Have we done too little, too late? We certainly hope not. The optimist in us is saying ‘not quite yet’.
We’ve been watching the carbon control space for a very long time and it’s been a painfully frustrating process. Movements have been slow and sluggish with a lot of talk and not much action. However in the past 18 months we’ve seen a change that is promising and exciting! The scale of, and appetite for change is finally tangible and real. We are witnessing shift changes unfolding on so many fronts.
This is evident in a variety of fields.
In politics, decades of work culminated in a landmark deal adopted by 195 countries at the December 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21). This marked the first-ever legally binding global climate deal. The treaty will take effect in 2020.
Big and small emitters alike have pledged to reduce their carbon emissions and migrate to clean energy over the next two decades. Their commitments are to contribute towards the global effort to keep the average global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius.
Importantly, in addition to the politicians and policy makers, the global investors had a strong presence at COP21 too. They have sat up and are taking notice. More than 400 investors with a collective US$24 trillion in assets signed the Global Investors Statement on Climate Change. This is great news, as investors signing up to contribute towards a more sustainable future are invaluable – they will be our funders.
Touching on a few other fields that are shifting towards a more sustainable future: In the energy market the global shift towards renewable energy is ramping up significantly. This is reducing the demand for coal and sending signals to the markets to divest in fossil fuels. We are seeing so many examples of this trend playing out, including coal mines closing and institutions divesting in fossil fuels.
There is already a shift in consciousness among the youth specifically, which is a very positive sign. Their culture of collaboration and influence with social media will enable us to pool our collective minds to find the solutions we desperately need.
Sadly, widespread shifts in our climate and natural systems are spurring these positive changes. For the first time on record, over the past 12 consecutive months, each month has broken the previous month’s hottest month ever. Our coral reefs are in deep trouble and our ocean conveyor belt could be slowing. The reality is, we have known about the potential impacts for a long time, but now we are feeling them and watching them play out. As the impacts of climate change become more real and locally relevant, we believe more action will come. It has to.
So, we don’t want to be saying one day it was too little too late, let’s save ourselves that and make the SHIFT. Get on board.