Press Release

Jigar Shah, Laura Frigenti, Sweta Chakraborty and the Montana 16, represented by Grace Gibson-Snyder, to be Honored at EARTHDAY.ORG’s 2024 Climate Leadership Gala on May 16, 2024

With Sarah, Duchess Of York, and Denis Hayes, as Special Guest Speakers

Washington, D.C. (May 6, 2024)EARTHDAY.ORG, the global force behind Earth Day, is delighted to announce this year’s annual Climate Leadership Gala will take place at the Mayflower Hotel, in Washington DC, on May 16.

Every year, EARTHDAY.ORG brings together 300 leaders from the world of industry, finance, arts, tech, conservation, policy, philanthropy, and more to celebrate the extraordinary people who are making a difference combating climate change. This Gala is a moment to come together to celebrate their achievements, exchange ideas, and look ahead to what else we can all do to protect the health of our planet.

We are truly honored to announce that Jigar Shah is the 2024 recipient of the EARTHDAY.ORG Climate Visionary Award for his achievements as a clean energy entrepreneur, pioneering and democratizing the solar energy business in the early 2000s. Recently named as one of the world’s most influential people of 2024 by Time Magazine, Shah is currently the director of the Loan Programs Office in the U.S. Department of Energy, overseeing a loan authority of over $200 billion to support the implementation of clean energy projects across the country.

“Jigar is a ‘solutionary’ – someone who has dedicated his entire career to finding business-driven solutions to climate change,” said Susan Bass, SVP, Programs and Operations, EARTHDAY.ORG. “He revolutionized the solar energy market, and we are excited to see him in his current role realizing his vision for the growth of other emerging decarbonization technologies by getting them the financial support they so desperately need to reach commercialization.”

We are thrilled to announce our other winners.

Laura Frigenti is the recipient of the EARTHDAY.ORG, Climate Education Champion Award. As the CEO of the Global Partnership for Education, and previously at KPMG and the World Bank, she has distinguished herself as a leader in global development. Laura is a tireless advocate for the critical link between education and climate action to build a resilient and sustainable future for all children.

Sweta Chakraborty is the 2024 recipient of the Women and the Green Economy (WAGE®) Leadership Award and is a globally recognized behavioral, scientist specializing in climate change, health, and communication. As the CEO of We Don’t Have Time, North America, and a partner at Pioneer Public Affairs, she has been a tireless and effective advocate for the environment. Her work in content creation has been extraordinarily successful at capturing the imagination of the younger generations.

The Montana 16 are the recipients of the Youth Climate Leadership Award. This group of 16 children, teenagers, and young adults successfully sued the state of Montana to safeguard their constitutional right to a clean environment. Their work garnered global media attention and deftly brought into focus the duty of care we owe our children when it comes to climate change. The award will be accepted on behalf of the 16 by Grace Gibson-Snyder, who is one of the young challengers named in the 2020 lawsuit.

We are excited to announce that Denis Hayes, organizer of the first Earth Day in1970, will speak at the Gala and special guest, Sarah, Duchess of York, a longstanding global champion for the environment, women, and children, will be our honorary speaker.

“Every year, we come together to celebrate the change-makers and leaders who are meeting the issue of climate change head on,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of EARTHDAY.ORG. “This year, we have an exceptional group of people who are finding new and innovative ways to stand up for the planet and, by default, for all of us.”

This event promises to bring together hundreds of top government, business, and NGO leaders for a memorable evening of networking, dinner, and thought leadership. It will celebrate the work of activists and campaigners who are helping shape the climate debate and enforce real change on the ground. There has never been a more important time to rigorously speak up for the environment and the Gala will host some of the world’s most important environmental advocates.

About EARTHDAY.ORG: EARTHDAY.ORG’s founders created and organized the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. Since then, EARTHDAY.ORG has mobilized over 1 billion people annually on Earth Day, and every day, to protect the planet. EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate environmental actions and advocacy worldwide. EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental community, working with more than 150,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy.

Learn more at EARTHDAY.ORG. It’s not a day, it’s a movement. Media Inquiries & Interview: Sarah Davies, [email protected], +1 240 463 1341

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