Climate change is not a ‘leftist plot’, says charity founder

People pictured in Lower Saxony, Germany, July 19, 2022. A number of European countries were hit by a heat wave last month.

Julian Stratenschulte | Image Alliance | Getty Images

It has been called a “global emergency that transcends national borders” and described as “the greatest security threat modern humans have ever faced”.

Regardless of one’s opinion on the matter, discussions of climate change and its effects on the world we live in are here to stay, with academic studies, world summits and extreme weather events making headlines. newspapers almost daily.

In a recent interview with CNBC’s “Sustainable Future,” the founder of CDP — a nonprofit charity formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project — reflected on the sometimes tense nature of the debate surrounding our planet and its future.

Speaking to CNBC’s Tania Bryer, Paul Dickinson referred to what he called “a kind of anti-climate change movement that’s just based on people believing it’s some kind of left-wing conspiracy. “.

“The truth is that we now realize that this concerns everyone,” he said. “It’s not a party political issue.”

Dickinson’s argument will suit those who see climate change as something to be taken seriously, a view which, it seems, is shared by many.

According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, for example, in October 2021 three-quarters of UK adults described themselves as being “very or somewhat worried about the impact of climate change”. On the other hand, 19% “were neither worried nor carefree”.

In the United States, a 2020 report by the Pew Research Center found that “large majorities of the public – including more than half of Republicans and an overwhelming share of Democrats – say they would support a series of initiatives to reduce the impacts of climate change.”

While the Pew study highlighted common concerns, it also provided insight into how differences can sometimes be perceived along party lines.

“Significantly larger shares of Democrats and those leaning toward the Democratic Party than Republicans and Republican supporters say human activity is a big contributor to climate change (72% vs. 22%),” he noted. .

Make money

The CDP was established in 2000. It says it provides companies, regions, cities and states with a platform to “report information on their impacts on climate, deforestation and water security “.

During his interview with CNBC, CDP’s Dickinson also discussed the role big business could play in addressing climate change and addressing other pressing issues such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. .

“We must recognize that global corporations have grown to such size and prominence that…with their leadership on climate change and in their response to Ukraine, they can provide global standards of behavior that will protect public populations,” did he declare.

On how he would advise companies looking to reduce their emissions, Dickinson said they should “do more, do it now and try to own it”.

“Climate change is like the internet,” he continued. “It gets bigger every year, it never goes away, and you have to learn how to make money from it.”

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As many businesses – not to mention households – begin to feel the pinch of rising energy bills, Dickinson then sketched out a scenario where a company’s approach to energy use would be crucial.

“Energy is expensive – it’s actually getting more and more expensive,” he said. “And as governments respond, there will be increased taxation and energy regulation.”

“Much like the cost of cigarettes, let’s just imagine that energy is going to get more and more expensive…until it’s renewable,” he said.

“In this journey, there are only benefits for any company that seeks to increase its energy efficiency, by reducing the energy consumption of its products and services.”

The payoffs for a company could be “absolutely huge”, he continued.

“In every industry and category, companies I believe can gain market share and increase margins by focusing on energy efficiency.”

Teresa H. Sadler