9. Climate Clock in Union Square

As part of the lead up to Climate Week, the Union Square clock has been repurposed as a “Climate Clock” showing what time the world has left to take action on climate change. As per the Climate Clock website, the Climate Clock “follows the methodology of the carbon clock made by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) which uses data from the recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. The report states that starting from 2018, a carbon dioxide budget of 420 Gt of CO2 gives us a 67% chance to stay under 1.5°C of warming.” The countdown shows, at current rates of emission, how long it will take to burn through the earth’s “carbon budget” or the amount of carbon dioxide that can be released into the atmosphere while keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

A second number, not seen in the Union Square Climate Clock, shows the “growing % of the world’s energy currently supplied from renewable sources. This is our lifeline. Simply put, we need to get our lifeline to 100% before our deadline reaches 0.”