New writing… My latest piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – tackles the herd-of-elephants-in-the-room subject of global warming. In the wake of the sobering, yet alarming, assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), most of us will be aware of the target limit of 2°C, or better still, 1.5°C, for planetary temperature increase. However, I am not convinced that many in business and society are necessarily aligned on the timeframes for this ambitious endeavour. My contention, put simply, is that if we take too long to achieve these goals, then, in fact, we fail. Climate change is a call to action, that cannot wait. This is why, now is the ‘Time for science, before it’s too late!‘
New writing… My second piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – tackles climate resilience in the built environment. It looks at how we can design, build and operate properties and places capable of coping with extreme weather – regardless of whether the forecast is for a Beast from the East, or a hosepipe-banning heatwave. Is it all just a question of adaptability? Should providing sustainable comfort in weather such as this sweltering summer actually be relatively straightforward? Is keeping cool only a matter of being adequately prepared? Well, not exactly… As cooling becomes the new heating, there is more to climate resilience than simply specifying extra kit, if we want ‘Buildings that won’t blow hot and cold’.
Withdrawal of the Trump administration from the Paris Agreement means America is one of only three nations (along with Nicaragua and Syria) and by far the largest not signed up to the international climate commitment to tackle human-made global warming.
Climate change, though, does not respect national or state borders – it is a universal, Planet Earth phenomenon and truly global in its scope and scale.
In many ways, incentivising climate action would be made much simpler if the degree of global warming did actually vary regionally and locally in strict proportion to respective direct (and indirect) impacts. Imagine how different the response might be, if particular countries and parts of the world with a larger carbon footprint experienced greater adverse effects in relative terms than those living more within their planetary means?
Sadly, it is almost the case that the opposite scenario holds true – those nations least at fault still bear much of the burden created by unsustainable industrialisation and consumerism running rampant for decades elsewhere.
In reality, climate change is indiscriminate and fundamentally unfair.
So, whilst I shall not be demanding anyone ‘Pledge Allegiance’ or ‘Salute’, I do ask you please to Fly the Flag, not least in support of all those states, cities, organisations, businesses, communities, families and individuals in the US who are working hard and living well in accordance with the principles of sustainability (and perhaps still hoping to bring about a change in Government policy).
Fly the Flag: We are all America now; and America is all of us.
History of the Ecology Flag:
According to Wikipedia, Look magazine incorporated the Ecology Symbol into an image of a flag in their April 21, 1970 issue. It widely popularised the theta symbol, associated with the Greek word thanatos (death) in light of human threats to the environment. The flag design was based on that of the United States and has 13 stripes alternating green and white, plus the Ecology Symbol in the upper left quadrant (canton) in the place of stars.
The Ecology Symbol (Theta):
The Ecology Symbol was originally created by cartoonist and artist Ron Cobb – who had worked on everything from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, to an album cover for rock band Jefferson Airplane. First published in 1969, it takes the letters ‘e‘ and ‘o‘ from the words ‘environment’ and ‘organism, then superimposes them on one another to form a shape reminiscent of the Greek letter θ (Theta).
Clean and green energy is clearly becoming increasingly attractive to investors and fund managers as they decarbonise and derisk their portfolios, from stocks and shares, to assets and acquisitions. As a result, new resilience and responsibility metrics can now be seen influencing corporate clients, as well as real estate deals and development.
This brief ‘listicle’ identifies 5 key drivers behind these recent and ongoing shifts in perception, principle and practice that are impacting markets worldwide and together helping create ‘A new climate for sustainable investment’.