The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has yet again issued perilous warnings about the earth’s changing climate. And who, among us, has not experienced such changes firsthand? Be it record high temperatures, heavy downpours and flooding, or the lingering smoky air from wildfires? Still, I have never felt more confident in our collective ability to transform and build a cleaner, safer, more resilient future.
The past 18 months have shown us that, when faced with a sudden global crisis, cities, companies, and governments can mobilize capital, retrain workforces, innovate and collaborate in unprecedented ways. Though we’ve not yet emerged from the challenges of the pandemic, one thing is clear: transformation is more accessible than we previously thought possible.
Despite the turmoil of the pandemic, ambition to address climate change has continued to ratchet up. The leading governments and companies that have set targets to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest now collectively account for more than half of global economic output and almost 25% global CO2 emissions.
However, leaders of governments and corporates alike are quickly finding that setting a Net Zero goal is far easier than achieving it. With the timeline for transformation shortening, incremental efforts that fit within existing operating models won’t cut it. Much like the pandemic, we need to address the climate challenge not only with ingenuity and investment but also with urgency and scale.