5 Inspiring Leaders to Watch for During Climate Week in NYC

Climate Week, known as the “biggest climate event on Earth” takes place beginning September 19 in New York City. Activists, scientists, and youth leaders from around the world will come together there to collaborate, discuss, and drive action towards solutions to the global climate crisis. Given that 99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels and that the industry is a key driver of the climate crisis, many of the leaders heading to Climate Week are Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Youth Ambassadors, Advisors, and friends. Here are 5 of those leaders to watch during Climate Week 2022.

1. Xiye Bastida

Xiye Bastida is a PPC Youth Ambassador and is a powerful and inspiring youth leader who has been centering the voices of frontline and BIPOC communities within climate change activism since she was in high school. She sits on the administration committee of the People’s Climate Movement, is a lead organizer for Fridays For Future New York City, and is a co-founder of Re-Earth Initiative, an international youth-led organization that focuses on highlighting the intersectionality of the climate crisis.

Xiye’s events for Climate Week 2022 include:

2. Kevin J. Patel

Kevin J. Patel is a PPC Youth Ambassador and the Founder of OneUpAction, which supports youth leaders by providing them with the resources they need to become changemakers. He is a frontline climate justice activist and community organizer who has been a leading voice among youth activists since he was 10 years old. He was diagnosed with respiratory and heart issues from an early age due to the poor air quality of his community in Los Angeles, California, which served as the catalyst for his climate activism.

Kevin’s event for Climate Week 2022:

3. Gratitude Revealed (a film by Louie Schwartzberg)


September 21 is World Gratitude Day and the launch of Gratitude Revealed, a film by Louie Schwartzberg. Louie is also the Director of Fantastic Fungi and he recently signed onto the PPC Pledge to Flip the Script on Plastics. Speaking of mushrooms, be sure to check out our recent PPC webinar Will Seaweed & Mushrooms Help Replace Single-Use Plastic? which featured three companies providing innovative technologies to replace single-use plastics with renewable, compostable, and eco-friendly alternatives—LOLIWARE, Ecovative, and Sway

See the premiere of Gratitude Revealed at Climate Week 2022:

4. Heather White

Heather White serves on the PPC Executive Advisory Board and is the Founder of One Green Thing, an organization with “a mission to tackle anxiety about the climate crisis through joyful daily action to create culture change for policy solutions.” She is an environmental lawyer, writer, consultant, motivational speaker, nonprofit executive, and a former Senate staffer. She is the author of One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet. Heather recently moderated the PPC webinar titled The Power of Service: Moving from Anxiety to Action for the Planet.

Heather’s event for Climate Week 2022:

  • Sept. 20, 2:30pm EST, The Mental Well-Being of the Next Generation: How We Can Support Young People’s Mental Health Amid Multiple Existential Threats, Clinton Global Initiative

5. AY Young

AY Young is a PPC Youth Ambassador and Notable Member. He is a Musician, UN Youth World Leader, and Founder of the Battery Tour—a renewable energy–powered grassroots concert series to raise money to purchase solar-powered boxes for communities facing energy scarcity. He has been writing and performing since he was 14 years old. AY is also the Creator of Project17, which is a music album based on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Each song from Project17 represents a different goal and will feature prominent recording artists. AY is also working to secure impact partners and corporate sponsors to support the album. Some of the impact partners signed on so far include Plastic Pollution Coalition, Reverb, and World Central Kitchen.

AY’s events for Climate Week 2022 include: