Will fear or hope drive climate action?

My LinkedIn post from 9 November 2021

“We should stop competing with each other on the future of humanity and start working together like adults.”

So said Paul Polman, campaigner and former Unilever CEO, on BBC Question Time, speaking from the climate change conference in Glasgow.

He was talking about governments and business, though the message applies to us all.

It’s understandable for individuals to feel defeated by the scale of the climate challenge. But action gives us hope, and collective action keeps us going.

What will motivate more people to get on board? Will it be fear and fury? Even with COP26 commitments, global action must be far more drastic and decisive if we are to avoid the worst climate effects, and many businesses and politicians have contributed to the crisis.

Will it be hope? The transition to net zero offers a chance to create a more inclusive as well as a cleaner world, for example by redistributing proceeds from carbon pricing to people at the sharp end of globalisation.

I feel the fear, but also the hope. There’s no shortage of ways to act, as shown by this home-made poster at our climate justice march in St Albans, which people of every generation attended.

Climate leadership and innovation are happening all over the place, including in the business and political worlds.

As Sir David Attenborough told COP26 delegates: “If working apart we are a force powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it.”

What impact is COP26 having on you?

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