Leadership for a Sustainable Future

The effects of climate change can be felt all around the world by the increase of heatwaves, floods and droughts, glacial melting and rising sea-levels. An estimated nine million deaths worldwide are related to pollution every year. Air pollution is by far the largest contributor to early death according to a report by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. The scientific data, as well as the growing number of people affected, demonstrate the fact that the climate crisis is a concern to all. Nevertheless, the current measures which are being taken by the international community are not sufficient to reach the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, which is not merely an environmental treaty, but offers the basis for a new and inclusive model of sustainable development. Consequently, we need more climate action, collaboration and faster implementation to preserve biodiversity, ensure health, global food supply, and enable a better future for humanity.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's long-term commitment to climate protection has spanned over 15 years and despite the barriers created by political circles, he continues to pursue his aim of "less talk, more action". With this in mind, we are showcasing innovative solutions, policies, best practice projects, examples of cooperation and role models from different countries, cities, regions and sectors that are dealing with pollution and championing a future of renewable energy. There are plenty of examples in various locations on the planet, which prove that a sustainable path is an economically profitable course of action. Therefore a greener finance sector can significantly contribute to the decarbonising of our economy and establish sustainability on all levels. The outcome of the R20 AWS 2018 identified climate communication as a key force to mobilizing and supporting climate action. How can new groups be encouraged to initiate climate awareness? Therefore we invited 2019 media representatives, communication experts, scientists and well-known protagonists of climate action to exchange about strategies and tools for successful climate communication.


09:30 – 09:40
Melinda Crane, Master of Ceremony
Monika Langthaler, Director, R20 Austrian World Summit
09:40 – 10:20
Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of Austria
Greta Thunberg, Climate Activist
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chair, R20 Regions of Climate Action

10:20 – 11:40

The elections to the European Parliament will be crucial for the fight against climate change and pollution.There is still time to tackle climate change but it will require more effort from all countries and from all sectors of society. How to fulfilling the Paris Agreement on climate change, thereby acting as a role model for improving the environment and human health? Further steps will be necessary to raise ambition at the UN Climate Change Summit in September 2019.

Act 1: Climate Leadership

There is an urgent need for leadership to take responsibility in the global process on sustainable development and international cooperation. The UN Secretary-General has stated that we must change course by 2020, or we risk passing the tipping point when we can no longer avoid the “disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.”

János Àder, President of Hungary
Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and co-Chair of the Eminent Group of Advocates for SDGs
Nanda Bahadur Pun, Vice President, Nepal
Raimonds Vējonis, President of Latvia
Kristalina Georgieva, CEO, The World Bank

Host: Melinda Crane, Journalist

Act 2: The Power of Cities and Regions

R20 understands the significant impact of cities, towns and regions by implementing their climate commitments. Acting locally and partnering globally is a trend that has been highlighted at recent conferences such as COP24 in Katowice. How can the role of subnational actors be strengthened in the global process? What kinds of instruments are required to further empower cities and regions as drivers for a clean, healthy future?

Mary Nichols, Chairwoman, California Air Resources Board
Jorge Muñoz Wells, Mayor of Lima, Peru (tbc)
Winfried Kretschmann, Governor, Baden-Wuerttemberg
Manuel de Araújo, Mayor Quelimane, Mozambique
Ashok Sridharan, Mayor Bonn & ICLEI President

Host: Maria Neira, Director of Public Health and Environment, WHO

11:40 – 12:25

We need to team up in the spirit of multilevel cooperation and vertical integration between all levels of government to mainstream developments for climate action, better health and more sustainability – but how can we scale up to implement more projects and mobilize green investments?

Act3: North-South Cooperation

Creating jobs, wealth and sustainability through deeper collaboration is a key priority for the future. What are the appropriate instruments and methods to improve cooperation on equal terms and lead the way into an era of peace and save our natural resources?

Higino Marrule, Minister for Agriculture and Food Safety, Mozambique
Yasemine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Egypt
Charles Keter, Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, Kenya

Host: Melinda Crane, Journalist

Act 4: Mobilizing Investments by Green Finance

Money makes the world go around – how can green finance support the change in decarbonising our economy and establish sustainability on all levels? How can political initiatives, such as the EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, become a model for the global finance sector?

Samba Bathily, Founder and Chairman of Africa Development Solutions
Günther Thallinger, Board of Management, Allianz SE
Isabel Fernandez, Head of Wholesale Banking, ING Group
Yannick Glemarec, Executive Director, Green Climate Fund
Rosa Lemos de Sá, CEO, Funbio (Biodiversity Fund Brazil)

Host: Barbara Buchner, CEO, Climate Policy Initiative

12:25 – 12:30
to the R20AWS supporters by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monika Langthaler
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Break

13:00 Networking Sessions with B2Match Tool starting
13:00 – 14:00 Autograph Session of Aksel Lund Svindal
14:00 – 14:10

Scott Kelly, U.S. Astronaut
Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs

14:10 – 15:40
Showcasing success stories is a central theme of the R20 Austrian World Summit. Selected best practice projects, solutions and initiatives will be presented, which have the potential of being scaled up to global level, thereby having a significant impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The transfer of technology and knowledge is one key element for speeding up the green transformation. The individual cases provide valuable lessons on the success factors, as well as on the challenges we have to be aware of.
Act 5: Role Models from Regions & Cities

Harriët Tiemens, Deputy Mayor of Nijmegen, Netherlands (European Green Capital 2018)
Ben Macpherson, Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, Scotland
Maria Vassilakou, Deputy Mayor of Vienna

Host:, Melinda Crane, Journalist

Act 6: Brands - Leading Companies Acting Now

Johan Eliasch, CEO Head
Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, Vice President, Austrian Chamber of Commerce
Ferdinand Barckhahn, CEO Sodastream DACH
Pia Heidenmark-Cook, Sustainability Office, INGKA Group
Rémi Vrignaud, CEO Allianz

Host: Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Langenburg Forum

Act 7: Fossil Free Mobility

Michaela Huber, Member of the Executive Board, ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways)
Johanna Urkauf, CEO, KTM Bikes
Kevin de León, Former California State Senator

Host: Michael Strasser, UN Environment "Mountain Hero"

15:40 – 16:30

Raising awareness for a healthy environment and reaching out to as many people as possible is of major importance to making clear: climate change affects us all. Based on current trends, developments and research results the aim is to demonstrate best practices and attempt to solve some challenges in the current climate debate by addressing relevant issues, including framing, storytelling, narration or communication instruments leading to inspiration and catalysing mobilisation.

Act 8: The Role of Media in a Changing Public Landscape

To successfully fight climate change we need the public on our side. In times of ‘fake news’, populism and climate change denial, how can we ensure successful journalism, media strategies and campaigns?

Beth Gardiner, Environmental journalist & author of Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution
Leo Hickman, Editor, Carbon Brief
Marcus Wadsak, Weather Forecaster, ORF (Austrian Television)

Host: Melinda Crane, Journalist

Act 9: Encouraging a Sustainable Lifestyle

Tackling climate change goes hand in hand with cultural change. Gaining the interest and awareness of different social groups requires new strategies, promoters and role models. How can we encourage people to adopt a sustainable lifestyle in a meaningful and lasting way?

Aksel Lund Svindal, Norwegian World Cup alpine ski racer
Juergen Schneider, Director-General for Climate, Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, Austria
Kurt Weinberger, CEO Hagelversicherung

Host: Chris Cummins, Journalist, FM4

16:30 – 16:45
Moderation: Monika Langthaler-Rosenberg, Director R20 Austria&EU
Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of Austria
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chair, R20 Regions of Climate Action

15:00 – 21:00 Climate Kirtag @ Heldenplatz

>> Register here

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