YouTube unveils new content addressing climate change

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New York, New York — YouTube announced a new slate of original projects and partnerships, collectively aiming to use the power of storytelling to educate users on the biggest sustainability challenges the world faces and a variety of solutions that can be adopted to inspire change. This is part of Google’s third decade of climate action (the first major company to be carbon-neutral since 2007), which will see Google fully power their operations with carbon-free energy 24/7 by 2030.

“Climate change presents a variety of enormous, complicated challenges that urgently need the world’s attention and collective action. In line with Google’s long standing commitment to climate action, YouTube is proud to announce key partnerships and a growing slate of Originals that will provide our massive global audiences access to compelling content with a focus on sustainability,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content for YouTube, “We are committed to producing even more projects that can inform viewers, inspire action, and ultimately improve our chances of making a more sustainable future for our planet.”

The YouTube Originals sustainability slate includes “Seat at the Table,” where a meeting with David Attenborough sends creator Jack Harries on a global challenge to give people around the world a seat at the table in the climate conversation ahead of COP 26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and “Stay Wild” (working title) where Brave Wilderness in partnership with Leonardo diCaprio’s Appian Way and Madica Productions will transport viewers directly to the front lines of nature where the effects of climate change can be witnessed first-hand by their impact on wildlife and humanity.

Google’s larger sustainability pledge also includes a focus on enabling partners to reach their climate action goals through funding, technology, and resources, and a promise to leverage their most popular products like search, maps and YouTube, to reach one billion people and help them make sustainable choices in their daily lives.

YouTube Originals programming begins Earth Day (April 22) with the launch of:

“Create Together” Season 2 – Premieres April 22 at 9 AM, PT

In the second season of the Emmy Award-winning mini-series, Joseph Gordon-Levitt invites people from all over the world to come together and create art, music, mini-docs, short films and more in celebration of our natural planet. Everything conceived for the show will be created collaboratively by the audience and draw inspiration from the natural world in all its forms. The series will feature people making a difference from around the world, including youth activist Mitzi Jonelle Tan in the Philippines to NASA Scientist Dalia Kirschbaum, in addition to challenges like creating a music video using sounds of nature or animations about renewal after natural disasters. HITRECORD is creating episodes right now, so if you like to write, act, draw, take photos, make music, and more, share your stories and experiences on HITRECORD.org/CreateTogether. “Create Together” is produced by Brian Graden Media and HITRECORD.

“BookTube” with Bill Gates – Premieres April 22 at 9 AM, PT

“BookTube,” the monthly learning series featuring the world’s most renowned authors, is back with a special Earth Day episode that features technologist, business leader, and philanthropist Bill Gates and a discussion of his book, ‘How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.” YouTube Creators Ariel Bissett, Emmanuel Acho, Mitch and Greg from asapScience, Prajakta Koli of MostlySane, and Destin Sandlin from SmarterEveryDay join this episode of “BookTube” to discuss the book, the biggest challenges facing the global climate crisis, and a variety of solutions the world can adopt to achieve the ambitious goal of reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses from 51 billion tons a year to zero. “BookTube” is produced by Boardwalk Pictures.

YouTube’s ongoing commitment to sustainability continues with new launches starting later this year including:

“Seat at the Table” – Premieres October 2021

“Seat at the Table” follows YouTube creator and climate advocate Jack Harries, as he highlights the devastating impacts and innovative solutions to climate change. This 12-episode series will feature YouTube creators, communities, campaigners, and innovative problem-solvers spanning multiple continents to discover the untold human and environmental stories behind the climate crisis. Harries also meets with iconic experts, including Sir David Attenborough. At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Harries will confront some of the most powerful people on the planet and demand action from those truly on the frontline of the climate emergency. The series aims to give people from around the world a seat at the table and the opportunity to have their voices heard on a global stage. “Seat at the Table” is produced by Colin Butfield, Jonnie Hughes & Helga Berry.

“Stay Wild” [working title] – Premieres October 2021

From YouTube’s Brave Wilderness and Leonardo diCaprio’s Appian Way and Madica Productions, “Stay Wild” (w/t) will explore Earth’s critically endangered environments through a series of immersive adventures with Mark Vins. In his first expedition, Vins will hack through the treacherous, sloping rainforest of Rwanda in an attempt to find the last of the wild mountain gorillas. While embedding with the park rangers who risk their lives and spend months apart from their families to protect the gorillas, he will ask “What can we do now that will help these animals stay wild?” Part “Butterfly Effect,” Vins will follow a chain reaction of events to show viewers exactly what actions they can take that will have a lasting and direct impact on the other side of the world. “Stay Wild” is produced by Brave Wilderness, Appian Way and Madica Productions.

“Shut It Off ASAP” [working title] – Premieres October 2021

In this new series, YouTube creators AsapSCIENCE – two city boys – are leaving their comfort zone and heading to the country. Part “The Simple Life” and part “I Bought a Farm,” Mitch and Greg find themselves on a remote farm, trying their hand at going green, regenerative farming, and building a sustainable lifestyle. They’ll be joined by FarmTubers, experts, and other YouTube Creators who will help execute their vision of living off the grid and deliver takeaways that can be replicated back at home!. “Shut it Off ASAP” is produced by YouTube Entertainment Studios.

“Kid Correspondent” – Sustainability-themed episodes premiere October 2021

“Kid Correspondent” returns with a three-episode block exploring sustainability themes and how kids around the world can help take care of our planet. From SoulPancake and the team behind the beloved Kid President brand, “Kid Correspondent” first aired as a four-part election themed special in 2020 and centers around the next generation of kid journalists dedicated to making the world a better place and helping other kids develop the necessary skills to one day become more informed and involved grown-ups. The show’s correspondents will be joined by guest “celebrity grown-ups” as well as real-world kids making a difference through sustainability, while offering viewers practical tips for protecting the environment. “Kid Correspondent” is produced by SoulPancake, a division of Participant.

These announcements continue YouTube’s commitment to bringing exceptional entertainment, learning, and timely content including “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil,” a four-part docuseries chronicling every aspect that led to the global superstar’s nearly fatal overdose in 2018, and her awakenings in the aftermath; “Black Renaissance,” a special celebrating the contributions of Black History makers who shaped the world; “Dear Class of 2020,” a tribute to this year’s graduating class and centered around the timely themes of hope, resilience, and camaraderie; “Bear Witness, Take Action,” a conversation aiming to unite and inspire the platform’s global community to take action for racial justice; a special live event, “David Blaine Ascension,” who redefined magic once again when the world needed an uplifting distraction; and “Defying Gravity: The Untold Story of Women’s Gymnastics,” the PGA award-winning documentary series that explores what it takes to be an elite gymnast, through the voices of its greatest champions.

Susanne Daniels is Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. Nadine Zylstra serves as Head of Family, Learning and Impact for YouTube Originals, Alex Piper serves as Head of Unscripted for YouTube Originals and Luke Hyams serves as Head of YouTube Originals EMEA.

YouTube Sustainability Partnerships Include:

Global Citizen Partnership – Sustainability event premieres on September 25

As part of a multi-pronged partnership, YouTube and Global Citizen have come together on two main events in 2021 that will live on YouTube. As part of the company’s sustainability efforts, YouTube and Global Citizen will partner to promote Global Citizen LIVE, a multi-hour global event that will feature performances from all over the world, including: Lagos, New York City, Paris, Seoul and Sydney. Centered around achieving Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World, including commitments from both organizations to protect the planet, Global Citizen LIVE will take place on September 25, 2021. In order to protect the planet, the world must commit to net-zero emissions by 2050 with 2030 interim targets to decelerate unprecedented rising temperatures. Global Citizen and YouTube will lock arms to ask changemakers around the world to do their part to help build a more sustainable world.

And as previously announced, to overcome COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, ensure equitable distribution around the world, and celebrate a hopeful future as families and communities reunite after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, YouTube will join Global Citizen to promote a global broadcast and streaming special that aims to help end the coronavirus pandemic for everyone, everywhere. The event will take place on May 8th live on YouTube.

TED Countdown Partnership:

Building on a successful partnership in 2020, YouTube will continue its work with TED on Countdown, a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. In 2020, YouTube supported the Countdown Global Launch event, a 6-hour livestream featuring 5 sessions of climate talks, interviews, and performances from scientists, business leaders, government officials, artists, and musicians. This year, YouTube will continue to develop this partnership with significant engagement at the Countdown Summit taking place October 12-15, 2021. As Countdown and YouTube recognize storytelling as a powerful tool for amplification, Countdown will invite YouTube creators to take part in both Summit and local satellite events and share their experiences with their millions of collective viewers. On the eve of COP26, Countdown will host a free, virtual global livestream event on TED’s YouTube channel, with significant on-platform and social support from YouTube.

“Humans of Earth Day” Campaign includes:

YouTube will also launch “Humans of Earth Day,” a campaign on the YouTube channel by featuring various Creators who are doing positive work for the planet year-round with the hopes of educating and inspiring others. The campaign will highlight over 30 YouTube creators who make up just part of the active sustainability community on the platform, including DALLYMYD, a scuba diver deep-sea diving for trash, JHÁNNEU, a low impact minimalist making intentional living more accessible, dear Ali Ceramics, a ceramicist thinking about sustainable packaging as he launches his store, and more.

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