WASHINGTON, DC (November 29, 2016)—On December 5-6, former US Vice President Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project will host the sixth-annual 24 Hours of Reality broadcast—24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward—a star-studded, 24-hour live event focused on climate solutions watched by millions of viewers around the world. This year’s event produced by ShoulderHill Entertainment begins at 6:00 PM EST, focusing on the 24 largest CO2-emitting countries and featuring — among others — Ryan Reynolds, Jon Bon Jovi, Vance Joy, and Thirty Seconds to Mars.
“The Paris Agreement has fundamentally and permanently altered what the world thought was possible in terms of addressing the climate crisis,” said Al Gore. “The conversation no longer hinges on if we can do something to address climate change. Instead, world leaders, environmental activists, and ordinary citizens are asking what we can do to solve this crisis and how we can work together to do it. This year’s 24 Hours of Reality will help the global community envision the Paris Agreement coming to life, as we look at the elected officials, business leaders, and activists that are making climate action a reality in countries around the world.”
As with the previous years’ programs that have rallied millions to demand action on climate, this year’s broadcast will feature special appearances and interviews with celebrities, musicians, thought leaders, and environmental experts. The broadcast also marks the world premiere of an exclusive, never-before-seen aerial performance imagined by Cirque du Soleil that will be part of the 5th edition of One Night for One Drop, a philanthropic spectacle held on March 3rd, 2017 in Las Vegas in support of One Drop, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to safe water. The subject of this new work is “One Drop for Humankind.”
- Governor Jerry Brown
- President Felipe Calderon
- Patricia Espinosa
- EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
- Patrick Adams
- Ken Ayugai
- Sarah Backhouse
- Gisele Bundchen
- Sam Champion
- Maggie Grace
- Vanessa Hauc
- Carole King
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus
- Edward Norton
- Zachary Quinto
- Nikki Reed
- Ryan Reynolds
- Jonathan Scott
- Jamil Smith
- Ian Somerhalder
- Mbali Vilakazi
- Matt Walsh
- Bradley Whitford
- Calum Worthy
Musicians and Performers
- One Night for One Drop imagined by Cirque du Soleil
- Jon Bon Jovi
- Mary Lambert
- PJ Harvey
- Pete Yorn
- Thirty Seconds to Mars
- The Skadoos
- The RUA
- Tom Chaplin
- Vance Joy
Each hour of the broadcast will explore the landscape of the climate crisis in one of the 24 largest CO2-emitting countries, delving into its commitments to the climate fight, the region’s unique challenges related to climate change, and most importantly, how each country can do its part to make the goals of the Paris Agreement a reality.
Click the country's name for more.
During the hour dedicated to Argentina, 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will highlight the country’s incredible potential for renewable energy. Already, Argentina is working to harness this potential by making robust investments in clean energy and supporting renewables with tariffs, while President Mauricio Macri has expressed support for “filling Patagonia with windmills.” Paying special attention to Argentina’s agriculture industry, which accounts for 26 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at the country’s ability to lead the world in implementing cost-effective efforts to reduce animal and agricultural emissions, along with the new government’s plans to enhance Argentina’s Paris Agreement commitments.
As one of the energy resource capitals of the world, Venezuela holds one of the largest reserves of oil and gas, and the country’s economy is dependent upon exports of these resources. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at how subsidy reform could help push funding for a more diversified, low-carbon energy and economic transition, while simultaneously supporting other important social programs and services for the people of Venezuela. The broadcast will also touch on Venezuela’s domestic electricity system, which mostly relies on renewable sources like hydropower. There is great potential to expand the country’s use of renewables even further by diversifying energy sources to include wind and solar, which have the potential to solve common problems like drought-induced blackouts and the subsequent citizen unrest they have created in the past.
As one of three nations in North America, Mexico has cooperated with Canada and the United States to push for 50 percent overall clean power generation continent-wide by 2025, and the country itself is already well on its way to meeting this goal. Energy reforms and a new carbon tax are expanding renewable energy development and diversifying the country’s energy mix; Mexico City’s effective and sustainable transportation system is one of the most sophisticated in the world; and the country is making a strong effort to improve air quality by committing to halving production of black carbon. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will also focus on how Mexico’s largely Roman Catholic population is responding to the moral challenge of the climate crisis in the face of heatwaves, droughts, disease threat, and other effects.
Canada has capitalized on the value of international partnerships to fight the climate crisis, building upon the Paris Agreement’s spirit of collaboration and cooperation. In addition to trilateral cooperation with the United States and Mexico on clean power generation, Canada has also collaborated with US states on emissions trading and the Western Climate Initiative, which brings California and several Canadian provinces together to reduce greenhouse gases in this shared region. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at this progress, along with Canada’s subnational action on climate through initiatives such as carbon taxes in British Columbia and Alberta, Ontario going coal-free, and Quebec’s cap-and-trade program. Canada is also an incredible example of how public support for climate action can usher in a new era of climate-savvy leadership and how citizens can hold their leaders accountable, best exemplified by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his promises to build “climate credibility.”
Local action and adoption of renewable energy in Australia has been very strong in spite of slow political reform or outright resistance to climate action. This year’s 24 Hours of Reality broadcast will look at the environmental challenges Australia faces due to the prevalence of coal mining and a proposed coal port expansion that could further affect the Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, Australia’s agriculture industry has suffered from extreme temperatures and unpredictable rainfall, which are wreaking havoc on wheat, wine, corn, beef, and dairy production. In the face of these challenges, the broadcast will delve into how farmers in Australia are taking action to protect their livelihood.
In 2011, after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, public fears about safety of nuclear power fueled an increase in coal and gas consumption. However, the country also experienced a solar boom after the disaster, with domestic solar PV sales increasing an impressive 30.7 percent. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will take a look at how Japan can continue developing renewable energy, paying particular attention to the potential for geothermal development and the role of the nation’s 2012 carbon tax in supporting clean energy alternatives. Additionally, the broadcast will look at the climate challenges Japan faces, including typhoons, sea-level rise, and the increasing scarcity of fish due to warming waters and wetlands loss, which is having major impacts on Japan’s $14 billion fishing industry.
7. South Korea
The nation’s capital, Seoul, is often called Asia’s most sustainable city, and 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at how the country has created a favorable environment for clean energy through strong national action, including the implementation of a cap-and-trade system. South Korea is also home to the Green Climate Fund, which invests in low-carbon, climate-resilient development, and is located in the “smart city” of Songdo International Business District in Incheon.
After years of rapid economic growth powered by fossil fuels, China has emerged in recent years as a global leader in addressing the climate crisis. Though China is still the world’s top consumer of coal, the country has made commitments to limiting its use, simultaneously leading the world in expanding wind and solar energy. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at China’s efforts to curb carbon emissions through its national carbon market and the low-carbon cities popping up all across the country. The hour will also touch on air quality, one of China’s most high-profile climate concerns.
Indonesia’s major climate challenge is deforestation, which is responsible for enormous amounts of carbon emissions. Part of this larger challenge is the country’s conversion of peatlands for palm oil, a process that destroys an important ecosystem while emitting dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases. There has also been a rapid increase in Indonesia’s energy use in recent years, which has led to a doubling of coal consumption in the last decade. Despite this, use of solar energy is increasing quickly throughout the country, and 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at the continued growth of this clean energy solution, along with Indonesia’s incredible potential for geothermal energy.
Palm oil production and the related deforestation are major problems in Malaysia and several other Southeast Asian nations. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will explore the environmental impacts of palm oil production, and Malaysia’s work to bolster renewable energy in the face of waning fossil fuel reserves.
Transport accounts for one-third of final energy consumption in Thailand, making it the second-highest energy consuming sector and creating traffic problems for cities like Bangkok. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at how Thailand can continue to expand mass transit to both cut emissions and improve crowded road conditions. The hour will also focus on Thailand’s recent solar boom and the country’s fairly ambitious renewable energy targets, along with some of the major local impacts of the climate crisis, including typhoons and threats to Thailand’s rich biodiversity.
India suffers from widespread energy poverty, as roughly 300 million people do not have access to electricity. Renewable energy development could transform the lives of people across the country, and 24 Hours of Reality will look at both the challenges and the potential presented by India’s electricity sector. The hour will also focus on the country’s massive new commitments to boosting wind and solar generation and how India’s role in the International Solar Alliance is driving the reduction of solar costs around the world.
Iran is one of the oil and gas capitals of the world, and the economy’s deep ties to the fossil fuel industry pose major challenges. However, the country’s immense potential to develop renewable sources of energy, along with recent policies that mark Iran’s commitment to a clean energy future hold incredible promise. The hour will also focus on climate change’s role in exacerbating national security issues and other conflicts in the Middle East.
14. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has been historically dependent on its rich reserves of oil, but in recent years, the country has introduced plans to diversify its economy in part by expanding into renewable energy development. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will explore Saudi Arabia’s immense solar potential, as the country moves to harness this abundant source of clean energy. Saudi Vision 2030, a blueprint for the country’s future laid out by the government, includes a national push for greater use of solar energy and increased investment in this promising renewable energy solution. The hour will also focus on climate change’s role in compromising national security and exacerbating regional conflicts.
Despite Russia’s aging energy infrastructure and vague commitments made in Paris, this major world power has the potential to become a “green giant” by further developing renewable energy. Russia’s potential for leadership on renewable energy has historic precedent, as the country had the world’s first utility-scale wind turbines and the first tidal electric plant. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look into the future of Russian energy, and also focus on the renewed security issues the country faces as melting ice in the Arctic Ocean poses threats concerning the Northwest Passage.
Turkey relies heavily on coal for its energy needs, despite its potential to develop a diversified energy portfolio. The 24 Hours of Reality broadcast will look at how Turkey can begin to generate geothermal, solar, and wind power as alternatives to coal. Additionally, in the midst of conflicts in the Middle East sending refugees fleeing west, the hour will also look at how the climate crisis threatens to exacerbate Turkey’s national security concerns.
As the largest oil producer in Africa and one of the largest oil producers in the world, Nigeria has created an economy deeply tied to the continued use of fossil fuels. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at the often-ignored environmental damage and resource conflicts caused by the oil industry, including oil spills in the Niger River Delta and rampant pollution. Development of renewable energy sources may hold the key to energy poverty alleviation and greater democratization of resources, and the broadcast will explore the myriad ways Nigeria can move in this direction. The hour will also pay special attention to the major impacts of climate change within the country, including desertification and water scarcity, which are aggravating internal conflicts.
18. South Africa
South Africa is an important leader on the African continent, and this year’s 24 Hours of Reality broadcast will look at how South Africa’s renewable energy incentive program and other policies can serve as models for other emerging African markets to replicate. Additionally, the broadcast will focus on how South Africa has developed renewable energy as a way to alleviate energy poverty.
Germany is a world leader in renewable energy, and 24 Hours of Reality will look at how the German economy has decoupled growth from fossil fuels and made renewables its primary source of electricity. While Germany is certainly a leader on clean energy development and deployment, the country still faces many climate challenges, and this hour will focus on some of the major impacts, including melting glaciers in the Bavarian Alps.
taly is one of the world’s largest users of solar electricity, and the country has used renewables as a means of achieving greater energy security and energy independence. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at Italy’s renewable energy wins, including 39 municipalities in the country reaching 100 percent renewable electricity. The broadcast will also focus on how Italy’s large Roman Catholic population is responding to the climate crisis and Pope Francis’s influence as a climate champion.
In December 2015, France hosted the UN’s COP 21 negotiations, demonstrating unparalleled strength and leadership, especially in the immediate aftermath of an unexpected and devastating terrorist attack. The Paris Agreement would not have been possible without the support of President François Hollande, the French government, and French negotiators, and 24 Hours of Reality will look at how the Paris Agreement is ushering the world into a new era of climate action. Additionally, the broadcast will look at France’s role in a post-Paris Agreement world, specifically the country’s leadership in diversifying its energy mix to include more renewables. The hour will also look at the major impacts of climate change, including 2016’s massive flooding in the nation’s capital.
22. United Kingdom
Following the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union, there is much uncertainty about possible de-prioritization of climate issues, and 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will ponder the various questions brought on by Brexit. Additionally, the United Kingdom has experienced much success with renewable energy, as the country has the world’s largest offshore wind market and wind power has become one of the cheapest sources of electricity. The hour will focus on the UK’s renewable energy wins, including a plan to phase out coal by 2025, and make the case that it is not the time to roll back renewable energy incentives to embrace fracking, as the government has recently done.
Brazil is a uniquely energy independent country, but faces political challenges that threaten to de-prioritize climate action and exacerbate the widespread problem of deforestation. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at deforestation in the Amazon and contemplate how the country can protect its forests while continuing its economic growth. Additionally, the hour will focus on Brazil’s continued development of renewable energy, including wind power, and the major impacts of climate change, featuring a discussion about climate change’s role in the spread of the Zika virus that plagued this year’s Rio Olympics.
24. United States
The United States was instrumental in orchestrating the Paris Agreement, but the country faces a lot of uncertainty on climate issues after the November election. 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will look at how federal initiatives, including the Clean Power Plan, the Climate Action Plan, and fuel efficiency standards, have been important in reducing emissions and moving the US toward a clean energy economy. The hour will also focus on the the transformation of the US electricity sector and the increasing importance of local, state, and private sector action on climate.
“24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward is a celebration of how far we have come in the year since COP 21, but also a reminder of the hard work that lies ahead,” said Ken Berlin, president and CEO of The Climate Reality Project. “Ensuring global access to clean and affordable energy and climate-resilient infrastructure for people around the world will not be an easy task, but the Paris Agreement has provided us with the first step in the right direction. We’re excited to share stories of climate action and progress from the 24 largest-emitting nations on Earth, and we hope to inspire people to take up the mantle of climate action within their own communities.
24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward will be viewable on broadcast television in over 75 countries and globally through a worldwide digital network. Broadcast partners include ABS-CBN, AmpLive, DirectTV Latin America, Facebook Live, FOXTEL, IBA, Line TV, Livestream, Mashable, Phoenix TV, People’s Weather, RTP, SKY Mexico, TLN, Telemundo, WION, Youku and others. Global transmission feed is being provided by Intelsat.
The Climate Reality Project operates around the world through various branch offices focused on driving local, regional, and continent-wide action for climate solutions. Climate Reality branches currently operate in India, Indonesia, Canada, Mexico and Latin America, Australia, Africa, Brazil, the Philippines, China, and Europe. Past 24 Hours of Reality events have each focused on a different theme, including The World is Watching in 2015, 24 Reasons for Hope in 2014, The Cost of Carbon in 2013, The Dirty Weather Report in 2012, and the inaugural 24 Hours of Reality in 2011.
ABOUT THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT
Founded by Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to mobilizing action on climate change. With a global movement more than 5 million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Reality Leader activists, we are spreading the truth about the climate crisis and building popular support for clean energy solutions. For more information, visit www.climaterealityproject.org, “Like” us at www.facebook.com/climatereality, or follow us on Twitter at @ClimateReality.