A bike ride with Climate Action Heroes
It was a very special experience for Monika Langthaler, Director of R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, to meet Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and climate activist Greta Thunberg in Los Angeles and go for a bike ride in Santa Monica with them.
Together they discussed further ideas and strategies for the joint fight against the climate crisis, considering the relocation of the COP from Santiago de Chile to Madrid, the devastating wild fires in L.A. and how to integrate forests and other nature based solutions as key issues of the next R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT.
European Culture Prize
We are thankful and proud, that the R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT got honoured with one of the most important awards in Europe. On October 20th, Monika Langthaler Director of R20 AWS, received on behalf of Arnold Schwarzenegger the European Culture Prize in the category “environmental protection” during a magnificent ceremony at the Vienna State Opera. This award strengthens our ambition and resolution to work on solutions and to connect as many people as possible for climate action.
“This evening has shown me once again, what people are capable of doing in a positive way” emphasized Langthaler in her speech. “The ecological crisis might appear overwhelming, yet we do already have the solutions in our hands. We must make use of our brain and heart to save the planet for our children and grandchildren. And this is exactly what we want to do.”
As Arnold Schwarzenegger, initiator of the R20 AWS, couldn’t join the event himself, he sent a video message for the audience. “There are still too many people who didn’t take the climate crisis seriously enough, for example our politicians”, he declared. “Still, the worldwide climate protests give me hope, that we are on the right track. What we need is more persuasive power.”
Visiting the C40 Mayors Summit
Last week R20 AWS visited the C40 Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. This Summit highlighted examples of how cities are already fulfilling their strong commitments and accelerating the bold climate solutions needed for a sustainable, healthier, resilient and inclusive future. 70 mayors of some of the world’s largest and most influential cities, representing more than 700 million citizens, came together at the four-day event in order to build a global coalition for climate action.
Needless to say, R20 AWS wouldn’t miss the occasion to join this great event and be inspired by the numerous best practices-examples from all over the world. Beside meeting partners, we also took the chance to invite some of the inspiring speakers to our upcoming Austrian World Summit in May 2020.
The C40 Mayors Summit was a great and inspiring experience for us. Not only did we learn about different best practices-projects from all over the world and got valuable inputs for the Austrian World Summit in May 2020. Beyond this, we experienced a magnificent host city showing us, how a sustainable city can look like. See more here
Presentation of the book Heißzeit 51
A "hot" track - and it leads to the topic of climate change! Yesterday (Sept. 4, 2019) the well-known Austrian crime writer Eva Rossmann presented her latest work together with R20 Austria&EU Director Monika Langthaler. In "Heißzeit 51" a climate activist is murdered and the hunt for the murderer is also an update on the topics of climate change and populism. Monika Langthaler was pleased with the choice of the topic, because it is extremely important "that the issue of climate change finally comes out of the bubble of the environment movement". Eva Rossmann underlined: "The current huge interest in the climate crisis is hopefully not just a hype. Because the climate crisis doesn´t have to be a hype. After all, it's about our future!" It was difficult for her to reduce the information and facts to an acceptable level for a crime thriller. Because "Heißzeit 51” should indeed tell about the topic, but not teach the reader. By the way: The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is also mentioned in the book!
Donation for "Jugend eine Welt"
Today R20 Austria&EU Director Monika Langthaler handed over a donation cheque of 5.000 Euro to Reinhard Heiserer, CEO Jugend eine Welt, for a very special project: “Solar Skills and Environmental Education”, which sets up solar workshops and pilot plants, and trains local teaching staff in photovoltaic technology. The project is in the second phase of implementation (2019-2022) and at present the solar skills training takes place in 6 technical schools (TVETs) in Ethiopia and 3 technical schools (VTCs) in Uganda as short courses and as part of a 3- or 2-year electrical engineering training. The aim is to capacitate young people to install and maintain decentral, solar electricity supply systems for homes, water pumps etc., and thereby contributing to a climate-resilient development in their country. See more here
Schwarzenegger is back - as Howard Kleiner
What a funny and crazy way Arnold Schwarzenegger promotes electromobility: not with a moralizing undertone, but with humor! In the short movie Kicking Gas, Schwarzenegger goes undercover as Howard Kleiner, a frustrated car salesman to help non-profit organization Veloz sharing the benefits of electric cars — by selling the opposite. Scenes captured by hidden cameras include the former governor donning fake mustache and wig and surprising would-be customers. “We chose humor — not fear or fury like some people — because negative emotions are burning people out,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Humor, on the other hand, lights people up. Besides, we figure the world could use a little laughter just about now.” See more here
Hubert von Goisern as special guest at the climate Kirtag
We are very happy to announce that Hubert von Goisern will also be at our Climate Kirtag on the 28th of May as a special guest on stage alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Greta Thunberg, Aksel Lund Svindal, Conchita Wurst and Pizzera&Jaus. Everyone who is committed to a healthy and peaceful future for our planet is welcome. No matter how young, no matter how old - it's about setting an example for climate protection. The entry to the Heldenplatz is free. We are looking forward to seeing you there!
The View from outer space
“We have a beautiful planet. We should feel very fortunate, but some parts are visibly polluted from space. We are alone in the world as the only nation that denies climate change.” At this year's R20 Austrian World Summit, the US astronaut Scott Kelly will give us an insight on his unique perspective of our planet and the topic of climate protection. Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. With 520 days in space, Scott Kelly is the most experienced NASA astronaut. We are proud to welcome him at our Summit!
Antonio Guterres comes to R20 AWS in Vienna
It is a great honor for us that UN Secretary-General António Guterres will visit the R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT for the second time. In the past year he has made it very clear that fighting against climate change is one of his top priorities.
António Guterres himself will be holding a UN climate summit in September where he has emphasized that he wants to see plans and not only hear speeches from the world’s leaders. “I am calling on all leaders to come to New York in September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade, and to net zero by 2050,” the UN chief wrote in an article for the Guardian. He also stresses that without ambitious action, the Paris agreement is meaningless.
New Bipartisan Podcast on Energy and the Environment
The Schwarzenegger Institute has teamed up with “Political Climate,” a bipartisan podcast exploring energy and environmental issues in America. After gaining listenership from across party lines including industry leaders, congressmen, activists and news media, during their first season, the podcast is advancing their robust public dialogue on climate and energy through this cooperation. To kick off the new partnership and the new season, Julia Pyper, Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton sat down with Governor Schwarzenegger for an interview. Listen in under the link.
Following the interview, Schwarzenegger praised the podcast, saying: “I had a fantastic time sitting down with Julia, Shane and Brandon to talk about energy policy from a post-partisan perspective. I am hopeful the Political Climate podcast can bring together people of all political stripes, because the only way we will terminate pollution and create a new economy is by working together.”
“Instead of looking for hope, look for action. We can´t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.”
Thousands of students from all over the world followed Greta Thunberg´s example and set their governments under pressure to strike for #ClimateAction. For her commitment she has currently been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We are very proud to welcome Greta Thunberg in Vienna at the R20 Austrian World Summit and also at the #ClimateKirtag.
Climate Kirtag 28|5
The first Climate Kirtag will take place in the frame of the R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT on May 28th, starting at 3 pm at Heldenplatz. Every individual interested in world music and climate protection is warmly invited to attend. Guests will include Arnold Schwarzenegger, climate activist Greta Thunberg, the musicians Conchita and Pizzera & Jaus and Aksel Lund Svindal, alongside many more who are committed to climate action. Entry is free!
Release of the R20AWS Annual Report 2018
The outcome and impacts left by the R20AWS initiative last year were wide-ranging. The Annual Report 2018 showcases not only the results and publications of the R20 Austrian World Summit 2018 but also diverse activities with our network of partners throughout the year. Outlining thematic priorities, as well as cross-cutting priorities have been guiding us to the next steps and focal topics for 2019.
Bilateral Meeting at the Hofburg
Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Federal President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen join forces to promote more action to step up climate ambition. In December they were both at the COP24 in Katowice, now they stand side by side again for the R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT on May 28. We are very pleased that Alexander Van der Bellen will take over the patronage of the #R20AWS for the third time. A special present from Arnold Schwarzenegger: the brand-new R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT skis. We are also support the Initiative of Alexander Van der Bellen „For more Climate Ambition“!
Arnold Schwarzenegger meets Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
After promoting climate protection together with Ski aces in Kitzbühel, Arnold Schwarzenegger presented Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz with the special R20 Austrian World Summit skis to thank him for his great support for the third R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in Vienna on May 28.
New skis for Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a big fan of Kitzbühel (Austria), jumped at the opportunity to visit the Hahnenkamm Races again this year together with Heather Milligan. He was particularly excited to further his commitment to environmental protection together with ski aces Matthias Mayer, Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud, as well as HEAD boss Johan Eliasch who presented him with a personalized set of skis branded with R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT.
The skis symbolize the need for action and solutions in all areas of life to counteract climate change. Arnold Schwarzenegger is concerned with increasing climate change awareness and, with the support of these excellent skiers and great role models, hopes to demonstrate the alternatives open to us all.
“Katowice Climate Package” agreed at COP24
The UN Climate Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, has achieved its determined goal: on December 15th, the delegates finally adopted unanimously a rulebook for the Paris Agreement. In addition, the almost 200 states agreed on ways to implement the Paris Agreement and thus limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era.
To ensure that the rules are actually followed, the principle of "naming and shaming" was introduced: Responsible states are publicly named and denounced for violations. Thus, states are not forced to protect the climate, but can hardly escape it. Transparency and comparability are important prerequisites: Starting in 2020, states have to report every two years on what measures they are taking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and they will have to disclose how their emissions are developing.
The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT team was present at the COP 24 in Poland and used the meeting of international experts, institutions and political representatives for important discussions and networking – also at the Austrian Pavilion, where innovative solutions "Made in Austria" were prominently presented
A Call to Action from California
The Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco for business, city and state leaders closed with a call on national governments to increase their pledges to the Paris Agreement. Subnational actors asked nations to update their pledges to reach the 1,5 degree goal. The message from Governor James Brown and Michael Bloomberg was clear: Even without President Trump and his administration, the US is upholding the Paris Agreement.
Hundreds of commitments have been announced by states, regions, cities, businesses, but also by investors and NGO´s showing that it is possible and urgent to step up climate action together, for instance:
12 regions - including Catalonia, Lombardy, Scotland, and Washington State, representing over 80 million people and over 5 percent of global GDP will have 100 per cent zero emission public fleets by 2030.
21 companies announced the Step Up Declaration, a new alliance dedicated to harnessing the power of emerging technologies and the fourth industrial revolution to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all economic sectors and ensure a climate turning point by 2020. Including: Autodesk, Bloomberg, BT, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lyft, Nokia, Salesforce, Supermicro, Symantec, Tech Mahindra, Uber, Vigilent, VMware, WeWork, Workday, and Zoox.
42 financial institutions representing over $13 trillion in assets announced a commitment to helping cities, states, and regions finance climate action including European Investment Bank, Work Bank, IFC and APG Active.
Road to Katowice and beyond!
The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is part of an ever-growing community. We have outlined the most important milestones of this global process in a timeline up to our next conference on 28 May 2019 - also to clearly emphasize that the R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is not a one-day event.
What has been going on since the last conference?
We just finished the first phase of the postprocessing: We have summarized all immediate results from the sessions of the second R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May, 2018.
What are the next steps?
For the submission to the Talanoa Dialogue our results will be synthesized and structured along the guiding questions. In a more comprehensive follow up report we will go more into detail which also brings us important inputs and questions for the next R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May, 2019.
About the milestones
As representatives of the R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT we will visit the next important events as further milestones in the run-up to COP24 in Poland: The European Forum Alpbach, the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco and the Climate Week in New York amongst others.
Donation for "Hope For Batwa Children"
We are happy to support a very special project of naturalist and chimpanzee specialist Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institut – Austria: „Hope for Batwa Children“.
At the beginning of her work, the focus of Jane Goodall was on research into wild chimpanzees. Then she realized that the rescue of chimpanzees and the nature of Africa can only be successful if the projects are planned holistically and implemented together with the people of these regions. “Education is the key to a better future!”, Jane Goodall is convinced. Therefore, the Jane Goodall Institute - Austria initiated the project "Hope for Batwa Children". Currently, 12 children of the BATWA Pygmies, one of Africa's oldest hunting and gathering tribes are being cared for in an own house. They have - for the first time in their lives - a real roof over their heads, enough food and go to school.
R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT would like to make a contribution and pass on some of the success of the conference bysupporting this great project. R20 Austria & EU Director and organizer Monika Langthaler presented the donation to Jane Goodall at the R20 Movie Night following the conference on May 15.
Antonio Guterres comes to Vienna
It is a special honor for us that António Guterres visits Vienna for the first time in his function as UN Secretary-General on the occasion of the R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT. Joining the R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is a clear commitment for climate action.
António Guterres recently issued an urgent warning at a press conference in New York about the consequences of climate change. The headlines would be dominated by the escalation tensions and conflicts around the world, The UN Secretary-General said. “But the truth is that the most systemic threat to humankind remains climate change and I believe it is my duty to remind it to the whole of the international community.” Nevertheless, he was optimistic: “What the world needs is a race to the top – with political will, innovation, financing and partnerships. And I remain convinced we have what it takes to prevail.”
Our R20 Austrian World Summit Tram in Vienna!
Transportation is one of the largest and a growing sector for increasing energy demand and CO2-emissions: with a share of 29 percent, it contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions in Austria. In the EU is about 25 percent, globally the share of this sector is approx. 15 percent. In order to achieve our climate targets, urgent measures must be taken in the transport sector. A climate friendly infrastructure and a sustainable design our mobility system is therefore a particular priority.
The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT wants to underline the important role of public transport in this context: For this reason, a specially branded tram is now on the way in Vienna. This not only draws attention to our conference, but also encourages climate-friendly transportation with its slogan: „Umwelt schützen – Bim benützen“ (Protect the environment – use the tram).
Vienna City Councillor Ulli Sima and Wiener Linien joined as partners for the branding of the tram. The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT Bim will run until May 22nd.