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World Economic Forum at Davos 2020- an opportunity to set out a vision for climate friendly economic growth

Davos, home of the 50th World Economic Forum, for the first time ever, is focusing on Climate Change and shaking up existing financial investment strategies.

The president of the USA called people with concerns for the climate “prophets of doom”. Well, there is some truth to that. There is no denying the science, so clearly no one’s found a way to communicate it in a cheerier, more consumable way.

It is no wonder that our economy continues to be powered by fossil fuels, because the oil and gas industry has attracted $1.45 trillion1 in investment and $4.7 trillion2 globally in subsidies.

Banks and governments need to make the effort to identify ways to meet their investment goals through clean energy.

A flawed defence for the fossil fuel industry

In defence of the fossil fuel establishment, President Trump used his keynote address to boast that the US economy is doing spectacularly well under his leadership. What he is not saying is that economic prosperity is linked to investment targets.

The fossil fuel driven economy is short lived in the time of the planet. Trump uses the short term thinking of an older person who doesn’t care about the future of young people.

That he belittles Greta Thunberg’s concern by telling her to “chill out and watch a film” is wrong. That he diminishes a teenager for her concern for the future of young people is immature, egotistically motivated and careless. A manner completely unbefitting a global leader.

This behaviour is negligent in its safeguarding of the interests of all sharing our planet.

World Economic Forum - Fossil Fuel Pollution
Since the industrial revolution, the combustion of fossil fuels has facilitated tremendous economic growth at great expense to our natural environment.
Photo: Ella Ivanescu, UnSplash

The fossil fuel establishment has accumulated delirious amounts of material wealth through the generosity of an economy that referred to environmental impact as ‘externalities’.

That drove an unprecedented surge in wealth over a very short period in the history of our civilisation on Earth, leaving a very unbalanced climate in its wake.

The fact is that we must begin the journey of working, investing and focusing on fixing this very big problem that we have that will surely impact the quality of life of all living beings on our planet.

Youth are striking for our right to live peacefully in harmony with nature, investing in building a world of real strength by taking good care of our home.

Investing in local clean energy to transform our societies and stop climate breakdown

BHESCo, with our experience of delivering clean energy projects, can say, unequivocally, that if we invest at the level of thinking envisioned by Blackrock, we will transform the energy industry, making it fairer, cleaner, safer and healthier.

We can reduce the emission of gases that are causing the climate to change, while retaining our present quality of life.

Technology that has evolved through centuries of experience will facilitate the creation of new networks of sharing clean local energy generation systems – systems balanced by energy storage, both electricity and heat; of heat pumps replacing oil fuelled heating in villages, where 2.5 million households in England aren’t connected to the gas network; of food waste to biomethane; of tidal energy and wind energy.

World Economic Forum - Investing in local clean energy
Supporting the development of and investing in micro clean energy projects will deliver significant economic, social, and environmental benefits to local communities.
Photo: Science in HD. UnSplash

All of this can happen, by working together on building Neighbourhood Plans, including the provision of clean, local energy.

It can happen by offering opportunities to invest in building a future of more certainty, looking after each other and enriching hard work and other virtues, only not at the expense of others or the planet.

This is the way of the future. 

The older generation has a responsibility to lead in this direction, by engaging their experience in ways that evoke hope in future generations, not the despair that young people currently feel about the way we are responding to the climate crisis.

References

1. https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WP/Issues/2019/05/02/Global-Fossil-Fuel-Subsidies-Remain-Large-An-Update-Based-on-Country-Level-Estimates-46509

2. https://www.banktrack.org/article/banking_on_climate_change_fossil_fuel_finance_report_card_2019


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