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Youth Voices on Climate Change Take Times Square

July 29, 2014

Leigh Vogel/Connect4Climate

“We will never end poverty if we don't tackle climate change.”

That powerful message from World Bank Group President Jim Kim and dozens of young filmmakers lit up New York City’s Times Square this week from two massive video screens, bringing the call for climate action to crowds streaming through one of the busiest crossroads in the world.

The screen time was donated by Connect4Climate partner MTV Voices, Viacom, to draw attention to the risks posed by climate change and the need for action from governments, businesses, and individuals to fight it.

The short video is part of Action4Climate, a global documentary competition that inspired more than 230 young filmmakers in 70 countries and gave them a platform to discuss their concerns about the future.

Through their documentaries, the filmmakers help viewers see how communities are experiencing climate change, from drought in Sub-Saharan Africa, flooding in Southeast Asia, extreme weather in the Philippines and elsewhere. They show solutions, from renewable energy to inspiring leadership, and they show how societies are tackling climate change together. These are stories of hope and action, directed at a global audience.

“Climate change is a global challenge, and we need a global solution involving all sectors. Each and every one of us is involved,” said Lucia Grenna, who leads Connect4Climate, an initiative with about 200 partners that was created by the World Bank, the Italian Ministry of Environment, and the Global Environment Facility. In Times Square, those messages had the chance to reach more than 300,000 people a day.

The World Bank Group launched Connect4Climate to raise global consciousness and encourage action on climate change, in line with the World Bank Group’s goals to end extreme poverty within a generation and boost shared prosperity.

We know from the work of scientists worldwide that climate change is a growing risk to populations, particularly to the poorest and most vulnerable who have the fewest resources to help them adapt. Without bold action from governments, businesses and society, climate change puts economic development at risk and threatens to roll back decades of development gains.

The World Bank is helping countries and cities take action through financial, policy, and project support. It is helping governments adapt their processes to the risks of climate change and helping them screen projects for climate and disaster risk and incorporate climate mitigation and adaptation into their planning. It also supports hundreds of projects that in addition to helping people and communities also bring climate mitigation and adaptation benefits, ranging from providing off-grid solar energy for more than 2 million people in Bangladesh to helping Kenyan farmers develop climate-smart farming techniques to weather changing drought conditions.