Open Access Government spoke to Oliver Bolton, CEO of Earthly about the priorities to increase global climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement
Oliver Bolton, CEO of Earthly spoke to Open Access Government about his thoughts on the priorities for the postponed 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, during November this year. In this vein, he also charts the priorities concerning working with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.
While COVID-19 is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, Oliver expresses his view that we cannot forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long-term. When economies restart, will this give a chance for nations to recover better, including the opportunity to shape the 21st-century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient? Read on to find the answers to this and other intriguing questions.
Tell us your thoughts on the priorities for the postponed 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, November 2021.
Due to the event not taking place in 2020, there is increased anticipation for COP26 already. From the list of considerations and future of climate policy topics issued, I think all points have been covered, but one of the main priorities is not so much a task as it is an attitude. Ambition is the key priority I expect to see, through everything that is discussed and delivered. This positive attitude and mindset of government and infrastructure are key to engaging the public. In addition, the future of climate policy as a priority will be a key focus when it comes to maintaining our natural environment – this should focus on enhancing ecosystems and preserving biodiversity.
What are the priorities here when it comes to working with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions?
Honestly speaking, to whittle it down to one set or list of priorities is pretty tough. To get everyone involved, the priority should be on taking just one step or small steps rather than people panicking about a complete lifestyle change overnight – that’s not the case. Underpinning this is the education that’s needed to better inform people about the choices or decisions they can make and what impact it has. This can be within institutions, organisations or in the home. If people feel empowered to do this and can see the results, naturally they will become more resilient and help towards a wider climate change goal.
While COVID-19 is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, why can we not forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long-term?
This is the future and we need to think about what we will leave behind for our children, grandchildren and beyond. We’ve become a tough nation as COVID-19 hit us unexpectedly, we’ve adapted and we will come out of this stronger. But climate change isn’t something that will come and go in waves or peaks. In my opinion, the two topics shouldn’t be discussed together as they are irrelevant. That way, there is no possibility of forgetting climate change whereas COVID-19 is something that we are ready to see the back of.
When economies restart, how will this give a chance for nations to recover better, including the opportunity to shape the 21st-century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient?
This can start to happen already, many sectors are keeping the economy going, but as we start the journey of ‘returning back to normal’, factoring on climate goals can be a natural progression that is eased in. Having this on the agenda for businesses or making it a movement in our own homes is a chance to recover and help to shape a greener economy.
Finally, describe the continued support for nations to significantly boost climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement?
In my opinion, the ways countries and climate activists are coming together is incredible to boost a positive and forward-thinking climate ambition. If nations can continue to collaborate, share and inform others, then we are better together in tackling climate change than we are divided.
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