Press & Media

Bloomberg Philanthropies and Vanity Fair Host First Joint Climate Exchange to Highlight Human Impact of Climate Change 

UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg and Vanity Fair Editor Radhika Jones convened thought-leaders in discussion to inspire action

LONDON – Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Vanity Fair hosted a unique sustainability conference, ‘Climate Exchange’ at the Bloomberg LP European Headquarters in London.

The Climate Exchange focused on community stories and the personal effects of climate change, with panellists including Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; investor Stephen Brenninkmeijer; sustainable fashion designer, Stella McCartney; Chairman of the Tiffany & Co Foundation, Anisa Kamadoli Costa; 13th US Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy; and Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, William Peduto.

“Climate change has proven to be both a short and long-term threat with this year demonstrating some of the worst impacts on citizens worldwide,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “Following world leaders gathering in Poland to discuss the issue, the Climate Exchange has highlighted the human impact and solutions.”

On December 11th, Bloomberg Philanthropies hosted a screening at BAFTA of its new documentary film Paris to Pittsburgh, which brings to life the impassioned efforts of individuals who are battling, and creating solutions to, the most severe threats of climate change. Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto joined the Climate Exchange program to discuss Pittsburgh’s role in the film and American climate progress in the face of federal inaction. Produced in partnership with RadicalMedia, Paris to Pittsburgh premieres globally on the National Geographic Channel this evening.

“Cities and citizens have an important role to play in the fight against climate change,” said Mayor Peduto. “I was proud to represent my city at the COP in Poland and again here in London as we continue to find ways to unite the various actors in this critical time.”

In conversation with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, designer Stella McCartney stressed the business case for sustainable fashion, expanding on the rationale for the United Nations fashion industry charter for climate action, which launched Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Conference in Poland.

“Because the fashion industry has a significant impact on the environment, there is an enormous opportunity for consequential change,” said McCartney. “Ultimately it’s the smart decision for the planet and for our industry.”

While discussing the threat to our oceans, Global Fishing Watch CEO Tony Long announced a new research partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard; signalled the launch in January of an analysis cell to support governments in using their data to strengthen fishing monitoring and intelligence; and hinted that new countries, including Panama and Namibia, would be joining the organisation’s transparency platform in the coming months.

World-renowned artist Olafur Eliasson highlighted his and geologist Minik Rosing’s latest installation, Ice Watch, which features giant, melting blocks of ice from the waters surrounding the Greenland ice sheet. The piece underscores the urgency of the IPCC report warning that we have only twelve years to limit the worst effects of climate change. The ice blocks are on display on Bankside outside Tate Modern and in the City of London outside Bloomberg’s European headquarters, allowing the public to experience the tangible effects of glacial ice melting away.

The Climate Exchange follows Vanity Fair’s fifth annual New Establishment Summit in October which featured titans of technology, media, business, entertainment, politics and the arts for conversations on the issues and innovations shaping our future.

The Exchange coincides with the third anniversary of the signing of the landmark Paris Agreement and the UN Conference of the Parties in Katowice, Poland. Speakers at the Exchange tackled topics specific to the Paris implementation agenda and its 2020 milestones, including ocean preservation, protection of citizens’ health and utilization of technologies for a more sustainable future.

The conference also concludes a year of climate-focused events hosted by Mike Bloomberg, including the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco as well as the One Planet Summit in New York City. The Climate Exchange will continue to drive progress toward 2019 and the upcoming UN climate summit.

Contact: Lee Cochran
lee@bloomberg.org