writer, and the founder of Sanctuary Nature Foundation, an Indian nonprofit conservation organization that works on environmental policy, advocacy, science and habitat management.

The 15-minute city

Carlos Moreno
Scientific director, Panthéon

Sorbonne University-IAE Paris Carlos Moreno brings pioneering concepts and an innovative perspective to urban issues.




Decarbonizing fossil fuels

Myles Allen
Climate science scholar

Myles Allen studies how human activities and natural drivers contribute to changes in global climate and risks of extreme weather.


This decade calls for Earthshots to repair our planet

Prince William
The Duke of Cambridge

Protecting the natural environment for future generations is one of Prince William's key priorities.



A mayor’s “treetown” vision

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr
Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone

As mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is committed to addressing her city's challenges using an inclusive, data-driven approach to urban development.

Climate and cities

Angel Hsu
Climate and data scientist

Angel Hsu is a professor and data geek who applies data-driven methods to solve challenging environmental issues.


The defining issue of our time

António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations

António Guterres is at the forefront of fighting the climate emergency and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.



Becoming a carbon neutral business

Liz Ogbu
Designer, urbanist, spatial justice activist

Liz Ogbu is a global expert on engaging and transforming unjust urban environments.




A performance by a poet and activist

Amanda Gorman
Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States

Jesper Brodin believes in values-based leadership and togetherness.





Building a circular business

Jesper Brodin
CEO of Ingka Group (IKEA)

Jesper Brodin believes in values-based leadership and togetherness.






Sustainable Innovations

Pavan Sukhdev
Founder at GIST Impact

Pavan Sukhdev is a sustainability thought leader, an experienced innovator in practice, and an influential voice amongst corporate leaders, and national policy makers concerned about sustainability.



Nirmika Singh
Poet, Journalist, Storyteller

Nirmika Singh is a multi-faceted creative leader based in Mumbai. A renowned music critic and journalist with a decade of experience, she is also an accomplished poet and lyricist.



Varun Deshpande
Managing Director, Good Food Institute India

Varun Deshpande serves as Managing Director at the Good Food Institute (GFI India), where he is focused on building the future of food by working with scientists, foundations, governments, entrepreneurs, and corporations to advance the alternative protein sector.

Music Performance accompanying cynthia erivo

Gary Motley
Pianist

Gary Motley's career achievements as a pianist, composer, performer, arranger and educator garnered his induction into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 2015.




THE GOAL

To build a better future by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 in the race to a zero-carbon world – a world that is safer, cleaner and fairer for everyone.

Every organization, company, city and nation and citizens everywhere are invited to collaborate with Countdown and take action on climate. It is a movement open to everyone – and everyone has a vital role to play.

 


THE PLAN

Countdown seeks to answer five fundamental, interconnected questions that help inform a blueprint for a cleaner future. We are bringing together scientists, activists, entrepreneurs, urban planners, farmers, CEOs, investors, artists, government officials, and others to find the most effective, evidence-based ideas out there. Our goal is to identify the bold solutions that can be activated when people break out of their silos and rise to the challenge.