Prince William,Yemi Alade, Monica Araya, Xiye
Bastida, Jesper Brodin, Don Cheadle, Dave Clark, Christiana
Figueres, Al Gore, António Guterres, Chris Hemsworth, Kara
Hurst, Lisa Jackson, Rose Mutiso, Johan Rockström, Prince
Royce, Mark Ruffalo, Sigrid, Jaden Smith, Nige
l Topping,
and Ursula von der Leyen join scientists, activists, artists,
schools and leaders from business and government to accelerate and
amplify solutions


Countdown
,
 a
global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the
climate crisis, will launch on October 10,
2020
 with a free five-hour live virtual event featuring
leading thinkers and doers. This is the moment to act, and they
will outline what a healthy, abundant, zero-emission future can
look like—turning ideas into action. The event will combine
TED’s signature blend of actionable and research-backed ideas,
cutting-edge science, and moments of wonder and inspiration.
Countdown is one part of a broader series of actions and events
this fall including the Bloomberg Green Festival, Climate Week NYC
and others, all with the collective objective of informing and
activating millions in the lead-up to a successful UN Climate
Change Conference in November 2021.

The Countdown launch will be streamed live on TED’s
YouTube channel
.
 This
global event will be the first ever TED conference that is free and
open to the public. Segments from the event, including the
biggest talks and performances, will be made available immediately
across all digital platforms. The program includes 50+ pieces of
content—talks, performances, animations and more.  Speakers will
touch on topics such as:

  • Climate science and the climate crisis: Where are we
    today?
  • Why climate justice matters
  • Putting climate back on the political and social agenda
  • What businesses can do—and are doing—to transform and
    transition
  • Rethinking our cities
  • Stepping up at work and at home
  • The path to a safer, cleaner, fairer future for people and the
    planet

A full agenda and speaker list can be found

here
.

In addition to the live global event, over 500 TEDx Countdown
virtual events in nine languages are planned around the world,
encouraging communities and citizens to take action locally while
also feeding local solutions and ideas into the global
conversation. Countdown has also convened a global Youth Council of
recognized activists who will help shape the Countdown agenda
throughout the year. Additionally, Countdown is working to engage
people through art with ten public art installations in global
cities around the 10.10.20 event and open calls for
art––illustration and photography––to run throughout the
year on the Countdown website.

“The moment to act on climate change has been upon us for too
long, and now is the time to unite all levels of society—business
leaders, courageous political actors, scientists and
individuals—to get to net-zero emissions before
2050,†said Chris Anderson, Countdown founding partner and
Head of TED
. “Climate is a top priority for TED and members
of our community, and we are proud to fully dedicate our
organization in the fight for our collective future.â€

“Countdown brings together a powerful collaboration of
partners from all sectors to act on climate
change,†said Lindsay Levin, Countdown founding partner and
CEO of Leaders’ Quest.
 â€œWe need to work together with
courage and compassion to deliver a healthy, fair, resilient future
for everyone.

With so many people who have already committed to addressing
climate change, Countdown is about radical
collaboration—convening all stakeholders to build on the critical
work already underway and bringing existing, powerful solutions to
an even broader audience. Powered by TED and Future
Stewards
, Countdown aims to answer five fundamental,
interconnected questions that inform a blueprint for a better
future:

  • ENERGY: How rapidly can we switch to 100% clean power?
  • TRANSPORT: How can we upgrade the way we move people and
    things?
  • MATERIALS: How can we re-imagine and re-make the stuff around
    us?
  • FOOD: How can we spark a worldwide shift to healthier food
    systems?
  • NATURE: How do we better protect and re-green the earth?

Countdown is asking companies and organizations to join the

Race to Zero
 through Business
Ambition for 1.5
°C
,
which is a commitment to set science-based targets aligned with
limiting global warming to 1.5°C, and through
The Climate Pledge
, which calls on signatories to be net
zero carbon by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement goal of
2050.

“We can inspire others through action and example, because
there is no hope without action,†said 17-year-old climate
justice activist Xiye Bastida, a lead organizer of the Fridays for
Future youth climate strike movement. 
“We are fighting to
ensure this planet survives and flourishes for future generations,
which requires intergenerational cooperation. Countdown is about
coming together across ages and sectors to protect the earth and
ensure we leave it better than we found it.â€

“Five years after the unanimous signing of the Paris
Agreement, many countries, companies and citizens are doing what
they can about the climate crisis. But this is not
enough,†said Christiana Figueres, former UN climate chief
(2010-2016), now co-founder of Global Optimism.
 â€œWe have this
decisive decade to achieve what is necessary—cutting global
emissions in half over the next ten years is vital to meeting the
goal of net zero by 2050. I am delighted to partner with Countdown
to increase the global stock of stubborn optimism that is needed to
push every company and country—and engage citizens—in actions
that decouple carbon from our economy and way of life in this
decade.â€

Following the launch, Countdown will facilitate a number of
sector leader working groups along with the
initiative’s network
of partner organizations
 through November 2021. These will
focus on delivering breakthrough progress in reducing greenhouse
gas emissions in the lead-up to the UN
Climate Change Conference in Glasgow
. During next year’s
Countdown Summit (October 12-15, 2021, Edinburgh, Scotland), the
initiative will share an actionable blueprint for a net-zero future
and celebrate the progress that’s already been made.

Citizens are the critical component of this initiative and
anyone can #JoinTheCountdown by:

Connect at Countdown@ted.com

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to
Ideas Worth Spreading, often in the form of short talks delivered
by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED
conferences, intimate TED Salons and thousands of independently
organized TEDx events around the world. Videos of these talks are
made available, free, on
TED.com
 and other platforms. Audio versions of TED Talks
are published to
TED Talks Daily
, available on all podcast platforms.

Follow TED on
Twitter
,
Facebook
,
Instagram
 and on
LinkedIn
.

About Future Stewards
Future
Stewards
 is a coalition of partners (Leaders’
Quest
Global
Optimism
, and We
Mean Business
) working together to build a regenerative
future – where we meet the needs of all, within the means of the
planet. Founded after the Paris Agreement, Future Stewards equips
individuals, businesses and communities with the awareness and
tools required to tackle systemic problems, scale what works, and
build cross-sector collaboration.

Contact press@ted.com