"We start this new decade knowing that it is the most consequential period in history," says Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy's "Moonshot," he calls on us all to rise to our greatest challenge ever: the "Earthshot." A set of ambitious objectives for the planet, the Earthshot goals seek to protect and restore nature, clean the air, revive oceans, build a waste-free world and fix the climate -- all in the next decade. To do it, we'll need people in all corners of the globe working together with urgency, creativity and the belief that it is possible to repair the Earth.
Climate change is the epic challenge of our lives, and community leaders like Rahwa Ghirmatzion and Zelalem Adefris are already working on sustainable, resilient solutions. Through their organizations in Buffalo and Miami, they're focused on durable, affordable housing for under-resourced communities, the most vulnerable to the instability of climate change. Watch for a lesson on how we can work alongside our neighbors to address climate catastrophe and social inequality. (Narrated by Don Cheadle)
Concrete is all around us: we use it to build our roads, buildings, bridges and much more. Yet over the last 2,000 years, the art of mixing cement and using it to bind concrete hasn't changed very much -- and it remains one of the world's biggest emitters of carbon. Entrepreneur Tom Schuler previews an innovative way to create concrete, potentially turning it into a carbon sink that traps CO2 from the atmosphere -- while producing a viable building material.
Concrete is the second most-used substance on Earth (behind water), and it's responsible for eight percent of the world's carbon footprint. Cement researcher Karen Scrivener shares the research behind a pioneering new kind of cement known as LC3, which could slash carbon emissions from this crucial building material by 40 percent, if adopted at scale.
"The good news is it's now clearly cheaper to save the planet than to ruin it," says engineer and investor John Doerr. "The bad news is: we are fast running out of time." In this conversation with climate policy expert Hal Harvey, the two sustainability leaders discuss why humanity has to act globally, at speed and at scale, to meet the staggering challenge of decarbonizing the global economy (which has only ever increased emissions throughout history) -- and share helpful examples of promising energy solutions from around the world.
We need to care for and live in harmony with the environment, says climate and gender activist Ernestine Leikeki Sevidzem. The best way to do that? Nurture a forest generation: one that learns to protect nature. Sevidzem shares how she's educating both children and adults in her native Cameroon on what it means to love and preserve the Earth -- and calls for all of us to foster generations that will inherit a mindset that works with nature, not against it.
Biodiversity is the key to life on Earth and reviving our damaged planet, says ecologist Thomas Crowther. Sharing the inside story of his headline-making research on reforestation, which led to the UN's viral Trillion Trees Campaign, Crowther introduces Restor: an expansive, informative platform built to enable anyone, anywhere to help restore the biodiversity of Earth's ecosystems.
"Nature reveals itself to us in unique ways, if we stop and look at the world through a window of time," says photographer Stephen Wilkes. Using a special photographic technique that reveals how a scene changes from day to night in a single image, Wilkes exposes the Earth's beautiful complexity and the impacts of climate change -- from the disruption of flamingo migrations in Africa to the threat of melting ice -- with unprecedented force.
Climate change is our reality. Here's how we're taking action | Al Gore, Gloria Kasang Bulus, Nana Firman, Ximena Loría and Tim Guinee
With the Climate Reality Project, Al Gore is helping mold future leaders to build the movement for climate survival and social justice from the ground up. He introduces us to four of the Project's graduates, each of whom confronts climate change on their own terms: Ximena Loría, founder of Misión 2 Grados, an NGO influencing public policy in Central America; Nana Firman, "daughter of the rainforest" and advocate for climate justice among Indigenous peoples; Gloria Kasang Bulus, a Nigerian activist for women and education; and Tim Guinee, a first responder and climate change fighter in upstate New York. Together, they're gathering local actors into a global, grassroots movement that aims to turn the climate fight around.
People around the world are demanding clean air -- and cities are starting to respond, says electrification advocate Monica Araya. She takes us on a world tour of urban areas that are working to fully electrify their transportation systems over the next decade, shifting to emission-free motorcycles, cars, buses, ferries and beyond. See what a future without the internal combustion engine could look like -- and what it will take to get there.
In this perspective-shifting talk, energy researcher Rose M. Mutiso makes the case for prioritizing Africa's needs with what's left of the world's carbon budget, to foster growth and equitably achieve a smaller global carbon footprint.
The fossil fuel industry knows how to stop global warming, but they're waiting for someone else to pay, says climate science scholar Myles Allen. Instead of a total ban on carbon-emitting fuels, Allen puts forth a bold plan for oil and gas companies to progressively decarbonize themselves and sequester CO2 deep in the earth, with the aim of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and creating a carbon dioxide disposal industry that works for everyone.
India has a historic opportunity to power its industrialization with clean energy -- and its energy choices will make or break the world's fight against climate change, says clean energy executive, physicist and author Varun Sivaram. Bringing on-the-ground experience as CTO of India's largest renewable energy company, Sivaram proposes a plan for India to achieve three herculean feats, all at the same time -- and reimagine its economy with renewable energy at its heart.
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, is on a mission to plant a million trees over the next two years, increasing vegetation in her city by fifty percent while shoring up eroding riverbanks and increasing biodiversity. "This isn't just about planting trees; it's about growing trees, and it's about ensuring that each one of us is part of the process," she says. "A million trees is our city's small contribution to increasing the much-needed global carbon sink."
Living in a city means accepting a certain level of dysfunction: long commutes, noisy streets, underutilized spaces. Carlos Moreno wants to change that. He makes the case for the "15-minute city," where inhabitants have access to all the services they need to live, learn and thrive within their immediate vicinity -- and shares ideas for making urban areas adapt to humans, not the other way around.
Comedian Aparna Nancherla loves to take out the trash. In this funny and sharp meditation on garbage -- "the stuff that our modern, consumerist, carbon-powered culture makes us buy endlessly, and often for no reason" -- she shares thoughts on how to use less in a world that's choking on ever-larger piles of waste.
In 2019, Amazon signed the Climate Pledge, a commitment to become a net-zero carbon business by 2040. Dave Clark, Amazon's chief of consumer retail, and Kara Hurst, head of the company's sustainability efforts, sit down with entrepreneur and activist Lindsay Levin to discuss how the company is planning to reduce its carbon footprint across all aspects of business -- while inviting other companies to join them in this transformation.
How do we tell stories of humanity and nature at a time when our planet is burning? Novelist Elif Shafak invites us to listen to the trees, whose experience of time, stillness and impermanence is utterly different from our own. "Hidden inside [their] story is the past and the future of humanity," she says.
"Business is screwed if we don't fix climate change," says economist Rebecca Henderson. In this bold talk, she describes how unchecked capitalism destabilizes the environment and harms human health -- and makes the case for companies to step up and help fix the climate crisis they're causing. Hear what a reimagined capitalism, in which companies pay for the climate damage they cause, could look like.
Known for big, attention-grabbing installations -- like his four towering waterfalls in New York's East River -- Olafur Eliasson has scaled down his latest project, Earth Speakr: an art platform for kids designed to spur budding climate activists to lead discussions on nature, conservation, pollution and more.