Why I am calling for climate action today: but not just for today
For me, the Global Climate Strike is an extension of last year’s call to action by students to now include the rest of society. The Global Climate Strike last year started because the school kids correctly realised that we are not doing as much as we can to prevent climate change and that they will be the ones that pay the price for our current inaction.
And yes, they will pay; for services that we currently receive for free from nature, to pay for higher damage bills from more extreme weather events and to pay the costs from treating the waste (including the carbon dioxide) we have dumped in our oceans and lands. I believe that it’s in everyone’s interests to act now to minimise these future costs.
Working in sustainability consulting, I am regularly requested by leading organisations to forecast the future impacts of climate change and advise on strategies for change. What this work shows is that almost all of the technologies needed for this transformation already exist today – the main challenge is our willingness to change.
The solutions are typically quite straightforward and achievable but they do need changes by everyone. I, and KPMG, support the use of carbon pricing to reduce emissions in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Other initiatives, regulations and interventions can also be used by governments, businesses and civil society to achieve an orderly transition to a decarbonised world if they are purposeful changes in a consistent direction.
To prevent climate change we need both a global ambition and an action plan. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change reached by 185 nations in 2015 was a major milestone in setting out the ambition needed. The Global Climate Strike is a call for an action plan.