To repeat: 20 or 30 years from now, Americans’ mass adoption of electric vehicles will seem like something that was always going to happen. I can tell you, from where I’m sitting, it’s never felt inevitable before. It feels inevitable now.
On January 27, newly-installed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin — having already made history as the first Black American appointed to the role — broke new ground for the Department of Defense. He declared that under his leadership, the department would treat climate change as a national security priority. “There is little about what the Department does to defend the American people that is not affected by climate change,” Austin argued. “It is a national security issue, and we must treat it as such.” It’s a very welcome step.
Human-caused climate change “may have played a key role” in the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the conclusion of a new study which examined how changes in climate have transformed the forests of Southeast Asia, resulting in an explosion of bat species in the region.
The world is heading for mortality rates equivalent to the Covid crisis every year by mid-century unless action is taken, according to Mark Carney. The former central banker said the investment needed to avert millions of deaths was double current rates.
The environmental crisis is also a crisis of hope.
I believe the way to spread hope is to collectively challenge the tired narrative of environmental doom and gloom that reproduces a hopeless status quo and replace it with an evidence-based argument that improves our capacity to engage with the real and overwhelming issues we face.
Aviva Investors has announced a new climate initiative, the Climate Engagement Escalation Programme, with commitment to divest from non-responsive companies. The firm will require these companies to deliver net zero scope 3 emissions by 2050 and establish robust transition roadmaps to demonstrate their commitment to immediate action on climate change as the world’s carbon budget diminishes.
In the early, idealistic days of the open source software movement, few people would have believed you if you told them that Microsoft and Goldman Sachs would one day be taking up the cause. But here in 2021, this pipe dream has become a reality in the form of the Open Source Climate initiative (OS-Climate for short).
The cause of climate change has been an unlikely winner from the coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis has proved a wake-up call to governments and companies of the perils of ignoring external risks and undervaluing resilience. Experts have long warned of the consequences of global warming and there is hope that 2021 will be a pivotal year in the fight against it. The past few months have seen an explosion in the number of companies promoting their environmental, social and governance standards. Big money, too, is driving this ESG agenda. Larry Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, used his annual letter to business leaders last month to warn that the world’s largest asset manager would push companies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.