New York – Pathway to Paris gave voice to the urgent issue of climate change on Sunday night at Carnegie Hall, celebrating the launch of its 1,000 Cities initiative and the organization’s three years of environmental advocacy.
Founded by Jesse Paris Smithand Rebecca Foon, Pathway to Paris orchestrated the event in partnership with the UN Development Programme and 350 org – bringing together a collection of artists, activists, academics, musicians, politicians, and innovators to shine a light on 1,000 Cities’ imperative mission, supported by a Care2 petition which invites the world’s cities to transition off of fossil fuels in a call to action.
The evening opened with powerful speeches and performances by Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon, who curated the event, encapsulating the essence of Pathway to Paris. “Climate change is our unifying global concern,” stated Jesse Paris Smith. “It breaks down and defines the geographical borders and walls we have created.
It unifies us all and urges us to realize our collective voice. Music is our universal language.
The power of music brings us together, showing how truly interconnected we all are. The Earth is our home, and our home is in danger.
The signs are loud and clear. There is no longer time for borders and walls. Our hope is that by the end of this night, you will all be climate leaders.”
“We believe the solution lies within transforming our cities and communities,” added Foon, announcing the new 1,000 Cities initiative. “This evening, Pathway to Paris is launching the 1000 Cities initiative, an initiative to unite the world to move above and beyond the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.
Tonight we are inviting 1,000 cities around the world to become 100% renewable and transition off of fossil fuels by 2040 in order to make Paris real.”
The evening’s attendees enjoyed many once-in-a-lifetime moments, including R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe covering “Sunday Morning” by Velvet Underground, Patti Smith’s retelling of Cat Stevens’ “Where Do the Children Play” and Joan Baezdancing with Talib Kweli, who was backed on the bass guitar by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Concert-goers were also asked to participate in the concert, as Bill McKibben paused the show for 60 seconds to allow attendees to write letters to Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the EPA and Olafur Eliasson used Little Sun solar-energy lights (littlesun.com/shop) to orchestrate a breathtaking illumination of Carnegie Hall, before revealing that each light used would be sent to Puerto Rico to help those still lacking power following Hurricane Maria.
Heralded by Patti Smith’s fierce cries of “it’s decreed the people rule,” the crowd ascended into a deafening chant as Stipe, Baez, Kweli, Cat Power, Tanya Tagaq,Tenzin Choegyal and the 3,000 people in attendance contributed their voices to “People Have the Power;” collectively reminding the world that we have “The power to dream, to rule, and to wrestle the world from fools.”
The festivities continued late into the night as concert-goers, VIPs, and the evening’s talent gathered together in celebration.
Guests included Maggie Gyllenhall, PeterSarsgaard, Ed Norton, Mario Batali, and Nick Zinner of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Celebrations for the concert kicked off with a cocktail party the night before, hosted by Journal Hotels at the Mondrian Park Avenue in Yours Truly, the subterranean nightclub.
Party attendees were addressed by Patti Smith, accompanied by Pathway to Paris founders Rebecca Foon and Jesse Paris Smith, on the importance of its mission, and to thank everyone for joining the cause.
ABOUT PATHWAY TO PARIS
Since its launch in 2014, Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon have grown the Pathway to Paris concert has grown from an event held in New York’s (Le) Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village to this year’s event at Carnegie Hall.
The organization was launched after The People’s Climate March in New York City with the initiative to, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program and 350 org, brings together musicians, artists, activists, climate change experts, academics, politicians, and innovators, to participate in a series of events and dialogues to help turn the Paris Agreement into action through innovative solutions.
ABOUT UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
The UN Development Programme works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion.
A leader in climate action, UNDP maintains a portfolio of nearly $3 billion climate initiatives, ranging from renewable energy to community level climate adaptation to the protection of forests.
ABOUT 350 ORG
350 org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.
They use online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all. 350’s network extends to 188 countries.
They believe in a safe climate and a better future – a just, prosperous, and equitable world built with the power of ordinary people.