Recent climate change protests in the UK by the activist group Extinction Rebellion have caused the UK government to take action. MP’s approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency, the first government in the world to do so. Protests were fueled by anger over inaction on climate change and those the activist group saw who are funding the destruction of the planet.
Global Finance, Banks and Investment Companies were the targets. A recent UN report says global climate change will cost those financiers trillions. Delays on implementing policy by governments will mean a loss to 30,000 of the worlds largest companies of £919 billion.
The cost of climate change is not just to our world and to our environment, it is clearly now a big cost to economies. The more that governments delay in implementing policies that support their country in getting to net zero carbon emissions, the more it is going to cost them and the world that we live in. It now has been made totally clear by the UN that it makes big business sense to get onboard and shift your nation’s economy to carbon neutral as quickly as possible.
According to Dr. Steve Waygood, Aviva Investors Chief Responsible Investment Officer, the valuation of the fossil fuel sector since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2016 has gone up £600 billion. This remains the world’s single biggest market failure. Investors in the Fossil Fuel sector are putting demands on these fossil fuel companies as the top 500 investment companies investments are at risk for up to £8.2 trillion according to the UN report.
The fossil fuel industry is now being forced to take responsibility for their emissions by their investors. Shell has recently signed off on this and Aviva Investors who are a shareholder of BP are putting pressure on BP to create a strategy to reduce emissions according to the Paris Climate Agreements requirements. What this means is that the investors in these big companies have the leverage over them to change their strategy and hold them accountable to change, thereby changing the world.
Climate Change – What We Can Do?
The planet and its economies are at stake. Recently the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) published a report that gave the UK a road map of what it needs to do to become carbon neutral by 2050. The CCC report recommended some of the following:
- 2.7 Billion trees need to be planted by 2050, a threefold increase on current rates.
- Consumption of beef, lamb and dairy will need to fall by a fifth.
- A ban on new sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2035 at the latest.
- Domestic gas boilers need to be replaced by heat pumps.
- Low carbon electricity supplies needed to quadruple
- The UK must develop 5 clusters to capture and store up to 175 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2050.
The CCC reports bottom line is that peoples habits are going to have to change drastically to reduce greenhouse emissions over the coming years. As behavioural change experts at CCG, we know that this is going to require a shift in meaning for everyone. People move away from pain and towards pleasure and the pain is starting to become more and more apparent to governments and the companies of the world. This now needs to be clearly translated down to the people of the world and what it means to them if they don’t change their habits now.
The costs of change are far far less than the costs of not changing for the world, humanity and the economies. This message that the UN and the CCC report has published in May is the leverage that we have needed to get everyone urgently moving in the same direction. How can you start to change your habits, lead the way and be an example of what is possible?