Where are the urgent actions on climate change?


I’ve been off on medical leave for a few weeks – including the day of the publication of the IPCC’s recent alarm-ringing report on the tiny window for action to avert catastrophic climate change.

 The stark message that we have twelve years to cut CO2 emissions by 45% to limit warming to 1.5˚ was announced on 8th October.

 “Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050.”

 So I have been out of the face-to-face loop, but I have had the leisure time to scroll through various social media feeds to see how others (sustainability professionals, NGOs, others who work in the policy, environment and climate worlds) are responding.

 And I’m puzzled, curious, and frankly disappointed.

 Where is the urgent ramping up of ambition and action? The revisions of strategy? The bringing forward of long-term targets? Where are the conversations about what we need to urgently do differently, given that what we’ve been doing so far has got us teetering on the precipice?

 I haven’t seen them.

 It’s like the fire alarm is going off and no-one is leaving the building.

 Maybe this is a good thing. Perhaps the conversations are happening behind the scenes, and in the next few weeks there will be show-stopping announcements and launches of new things. Or perhaps it’s that everyone who is already engaged in climate, sustainability, resilience and so on has looked at the ‘twelve years’ and looked at their existing plans and performance, and said “yeah, we’ve got this. No worries.”

 I hope it’s that.

 But I fear it isn’t.

 (I’m not the only one who’s curious and concerned about this silence. In other places, colleagues including Adam Garfunkel and David Bent have been raising this question gently, and people I know in my local community are asking their facebook contacts about why they aren’t seeing more of a response.)

 So tell me, am I just not looking in the right places? Where is the cutting edge activity? Or has there been a collective shrug in response to the IPCC’s urgent call to action? Do you feel disappointed and baffled by the silence?

 Wanna talk about it?  And what do you plan to do differently, at work or otherwise?