Free 5-Point Climate Week Briefing

Tips to prime you ahead of the week — whether you’re attending in person or not

B. Lorraine Smith
7 min readSep 18, 2022

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Climate Week in NYC is hectic. A lot happens. Yet, also, not a lot happens. It’s up to us. (Photo by me.)

This is an invitation to do something useful and joyful in relation to Climate Week, which begins this week in New York City. I compiled this based on years of experience immersed in corporate sustainability while living in NYC.

If it seems unfairly critical read from top to bottom, consider switching the order and reading from bottom to top. I mean this sincerely, and I also mean it as an indication of how upside down things are. Thankfully, we can change this.

I used to live two blocks north of the United Nations headquarters. Something as simple as crossing the street became a barrier-strewn adventure during the UN General Assemblies. Things calmed down a little during Climate Week, but still it was hectic.

Logistical headaches aside, I was conveniently located to participate as a professional working in corporate sustainability. As a result, I found myself attending lots of Climate Week meetings and events.

Scenes from my old hood. Crossing the street during the UN General Assembly and then Climate Week was… interesting! There were very few cars on 1st Ave — a rare scene. And the cars that were there were either blaring sirens, or dark SUVs ferrying VIPs to very important places. (Photos by me.)

People would say to me, “You’re so lucky you live in NYC! You must love Climate Week!” No. I did not love Climate Week.

I did love seeing friends and meeting new people who came to town. But in terms of the essence of the thing itself — realigning our economy in service of life — I found it unhelpful. It felt like a lot of speakers sitting in chairs up front saying things that are already on their organizations’ websites, with other people in chairs watching them while messaging with friends and colleagues who were in other chairs watching other people at other meetings. There were a lot of side meetings to figure out which were the most important evening events to attend, or which restaurants to make reservations at with how big a group. And then there was a lot of getting in and out of taxis, showing security badges, etc.

Honestly, with such great people around, we could have just enjoyed each other’s company for a walk in Central Park and accomplished much more.

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B. Lorraine Smith

Recovering ESG "expert"; yarn spinner; distance runner; magical realist. Sensing a path to an economy serving life. also at https://blorrainesmith.substack.com/