With a strong agreement that we need dramatic CO2 reductions within 10 years to avoid dangerous climate change it frustrating to see that investments still take place that are locking us into a high carbon dependence.
One of the main challenges is that we don’t differentiate between investments that lock us into a high carbon society for decades and those that can be changes tomorrow. If we are to change direction we must be able to find instruments that can help us define what is important from what is less important. In media today it seems to be more discussions about light bulbs than about buildings. Light bulbs are important, but we can change these quite fast, but buildings will be with us for decades.
Selling a SUV is much more serious “crime” than selling a mobile phone with a charger that use a lot of energy. Not only will a SUV use a lot more energy and trigger investment in an unsustainable infrastructure it will be with us for decades, but the charger, not a very important part of the climate challenge, will also (hopefully) be recycled after a year or two in most cases.
In order to get serious about climate change, equity around the use of natural resources it would be valuable to start by tracking the performance of the top 20 CEOs on the Fortune global 500 list and the political leaders of G20.
A webpage with all the names and faces should be created and then each year their decisions would be assessed (by a group of expert and with wiki-opportunities to write up the assessment). The assessment would include three things on the negative side:
1. To what degree have they made decisions that lock us into a high-carbon society?
2. How much (money) have they invested in high-carbon lock-in?
3. How much goods and services have they put on the market that lock us into a high carbon society and for how long?
It should obviously also include the positive part
1. To what degree have they made decisions...
2. How much (money) they invested in solutions...
3. What have they put on the market...
... that help people move out of poverty in a sustainable way and allow rich people to live better lives with less use of natural resources?
If we can make the current destructive trend less anonymous and get a discussion with those who actually have power to make decisions that affect the future of us all. We could discuss why certain decisions are made and how we can move beyond incremental improvements a lot could improve and those taking decisions that can kill or save us all can answer why they do what they do.
Why not put a face on the future?