CCNow to Interview UN Secretary General Ahead of June G7 Summit

NBC News, Telemundo and AFP, the three CCNow partners interviewing António Guterres on behalf of our collaboration, will make their TV, radio, and text stories available free of charge for all CCNow partners to publish and/or broadcast.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images News / Getty Images

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Covering Climate Now will interview United Nations Secretary General António Guterres in the lead up to June’s G7 summit. Every CCNow outlet will be invited to cover the interview, and it couldn’t be easier. NBC News, Telemundo, and Agence France Presse, the three CCNow partners conducting the interview on behalf of our collaboration, will make their TV, radio, and text stories available free of charge for all CCNow partners to publish and/or broadcast beginning Friday, June 5. The G7 summit takes place (virtually) June 10-12, so the interview with Guterres will serve as a “curtain raiser” for additional climate-related coverage pegged to the summit.

Secretary General Guterres will discuss COVID-19 economic stimulus plans, sure to be a hot topic at this year’s summit. Guterres is expected to note that, as terrible as the coronavirus is, the climate emergency remains an even bigger threat. He is further expected to argue that the trillions of dollars governments and central banks are spending to revive stricken economies therefore should aim to lessen, not deepen, the climate emergency.

The interview will be recorded June 1, allowing ample time for NBC, Telemundo, and AFP to prepare their stories and then share them with CCNow partners in time for everyone to have the option of running them on June 5, World Environment Day. NBC will provide a TV and possibly a radio story in English; Telemundo will do the same, in Spanish; and AFP will provide a text story, in English, French, and perhaps other languages, for print and digital outlets. Please note: CCNow outlets do NOT have to be AFP clients to participate; AFP is generously providing this story free to fellow CCNow partners. The UN will provide still photos, also free of charge.

Beyond this newsmaker interview, CCNow will provide three to five additional, ready-to-run stories that partners can publish and/or broadcast during the week of the G7 summit, all on the subject of economic stimuluses and recovery plans. Specifics will follow soon, but these will be top-quality stories from CCNow partners covering the summit, which is shaping up to be a bigger story than usual this year. Stay tuned for more!

Now, here’s your weekly sampling of the latest in climate news, from across the Covering Climate Now collaboration.

  • Yale and George Mason University’s centers on Climate Change Communication are out with an extensive study on Americans’ perception of the climate crisis. Called “Climate Change in the American Mind,” the study’s key findings include: A record-tying 73% percent of Americans think global warming is happening, while a record high 54% are “extremely” or “very” sure of it and a record-tying 62% understand that it is human-caused. Engagement on the issue was found to be “at or near” historic highs. Crucially, a majority of Americans called themselves at least “moderately” interested in news coverage of the climate story—yet fewer than half say they hear about global warming in the news at least once a month.
  • Also in the UK: While lockdowns around the world have driven much climate activism online, activists in London on Monday took advantage of an empty Trafalgar Square, laying out 2,000 pairs of children’s shoes in tidy rows to protest the government bailouts of carbon-intensive industries, Reuters reports. “Many young people feel suffocated by fear of what is to come, and now with this pandemic, maybe others will start to understand our fear for the future,” one young activist said.
  • On 60 MinutesCBS News looks at the decisions humanity will face in the wake of the coronavirus, including with respect to health care and economic inequality. Most consequentially, will we take the respect for science and our potential for cooperation demonstrated during this pandemic and apply them to the climate crisis? “Maybe we still have a window to take a step back,” climate activist and author Bill McKibben tells CBS. “And if we do, maybe the Earth will meet us halfway.” McKibben adds that it’s time to flatten “the carbon curve,” too: “And if we did that, then people might look back in 50 years at this time and thank us, you know, instead of curse us.”
  • Speaking of the carbon curve, Grist demonstrates visually why rapid action is necessary to flatten it—and to stay under our “carbon budget.” There’s no time to wait, Grist’s graphic illustrates, because the higher the curve climbs, the harder it will be to bring under control.
  • In a short and sweet video explainerVox charts the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the staples in our diets—and details why exactly beef, cheese, and (we’re sorry to say) coffee come at such a greater cost to the environment than others.
  • A new study reinforces the science that climate change is increasing the frequency and destructiveness of the strongest hurricanes and cyclones worldwide, InsideClimate News reports. The Caribbean and the Southeastern US are especially at higher risk.
  • Bloomberg Green reports on the growing consensus among forecasters that we’re in for an especially dangerous hurricane season this year—perhaps the worst since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina wrecked the Gulf Coast, killing hundreds and leaving many more homeless. “All the puzzle pieces are in place, no matter how I slice and dice it,” one leading meteorologist says. “It gives me higher than normal confidence [that] this year will mimic a hyperactive hurricane season, and that is what 2005 was.”
  • Also from Bloomberg Green: Experts warned that the clean air and water benefits spurred by coronavirus lockdowns would not last, and sure enough: a return to economic normal in China has meant a return to pre-lockdown pollution levels. “Pollution has increased more in areas where coal-burning is the major source of energy,” the story says.

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!