Climate Group Reflections

Reflections on 2020
So, the close to a horrific year, but the end of which is brighter than the beginning. With a climate sceptic leaving the White House, countries all over the world declaring net zero goals and businesses continuing to commit to climate action, there is more than a tinge of hope to 2020.

However, we cannot underestimate the work we need to do to make up for the last four years – the damage has been as much about the lack of positive action taken at a federal level as the repealing of existing climate legislation. Of course, this doesn’t just apply to the US. It applies to any country in the world with a climate denier in charge (and yes, there are a few still). It applies to any state government whose leader decides to focus on other issues, because climate policy is too hard, too controversial, too complicated. It applies to any CEO of a global business who doesn’t understand their role in the transition to a clean economy.

It is on our community to not just ‘get back on track’ but accelerate to where we should be if the world had listened to scientists 10, 15 or 20 years ago. It’s a lofty ambition – but what is the holiday season without a little optimism?

And even the most cynical of campaigners must admit there have been some incredible successes this year.China, Japan and South Korea all made net zero commitments in the space of a few weeks.Aside from the US – which will hopefully catch up under its new President – every country in the G7 has made a net zero by 2050 commitment.The UK Government announced a 2030 phase out date for petrol and diesel vehicle sales – and there are expectations that other countries will follow.And next year, we have the much anticipated COP26 to look forward to. I know that we will see both commitments and actions ramp up before the most important COP since Paris. The COP26 President has endorsed three of our business campaigns – RE100, EV100 and EP100 – so the path to both commitment and action is there, if you choose to take it…

In previous years we’ve closed this bulletin with a suggestion to ‘rest and reboot’ during the holiday season, to prepare for another year of fighting the good fight. This year, this applies twofold. Rest and celebrate another year’s work, as well as just getting through 2020.

But I’d also like to close with a thank you – to the members of our campaigns, to the businesses and funders that support our projects, and to our global network of colleagues and friends that have helped us in delivering our work. As so often in this role, I am reminded that we are greater together than the sum of our parts.

Have a lovely break.

Helen Clarkson
CEO, Climate Group

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