Climate action requires consensus-and compromise


    September 18, 2023


    Determination and hope are on the agenda at Climate Week

    Climate Week NYC kicks off in September 2023 with a simple but powerful theme: “We Can. We Will.” The annual summit has grown to become an important part of the climate calendar, attended by leading politicians, businesses, and investors alike.


    This year, the summit takes place under difficult circumstances. The moral case for acting on the climate crisis has never been clearer; in the first half of 2023, the world has seen a devastating round of extreme weather events. New records have been broken for sea, land, and air temperatures. The months of June and July were the hottest on record.


    Complicating the picture in the United States is a lack of political consensus about how to combat the crisis. The political mood often swings in opposing directions, while issues caused by extreme weather events—including droughts, floods, fires, and food insecurity—have the potential to lead to further instability.

    But there’s some positive news too. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law in 2022, is one of the most significant pieces of climate legislation in history. President Biden’s bold attempt to throw the might of the US federal government behind the green economy is already having a major impact. Multibillion dollar investments have been made off the back of the legislation with global companies eager to take advantage of the US$400 billion in new funding for clean technologies.
    The impact of the law is putting pressure on the European Union to hasten its own climate policies. The bloc has formulated a new Green Deal Industrial Plan to support member states on the road to net zero. “Europe is determined to lead the clean tech revolution,” commented Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, a clear indication that a new race to the future has begun.
    This heightened environment will no doubt be under discussion at Climate Week NYC, as many businesses weigh up new and sometimes conflicting net zero policies. During the week, the UN is hosting a Climate Ambition Summit, designed to hear from “first movers and doers” in business, government, investment, and civil society. As a global leader in highly energy-efficient connected and LED lighting solutions, Signify will be in attendance.

    The solutions to the current crisis are well-known and need to be rapidly scaled up. Clean electricity will be the backbone of the net-zero economy, enabling us to electrify almost everything which currently emits carbon.”


    Harry Verhaar

    Global Head of Public and Government Affairs, Signify

    “This combined with energy-saving technologies will mean we can go much further and faster than we are today. These developments will have multiple co-benefits, from cleaner air to improved living and work spaces.”
    Investments being made right now in electric vehicles, battery storage, and renewable energy are starting to join the dots in that electric vision of the future. But it doesn’t take huge sums of money or a shift in the political landscape to take action. More than 25% of light points worldwide still use relatively inefficient non-LED technology. Upgrading these lights to new LED units can have an immediate and long-lasting impact on carbon emissions.
    An electric car charging showcases the switch to clean energy

    Internal analysis from Signify also suggests that switching to LEDs may have significant economic benefits, too, reducing energy costs in Europe by €65 billion. The same is true in the US, with a shift to LEDs projected to save an estimated US$31.5 billion.


    When delegates arrive in New York for a fresh round of debate and decision-making, they should focus on ways to seek stronger consensus in the US on the way forward. The world’s largest economy can’t be directed towards rapid, positive change unless consensus is reached and compromise is accepted. As the impacts of the climate crisis become ever more acute, the themes of Climate Week NYC 2023 become ever more relevant. If business leaders, political change makers, local decision takers, and civil society representatives can work together, they can create efficient buildings for people and the planet, and begin to unlock the value of a low-carbon future.

    Find out how you can make the Green Switch, and help meet your carbon reduction targets.
    Listen to this article, and discover other topic related blog podcasts, here.

    About the author:

    Jonathan Weinert

    Jonathan Weinert

    IoT and connected lighting, Signify

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify UKI PR
    Nikita Mahajan­

    Tel: +44 (0)7459751618


    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2022, we had sales of EUR 7.5 billion, approximately 35,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in our operations in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for six consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

    Meydan Bridge

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