Pathway to Paris

“Art, I believe, has great potential for changing the way we discuss an issue as important as climate change. It makes something not only comprehensible for the mind but also physically tangible – turning thinking into doing.”

 – Olafur Eliasson

On November 5th, Pathway to Paris hosted an electrifying concert at Carnegie Hall in NYC ahead of COP 23 in Bonn, Germany. As a “collection of artists, activists, academics, musicians, politicians, innovators coming together to fight for climate justice” they collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to help shine on a light on the importance of turning the COP 21 agreement into a reality. Featuring a range of renowned musicians—including Rebecca Foon, Jesse Paris Smith, Joan Baez, Talib Kweli, Tanya Takaq, Patti Smith, Cat Power, Flea, Tenzin Choegyal, and Michael Stipe—, this event illuminated how climate change is “too important an issue to be left in the hands of politicians alone”. Pathways to Paris also launched Join 1000 Cities, a new campaign that calls for cities to reject fossil fuels and move to 100% renewable energy by 2040.

At one point, artist Olafur Eliasson presented every attendee with a Little Sun solar lamp. Collectively, the audience raised their lamps to create a solar-powered sunrise. As a call to action, this gesture was intended to evoke a sense of connectivity and empowerment. At the end of the concert, the lamps were collected and donated to the people of Puerto Rico, many of whom have been without electricity for weeks.

For a great summary of the events of the evening, check out this blog post by Ben & Jerry's (yes the ice cream) highlighting their 10 Favorite Things at Pathway to Paris

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