2020 or Bust: Empowering the world to end the climate crisis.


The impacts of climate change are already happening,
and the actions we are taking are not enough to stay in the safety zone.

Italian navy rescue asylum seekers
Hope, fear, optimism, denial.
These are ordinary human responses to
a problem that seems overwhelming.

Only one thing will resolve the climate crisis.

2020 or Bust exists to make ending the
climate crisis simple, actionable and achievable.



Fire Island, New York – September 23, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio – October 17, 2017
Oldenburg, Indiana – October 19, 2017

Click here for details and additional dates

websitelogohomeDownload the 2020 or Bust app on your smartphone
or tablet
What is the 2020 or Bust app?



Our Mission

"The mission of 2020 or Bust is to align the global community on the next three years as our make-it-or-break-it
window of opportunity in which to radically interrupt the current emissions trend and get us on track to end the
crisis in time; to generate the thinking, planning and action that will close the gap between where we’ll
predictably be in 2020 and where we need to be for us to be on track for a sustainable future.”

Our Strategy

Awareness -- Disrupt the mindset that limits people from seeing what’s actually happening and from taking
the actions that would allow us to respond effectively to this emerging crisis.
Opportunity -- Wake people up to the importance of the next three years – our window of opportunity in which
to reverse the current emissions trend sufficiently to get us on track to a sustainable future.
Action -- Offer opportunities to act that give people a sense of their own power, what they can do and what
their actions contribute to the 2020 or Bust outcome. This initiative will be mobilized through local 2020 or Bust
Chapters worldwide and involve both collective individual actions and collaborative organizational partnerships.

Our Message

The future is not scripted and it belongs to you. Should we choose to claim it, each of us has the say in the
future of our climate. When every man and woman says “Climate change is mine to resolve,” the trajectory
of the future will shift.



Climate change is the increase in average global temperature that is primarily a function of carbon being released into the atmosphere by human activity. Climate change is a real and growing threat to humanity’s survival.

Our best shot at protecting humanity is keeping the warming of the planet to a maximum of 2 degrees C over pre-Industrial levels.

Very. Global average temperatures have already warmed 0.9 degrees C, and it won’t stop there. Because the warming from carbon is a delayed effect, the emissions currently in the atmosphere (which will stay there and keep causing the climate to warm), will predictably cause the climate to warm to 1.5 degrees C.  We have a window of 0.5 degree C left to stay in the safety range. More information can be found in the Emissions Gap Report.

We will predictably surpass the 2 degree C safety zone in 22 years.

The impacts of climate change are already happening, including decreasing shorelines, reduction of species diversity, increased severe weather, increased drought in some areas, and flooding in other areas. The more the average temperature increases, the higher the risk. If we use up the budget and go past 2 degrees, we put the existence of humanity at high risk. 

The maximum total amount of carbon the atmosphere can hold and not surpass 2 Degrees C is 2900 Gt. This is called the carbon budget.

We have used up 1900Gt PgC or 66% of the budget. We are on track to using up the budget in 25 years.

To give us a shot at getting to zero emissions before the budget is used up requires us radically reversing our emissions trend by 2020. The next three years is our make-it-or-break-it window of opportunity. Read more in this presentation from C40 Cities.

Expected global emissions in 2020 will be 52 Gt CO2e.

Global emissions in 2020 should not be higher than 44 Gt CO2e to give us a likely chance of staying within the 2 °C target. But expected global emissions in 2020 will be 52 Gt CO2e.

8 Gt CO2e. That’s 8 billion metric tons.

No. And many are at work on it. Alone, regulations and policies simply cannot produce the results. Only ACTION can produce the needed results. And if we wait till the policies and regulations are in full operation, it will be too late.

Yes. Through collective action of individuals and organizations, we can absolutely close the gap in time.

“2020 or Bust” is the campaign to generate the awareness, action and results that will bridge the emissions gap by 2020 to put us on track to ending the climate crisis in time. Join the Campaign.  End the climate crisis.

You can join the campaign, start a chapter, donate, or get on the mailing list. See the action section above.


olavOlav Kjørven is Director of UNICEF’s Public Partnerships Division, coordinating public resource mobilization and multi-lateral governmental affairs. Mr. Kjørven has held a number of senior positions within the United Nations, including as the Special Adviser to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the Post-2015 Development agenda, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau for Development Policy, and Director of Environment and Energy at the UNDP. He has initiated an international conversation on ‘The World We Want’ through national, regional and global dialogue.

As Director of Policy for UNDP he was a senior advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on the ‘Sustainable Energy For All’ initiative and led the UN’s engagement with the G20 Development Working Group. Mr. Kjørven advanced an integrated approach to sustainable development, bridging social, economic and environmental concerns as well as issues related to democratic governance.  He was a key figure behind the establishment of the Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor.

As Director of the UNDP’s Environment and Energy Group he spearheaded the group’s work on mainstreaming environmentally sustainable solutions into development plans and programs, and enhancing capacities to access environmental financing to address climate change, environmental degradation, and poverty.

Prior to that, he was State Secretary for International Development with the Government of Norway, and he began his career in development as an Environmental Specialist with the World Bank in 1992. Mr. Kjørven holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from George Washington University.

laura_segafredoLaura is Executuve Director and Chaiman of the Board of the 2° Investing Initiative. Prior to that she was Executive Manager of the UN’s Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project at Sustainable Development Solutions Network (a Global Initiative for the UN) and former lead author of the Emissions Gap Report. She was also Lead Economist at the ClimateWorks Foundation. She has PhD in Energy Studies from the University of Padova (Italy).

Joe-Roberton-UN-climate-conferenceJoe is the Global Strategy Director at Citizen’s Climate Lobby. He does policy analysis, coordinates strategy to train and empower volunteers, and develops new groups abroad. He also leads CCE’s engagement with the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF, and other multilateral institutions. Joe also leads Pathway to Paris, a global organizing project from Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Citizens’ Climate Education aimed at building a working coalition of engaged partners, including citizens and stakeholders, NGOs, multilateral institutions, scholars, leading policy-makers, and the private sector, to actively coordinate a strong and effective consensus agreement in Paris.

Dr. Niklas HöhneProf. Dr. Niklas Höhne is a founding partner of NewClimate Institute. He is also Special Professor “mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions” at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He follows the international climate negotiations since 1995. He led numerous studies related to the international climate change negotiations and national climate policies, for example several evaluations of countries’ performances in climate change. Niklas Höhne is lead author for the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Report for the chapter on climate policies and international cooperation. He is also lead author of the UNEP Emissions Gap reports 2010 to 2015. He created the Climate Action Tracker that tracks commitments and actions of countries on climate change. Niklas Höhne holds a PhD from the University of Utrecht for his dissertation on “What is next after the Kyoto Protocol – Assessment of options for international climate policy post 2012″. His work on sharing the effort of reducing emissions between countries led to the IPCC statement that developed countries would need to reduce emissions by 25% to 40% in 2020 compared to 1990 to be compatible with limiting global temperature increase to 2°C. Before co-founding NewClimate Institute, Niklas Höhne worked at Ecofys, a leading climate and energy consultancy (2001 to 2014), where he last was Director of Energy and Climate Policy. Previously he was a staff member of the UNFCCC secretariat (1998 to 2001), where he supported the negotiations on various issues, including reporting under the Kyoto Protocol, projections of greenhouse gas emissions, fluorinated greenhouse gases and emissions from international transport.niklasAllan Cohen

sidebar-pro-bonoFor more than 20 years Allan Cohen has been an interdisciplinary management consultant, entrepreneur, and executive. In addition to his eight years in private practice, Mr. Cohen was a Senior Vice President at ZEFER Corporation (an eBusiness consultancy), a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Waite & Company (a successful boutique strategy house), and a Principal and engagement leader at CSC Index (creators of reengineering).

Mr. Cohen earned his MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and his B.S. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has been an adjunct faculty member at California State University. He is a Trustee of Cambridge College, and Member of its Executive Committee. He is a member of the Barbados Group, an international think tank focused on the sources of performance. Mr. Cohen is also a member of the Advisory Board of The Vanto Group, a Landmark Education Company. His pro-bono work includes delivery of leadership development, community building, and reconciliation workshops in such diverse places as Belfast, Tel Aviv, and the Mississippi Delta.

Juan Elias Chebly serves at the United Nations Environment Programme as Lead Adviser on Partnerships and Outreach to the UN Assistant Secretary General and Head of UN Environment Management Group. He is founder of and He holds a BS in Management, a minor in International Business, a Finance MBA degree from St. John’s University in Queens NY and a Ph.D in Sustainable Development at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela.
At age 24, he became St. John’s Tobin College of Business youngest professor in 2010. In 2009 he founded, a telecom startup introducing innovative and pioneering VOIP telephony solutions in South America and the US. Since 2013, Juan has been tasked to serve in different capacities as a report writer, researcher, programme manager, public speaker, strategic adviser, and community builder at the UN, at the juncture between academic research, policy-making, and inclusive governance through partnerships and global outreach.


JoepMeijierJoep Meijer is the founder of Climate Buddies, a nonprofit that works with households, schools and houses of worship to reduce their carbon footprint. He is also heavily involved in advocacy at the city level in Austin Texas, helping set the goal for NET-ZERO impact city-wide by 2050, assisting in the development and adoption of the implementation plan, and the purchase of 2,000,000 solar panels for the Austin Energy municipal utility. His carbon footprint is minus 1400 metric tons. Joep is also owner/president of The Right Environment, which helps clients to define sustainability strategies using life cycle assessment techniques. He is a system thinker to make sure things add up on a bigger scale. Climate change is his passion for life.

BrigidSheaBrigid is the elected Travis County Commissioner. She is a long time environmentalist and businesswoman. Brigid came to Austin in 1988 to start the Texas chapter of Clean Water Action. Prior to that, she had been an award-winning journalist at NPR stations in Minnesota and Philadelphia. She was elected to the Austin city council and served 1993-1996 and championed consumer, electoral and environmental reforms.Shea was a co-founder and Director of SOS, which passed the historic Save Our Springs citizen-initiated law to protect Barton Springs. Shea helped usher in a new community consensus that preserving our environment is key to a strong economy.   She is a recognized leader who has been an advisor to LCRA, Seton, SDC Communities, Vignette, Green Mountain Energy and numerous corporate and nonprofit entities on environmental policy and community issues. She consulted on one of the most successful US municipal utility projects, AWCP, designed an award-winning CO2 redux project for a cement plant, is supporting RMI’s Mobility Initiative and creating Community Climate Disaster Preparedness Program.

PlinyFiskWith a background in architecture, landscape architecture, and the systems sciences, Pliny has made pivotal contributions to the sustainability movement for more than four decades by developing replicable prototypes, protocols and policy initiatives.  His prototypes challenge conventional wisdom about building design, engineering, materials, economic development, and landscape and regional planning. Pliny’s seminal life cycle-based protocols helped shape the first green building program, and influenced many more. He has collaborated on federal demonstration greening efforts, including the Greening of the White House and Greening of the Grand Canyon, and on scores of other pivotal projects such as the EpiCenter building in Montana, the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and the Seattle Justice Center, and on Solar Decathlon entries with the University of Texas (2002) and Texas A&M University (2007). His policy initiatives, including the Austin Green Building Program, the AIA’s Environmental Resource Guide, and greening the Texas Architecture + Engineering Guidelines, have established new protocols with broad implementation. Pliny’s has received several national and international recognitions including the Lewis Mumford Award, the 1992 Earth Summit Award (with the City of Austin), the U.S. Green Building Council’s Sacred Tree Award, and The Passive Solar Pioneer Award. In 2006, Metropolis Magazine recognized Pliny as one of 14 Visionaries; in 2008, Texas Monthly called him one of “35 People Who Will Shape Our Future”; his work has appeared in numerous media. Pliny was on the faculty at Ball State University, The University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University, and held teaching positions at the University of Oklahoma and Mississippi State University.  He also served as an advisor to the MacArthur, Gates, and Enterprise Foundations and served as a Peer Professional for the GSA. He is an inventor, as well as CEO and founder of two proactive private sector technology companies: Sustainable Earth Technologies and the EcoInventorium.


For over thirty years, Laughlin Artz has been a successful leader and innovator in an array of seemingly incompatible roles. He is known variously as: a management consultant and transformational educator, a filmmaker and performance artist, an entrepreneur and journalist, and a social and environmental activist.

Across all of these roles, Laughlin brings an unbridled enthusiasm for, and profound commitment to, the possibility that cultural transformation and what he calls “contextual activism” can make a real difference in creating a world that works for everyone.

For the past three years, all of Laughlin’s efforts have been focused on one singular commitment: to end the global climate crisis through citizen engagement and collective action.  As a pioneer in making the climate crisis and the ending of it accessible to ordinary people, Laughlin has distinguished himself as a recognized world leader and radical change agent, putting the power to solve humanity’s most urgent problem in the hands of civil society.

Janice Bookout has over 10 years of experience in small business development (with a focus on marketing, branding and systems), 5 years experience in elementary teaching, and 16 years of experience in personal and professional development. She entered environmental work in 2012 when she began consulting for Austin EcoNetwork (Austin’s curator of all things environmental) and then became project coordinator of an EPA-funded city wide project on food waste prevention and recovery. She now works as Outreach Manager for Earth Day Texas, Austin.

Joep Meijer is both advisor and team member for 2020 or Bust. Joep Meijer is the founder of Climate Buddies, a nonprofit that works with households, schools and houses of worship to reduce their carbon footprint. He is also heavily involved in advocacy at the city level in Austin Texas, helping set the goal for NET-ZERO impact city-wide by 2050, assisting in the development and adoption of the implementation plan, and the purchase of 2,000,000 solar panels for the Austin Energy municipal utility. His carbon footprint is minus 2020 metric tons. Joep is also owner/president of The Right Environment, which helps clients to define sustainability strategies using life cycle assessment techniques. He is a system thinker to make sure things add up on a bigger scale. Climate change is his passion for life.

David Wilborn has over 24 years of experience in graphic design, web site design and development, and enterprise level application support. Additionally he has over 19 years’ experience in the field of personal and professional training and development. David manages web design and maintenance as well as IT support for 2020 or Bust and Context News.

Jeffrey Bonar works at the cutting edge of delivering human value with advanced software technologies. He combines strong business sense, visionary leadership, deep understanding of advanced technology, and passionate commitment to results. He takes raw technologies and finds practical and effective applications that generate human value. He has delivered sophisticated software systems leveraging mobile software, artificial intelligence, customer relationship management, training, and software tools.

Jeff received his doctorate, specializing in Artificial Intelligence, at the Computer and Information Science department of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1985.

David Berman is the producer and editor for 2020 or Bust and accountable for producing our 5-year documentary project. He is also is director and founder of Striker Films, a New York based company that produces documentaries and corporate videos. In addition, David produces and directs for and Context News.

Sheri Focke is a Team Member of 2020 or Bust since the first of 2016. Sheri has her Master’s Degree in Education and Fine Arts from Miami University of Ohio and has worked as a Manager for a leading training a development firm out of San Francisco. She also taught art for 24 years in the Midwest. She is currently the point person for schools for 2020 or Bust and RESULTS. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with Tom Carson and Mary Tessmann. They are in the process of creating a green community in Walnut Hills.


Tom Carson is a Team member of the Cincinnati Chapter of 2020 or Bust. He is a former regional manager for an international training and development company and led seminars for 22 years with that organization. He is a Veteran, and graduate of the University of Maine where he taught in the Veterans Early Education Program. He is a professional skier who coached and taught out of the leading Ski School in the world (Vail) and was fully certified by the Rocky Mountain Professional Association. He was an organic farmer in Maine from 1973 to 1980 and is currently the owner/operator of the only privately held Community Garden in Cincinnati. He and his partners Mary and Sheri are the operating team for RESULTS a citizen advocacy group committed to the end of Hunger and Poverty. He operates the “Behind the Red Door” sound studio where local and regional singers, songwriters and musicians perform. Together Tom and his partners live in the oldest police precinct in Cincinnati and own a neighborhood with views of the city and Northern Kentucky, as well as a historic 900 acre farm in Michigan which has been in Sheri’s family for 6 generations.


Mary Tessmann is a Team Member of the Cincinnati Chapter of 2020 or Bust. She is a former staff member with an international training and development company out of San Francisco for 20 years prior to this she managed a regional office as a Social Worker for people with disabilities in Minneapolis/St Paul for 27 years. She has her Masters in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin and Washington. She is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She is a group leader with RESULTS and has actively lobbied Senators and Congressman from Ohio on issues of hunger and poverty.