What does the IPCC report mean for business and investors?
The UN’s climate science panel’s report contains stark warnings about sea level rises and temperature rises. But what does this mean for the private sector? In this blog, Stephen Hinton gives his views.
The publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report is a rigorous scientific assessment of the facts and figures of climate change. The report’s conclusions include a 95% certainty that climate change is caused by human activity and an analysis that global warming is likely to skip past the two degrees rise beyond which lies dangerous damage to the environment. Statistics that show concentrations of greenhouse gases are the highest they’ve been in the last 800,000 years, and that a dangerous rise of 2 degrees of the Earth’s temperature is likely. Our way of life and the survival of many is threatened.
Stephen Hinton: If a farmer were to be told that the way he or she was running the farm and taking care of the animals was with 95% certainty likely to damaging the land, their farm and livelihood you could expect that farmer to take the action that was in their power. The same must be true for Governments. But I do not see that it is an opportunity for fear, rather that there is an opportunity for change. Let us not argue the science in the last detail but take the next bold steps.
The first thing for Governments to do is to clarify what the economy is for. The opportunity lies in that economic growth cannot, in the face of these external challenges, and the voluntary fossil fuel burning restrictions that follow, continue to chase economic growth in the way it has been pursued hitherto .
And this is where the private sector comes in: the challenge is for the private sector to unleash its creativity to find ways to bring people a roof over their head, food on the table and social cohesion whilst at the same time removing fossil fuel burning from the supply chain. Governments may set the direction, but it is the organisational and creative might of the corporations, driven by the vision of corporate leaders that is needed.
We know from work done with the Nordic Council of Ministers that fossil import taxes redistributed to the public could create a new wave of economic activity.
We know can’t go on like we have been. We know we want something better. Let’s make it happen!
Report from Stephen Hinton: Go Sustainable Now