Five Take Aways From Climate Week
What a week! We are just back from Climate Week in New York where the Nia team marched in the March against Fossil Fuels, hosted an event highlighting Jane Fonda’s climate activism, celebrated women in the climate movement, and participated in many convenings and presentations, at the UN as well as at several large financial institutions.
At a time where extreme weather is wreaking havoc across the globe, from droughts, to floods, to forest fires, the week was full of good energy as people from different sectors, from around the globe gathered to work together toward solutions for cooling our planet.
The science community agrees the way to prevent further extreme weather, further harm and destruction is to reduce our global CO2 emissions to zero. Business as usual is not going to do. The key to removing more CO2 than we emit is reducing or eliminating the burning of fossil fuels including oil, gas and coal.
#ClimateWeekNYC was an inspiring week of building community and collaborating with investors and activists all united in our goals to reduce greenhouses and the effects of climate change. Here are a few of our many takeaways from this momentous week.
The time to act is now, with governments and corporations leading the way. Corporations and governments making pledges and setting targets and goals is commendable and yet without strategies to take action on carbon reduction commitments, pledges are meaningless. A target date of 2030 or 2040 must be accompanied by specific actions with measurable results. We at Nia ask all companies to assess, measure and disclose their Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions as a way to get started addressing climate risks. Disclosures are an important first step. The strategies and action plans to then reduce or eliminate emissions are key.
We cannot greenwash our way to the solutions. Reaching actual absolute zero emissions, rather than net zero is desirable. While the carbon credit market will thrive as companies seek to show emissions reductions, we can not buy our way out of this crisis. Actual, authentic reductions in emissions is what we need now.
Indigenous wisdom and practices are essential and need to be widely protected. We must preserve and learn from the communities that have been successfully stewarding their lands, plants, waterways, and animals for centuries. Their ways of understanding nature, biodiversity and circularity are in themselves finite resources to protect. Understanding our interconnectedness, and finding ways to preserve their lands and ways of living are a significant part of the solutions we all need.
Women are essential to our successful transition and need to be at decision making tables. Women are often closest to the problem issues and often hold the answers and strategic pathways forward. From community tables to corporate boards of directors, listening to women is needed as we seek to care for our environment and our communities through this transition.
Investors have a large role to play in moving our economy and our world toward sustainability. The simple truth is we get the economy we invest in. Most of us are still needing to connect the dots between our investment portfolios and our future economy. From large asset holders to those of us with 401K retirement plans, it’s up to all of us to divest our portfolios from fossil fuel producing companies, and to reinvest those dollars into solutions focused, low carbon economy companies. There is a lot each one of us can do, and repositioning our investments may be the most impactful of our collective actions.
We hope you will join us in taking action for a sustainable future. More on Climate Week and actions we can all take together coming soon. Stay tuned.