Nearly a year ago at Climate Week NYC 2019, the most memorable call to action was from Helen Clarkson, CEO at the Climate Group. Helen proclaimed the 2020s “The Climate Decade,” in which organizations, cities and governments around the world should pledge to turn discussion into real action, and accelerate progress toward the commitments of the Paris Agreement. Indeed, to stay on course, we need to see the carbon emissions curve flatten and begin to decrease by the end of the decade.
We entered 2020 with undeniable positive momentum. Influential companies like Microsoft and Delta made bold carbon reduction commitments. And mammoth finance influencer Blackrock announced to its portfolio companies that sustainability would be more integral to the way the company “manages risk, constructs portfolios, designs products, and engages with companies.”
Then, the unexpected happened. Over the course of a few months, the world as we knew it transformed. From a global pandemic shutting down economies to social unrest and discontentment, the world’s momentum seemed to stall. Now, businesses, governments and communities are grappling with what this ‘new normal’ means, even as the great threat of climate change still looms ahead.
Although 2020 has been challenging so far, events have also revealed the following key lessons which can and must be applied to tackling the next nine years of “The Decade to Deliver.”