We Are Still In at COP24

In December 2018 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Katowice, Poland for the most important and substantive round of climate negotiations since the 2015 outcome which delivered the Paris Agreement. These talks delivered a rulebook for guiding Paris' implementation.

We Are Still In, which stepped up in 2017 as representative of the United States' politically diverse and economically powerful pro-climate majority, returned for COP24 to showcase sustained American leadership and to convene the U.S. Climate Action Center. Mayors, business leaders, congressional staff, and other climate actors from across the country utilized this space to communicate their progress on climate and connect with other international leaders.

Hundreds of people from around the world attended events at the U.S. Climate Action Center, which focused on topics such as the US midterm elections, private sector leadership, youth engagement, and natural climate solutions.

Members of the We Are Still In coalition, representing US states, businesses, faith groups, cultural institutions, universities, and more also met with representatives of France, Germany, and the Alliance of Small Island States during the negotiations to reassure these delegations of continued American leadership and partnership, and to advocate for a strong and productive outcome.


To learn more about the U.S. presence at COP24 check out the following articles:

NPR: Mayors And Governors Rebut Trump Administration Position At Climate Summit

Motherboard: The American Coalition Resisting Trump at the Climate Talks in Poland 

Christian Science Monitor: US Presence At Climate Talks Mirrors Political Rifts at Home 

America's Pledge:US Backers of Paris Accord Set Up Camp at Climate Talks 


Recordings of the events can be found by clicking on the event's title below.

Friday, December 7th

US Climate Action Center Kickoff

Friday, December 7th | 10:00 - 12:00 | US Climate Action Center

When the current administration announced it would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord – We Are Still In offered a strong and resounding message that major parts of the U.S. economy remain committed to collaborative climate action. Over 3600 signatories in all 50 states have joined the movement – and it continues to grow. This session will feature representatives from states, cities and counties, tribes, businesses, investors, higher education, cultural institutions, healthcare systems, and more telling their stories about ambition, climate action, and solutions, as we kick off four full days of events at the U.S. Climate Action Center.

Speakers: Ryan Martel, Ceres; Sue Reid, Ceres; Massamba Thioye, UNFCCC; Fawn Sharp, Quinault Nation; Ashley Allen, Mars; Patrick Flynn, Salesforce; Patrick Hamilton, Minnesota Science Museum; Josh Karliner, Healthcare without Harm; Bishop Marc Andrus, Episcopal Church; Bill Somplatsky Jarman, Presbyterian Church 

Hosted by: We Are Still In


Cities & Private Sector Together Leading the Way to Zero Carbon Buildings

Friday, December 7th | 14:00 - 15:00 | US Climate Action Center

Eight American cities – of twenty-two cities globally –have committed to ensure that our cities deliver on the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement and develop the net zero carbon buildings of the future. These cities have pledged to enact policy to ensure new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 and all buildings by 2050. Joining them are five corporations – representing real estate, manufacturing, and tech -- with operations in the US, committing to net zero carbon building portfolios. Developing, enacting, and implementing these policies and commitments will be challenging, but is essential if we are to limit global warming. This session will delve into what is motivating cities and corporations to make these commitments – and what it will take to engage other cities in this level of ambition. The discussion will touch upon initial steps cities are taking to push buildings towards zero carbon; how technology and private sector innovation can help, including early examples; how advanced buildings need to work with the grid; and the role of the private sector in developing policy and non-policy mechanisms that can support city scale success.

Speakers: Lisa Jacobson, BCSE; Elizabeth Beardsley, USGBC; Victoria Burros, World GBC; Michael Northrup, Rockerfeller Brothers Fund; Jacek Lukaszewski, Schneider Electric

Hosted by: Business Council for Sustainable Energy & US Green Building Council


Climate Cafe: U.S. Youth and Amplifying the Driver for Climate Ambition 

Friday, December 7th | 15:15 - 16:45 | US Climate Action Center

The event will convene young people from the United States attending COP across constituencies, IGOs and Party support teams to discuss how to amplify efforts and re-center and reflect after the first week of negotiations. Other leaders will be present to participate in discussion. Coffee and refreshments will be provided.

Because of the interactive discussion format, we ask that participants pre-register and stay for the duration of the event. Because the pavilion has very limited space, please limit registration to 2-3 members of your delegation who would like to attend. The discussion is intended to consider the unique challenges and opportunities of American participation in the UNFCCC process.

Click here to RSVP.

Hosted by: University Climate Change Coalition and Washington University in St. Louis


U.S. Climate Action Reporter Reception

Friday, December 7th | 17:00 - 19:00 | US Climate Action Center

The US Climate Action Center welcomes journalists to meet NGO leaders, local government representatives, House and Senate staff, and US leaders from business, higher education, faith and indigenous groups. It will be a forum for background discussions recapping the first week of COP24 and looking ahead to the issue-heavy second week of negotiations. 

All are welcome to attend. 

Hosted by: We Are Still In


Saturday, December 8th

Fulfilling America’s Pledge: Findings and Opportunities

Saturday, December 8th | 10:00 - 12:00 | US Climate Action Center

This event will share with the international community the results from the recent Fulfilling America’s Pledge and provide additional context via practitioners, demonstrating how real economy actors such as states, cities, and businesses are able to make a difference in our US emissions trajectory; assessing opportunities to enhance subnational and non-state action globally, and how this might interact with raising ambition in advance of the Secretary General’s 2019 summit and 2020 COP.

Speakers: Nate Hultman, Center for Global Sustainability, UMD; Carla Frisch, Rocky Mountain Institute; Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board; Patrick Flynn, Salesforce; Takejiro Sueyoshi, Special Advisor to the UNEP Finance Initiative & the Asia Pacific; Sara Law, VP Global Initiatives, CDP; Cristian Feldkamp, CEO, CREA Argentinian Climate Alliance

Hosted by: America’s Pledge


Harnessing the Power of Nature to Slow Climate Change

Saturday, December 8th | 12:30 - 13:30 | US Climate Action Center

The IPCC’s 1.5 degree report made it clear that we must not only quickly decarbonize, but remove 100-1,000 GT of carbon from our atmosphere if we are to stave off the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Our lands are a natural solution to sequester carbon, reduce emissions and enhance the resilience of our communities. This event will explore how states, businesses and civil society are working together to deploy natural solutions to meet our greatest climate challenges.

Speakers: Reed Schuler, Washington State; John Verdieck, The Nature Conservancy

Hosted by: U.S. Climate Alliance


Public- Private Cooperation Advancing Climate Ambition

Saturday, December 8th | 14:00 - 15:00 | US Climate Action Center

This session will highlight the efforts of business leaders to discuss critical steps for ensuring public-private cooperation in the fight against climate change.

Speakers: Amy Holm, The Climate Registry; Cathy Woollums, Berkshire Hathaway Energy; Ranyee Chiang, Technology Implementation Officer 

Hosted by: The Climate Registry & Climate Action Reserve


Why the Paris Rulebook Matters to Business

Saturday, December 8th | 15:30 - 16:30 | US Climate Action Center

A panel of U.S. business executives will share why companies do and should care about the Paris Rulebook, and how a clear and transparent framework will create policy certainty and guide adoption of both public and private sector mitigation and adaptation measures for years to come. This panel will discuss how transparency of reporting and accounting procedures for country actions, financial flows and market-based mechanisms will impact business operation decisions and investment choices.

Speakers: Lisa Jacobson, BCSE; John Kradyszewski, American Carbon Registry; Mary Grady, American Carbon Registry; Tod Delaney, First Environment; Ashley Allen, Mars

Hosted by: The Business Council for Sustainable Energy


US Investor Action on Climate 

Saturday, December 8th | 17:00 - 18:00 | US Climate Action Center

This panel will feature a discussion of the climate risks facing US institutional investors, and the actions they are taking across their portfolios to use their fiduciary duty to mitigate risks, take advantage of new opportunities, and contribute to the overall effort to keep the US on track to meet its goals under the Paris Agreement. The panel will also explore how institutional investors can work with and support other sectors within We Are Still In to help them achieve their decarbonization goals.

Speakers:Tom DiNapoli, Comptroller of New York State; Kirsten Spalding, Ceres

Hosted by: Ceres


Monday, December 10th

Implications of the US Midterm Election

Monday, December 10th | 9:00 - 10:00 | US Climate Action Center

This session will cover the implications of the midterm election results for climate action in the US. Themes will include the growth of climate change as a voting issue, how climate-focused candidates performed, what the House win means for federal policy and oversight, how climate-related ballot measures fared, subnational results in governors’ houses and state legislatures and increased potential for state climate action, and future federal policy prospects including a “Green New Deal”.

Speakers: Tom Steyer, President of NextGen America; Rebecca Ward, Legislative Aid to Senator Merkley; Robert Wieckowski, California State Senator; Ben Grumbles, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment; Philip Brown, Sustain US; Reed Schuler, Senior Policy Advisor State of Washington

Hosted by: We Are Still In


Ocean Climate Action: A Next Step Forward in the Global Climate Effort

Monday, December 10th | 10:00 - 11:00 | US Climate Action Center

Please join Climate Advisers, Ocean Conservancy, and Natural Resources Defense Council to discuss recent and forthcoming initiatives to advance ocean-based climate solutions. The international climate effort has historically overlooked the ocean-climate nexus. Yet climate leaders—including national governments and U.S. nonfederal actors—are increasingly recognizing the promise of ocean-based climate solutions and working to integrate ocean and climate diplomacy. Experts and governmental leaders will discuss efforts to support the Paris Agreement through ocean-climate action and to enhance the role of the ocean in the global fight against climate change.

Speakers: Helen Ågren, Ambassador for the Ocean, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden; Ken Alex, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, California; Sue Biniaz, Senior Fellow, U.N. Foundation; Dan Bodansky, Regents’ Professor, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State Universityl Julio Cordano, Head of the Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile; Jennifer Hennessey, Senior Policy Advisor, Ocean Health, Office of Governor Jay Inslee, Washington; Susan Ruffo, Managing Director of International Initiatives, Ocean Conservancy; Gwynne Taraska, Senior Fellow, Climate Advisers

Hosted By: Climate Advisers, Ocean Conservancy, and Natural Resources Defense Council


What’s Next for Paris?

Monday, December 10th | 11:00 - 12:00 | US Climate Action Center

A conversation with Todd Stern, former Special Envoy for Climate Change in the Obama Administration and Sue Biniaz, the former principal legal adviser on the climate negotiations for the United States, who will discuss the future of the Paris Agreement.

Speakers: Todd Stern; Sue Biniaz

Hosted by: World Resources Institute


National Climate Assessment

Monday, December 10th | 13:00 - 14:00 | US Climate Action Center

On November 23, the U.S. federal government released its fourth National Climate Assessment. This congressionally-mandated report, supported and reviewed by thirteen federal agencies and departments, was produced by over 300 authors, half U.S. government scientists and analysts and half outside the government. It provides what is arguably the most comprehensive account yet of how climate change is impacting one country now and will in the future, confirming that it is putting at risk every region of the U.S., and every sector of the economy. The report is designed to provide a tool that can be used by local, state, and federal officials as a guide for how to practically prepare for the threats that climate change poses. Join some of the contributors to the report for a briefing on the key findings, a discussion with state officials on how it can be useful for policymakers and their constituents, and a review of its political reception in the U.S. so far.

Speakers: Andrew Light, NCA Review Editor, World Resources Institute; Katie Brown, NCA Author, University of Michigan; John Furlow, NCA Author, Columbia University; State Senator Robert Hertzberg, California

Hosted by: World Resources Institute 


Transforming the US Market to Phase- Down Potent HFCs

Monday, December 10th | 14:00 - 15:00 | US Climate Action Center

HFCs are the fastest growing source of GHG emissions and can be several thousand times more potent than CO2.  Rapidly phasing-down HFCs is one of the best opportunities to slow the pace of climate change in the near-term. However, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol has yet to be ratified by the U.S. and federal rules restricting the use of HFCs have been partly vacated. This event will explore how U.S. Climate Alliance states and others are stepping up to fill this void and protect American companies and jobs.

Speakers: Ben Grumbles, Secretary of Environment Maryland; Jim Wolf, Ingersoll Rand; Jake Schmidt, Natural Resources Defense Council

Hosted by: US Climate Alliance


Increasing Climate Ambition Across North America

Monday, December 10th | 15:00 - 16:00 | US Climate Action Center

This session will bring together US sub-national leaders (government) to highlight actions taken to date and to address steps being taken to advance climate ambition in light of the IPCC’s most recent scientific assessment.

Speakers: Amy Holm, The Climate Registry; Robert Wieckowski, California; Reed Schuler, Washington; Anukriti Hittle, State of Hawaii 

Hosted by: The Climate Registry & Climate Action Reserve


US Corporate Climate Leaders: Transforming the Future

Monday, December 10th | 16:00 - 17:00 | US Climate Action Center

A discussion with business leaders in the United States that will focus on how their organizations are continuing to act on climate change. The discussion will include how their leadership is making their businesses more competitive and encouraging action in their supply chains, among peer companies or their customers.

Speakers: Matt Arnold, JP Morgan Chase; Joan Krajewski, Microsoft; Lisa Manley, Mars, Inc; Cathy Woollums, Bershire Hathaway Energy; Nancy Meyer, C2ES

Hosted by: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and Edison Electric Institute


Scaling Climate Ambition Through Sustainable Agriculture

Monday, December 10th | 17:00 - 18:00 | US Climate Action Center

We must eat—but how do we feed a global population that is predicted to grow 15% in the next 15 years while being climate smart? Agriculture impacts climate, as it is responsible for about 10% of global emissions and as much as 50% of non-CO2 emissions. And climate impacts agriculture through changes in weather patterns, impacts on pollinators, etc. Join WWF and several partners including Coca Cola and Mars as we explore the role of sustainable agriculture in achieving a net zero future.

Speakers: Lisa Manley, Mars; Ben Jordan, Coke; Marion Verles, The Gold Standard; Cornell University 

Hosted by: World Wildlife Fund


Paris to Pittsburgh Screening

Monday, December 10th | 19:00 - 21:00 | US Climate Action Center

Speakers: Mayor Peduto of Pittsbugh; Nate Hultman, Center for Global Sustainability, UMD; Carla Frisch, Pricipal at Rocky Mountain Institute 

Hosted by: We Are Still In


The primary organizers of the We Are Still In, World Wildlife Fund, Ceres, and Climate Nexus, are grateful for the support of the following organizations which contributed to help make this year's U.S. Climate Action Center a reality: