Government Taking Risks on CO2 Target

Laying Down The Law

The Government has a problem. Nothing new there then. But the problem that is currently in the news is the UK Fourth Carbon Budget. This essentially sets a further legal target of a 50% cut in emissions by 2027, which will sit alongside the targets that are already in place.
Even though there is little appetite amongst many of the electorate and business sectors for such a move, the necessity of reducing emissions remains clear.
As this Editorial from The Guardian puts it
“Politically, climate change is no longer the most pressing of issues in Britain. Scientifically, it still is.”

Opportunity

Some business are supporting this, others are attacking it. Many are pointing to the challenges and shouting about costs and loss of competitiveness, but there are a few who are seeing an opportunity.

The opportunity is for innovation.

It is an opportunity that catches our attention at Preseli. Our work with helping people come up with ethical and sustainable products and services, like the Creative Challenge at UCA for instance, has left us with a sense of awe of what we can come up with when we work together, and of what the up and coming generation intend to achieve. Any one person really has very little idea of what we are capable of when we work together effectively. We help people to develop that effectiveness.

An Impossible Task Ahead?

When you first take a look at how to de-carbonise a business or an entire economy it looks impossible.
Too hard, too complex, too expensive, too impractical. Impossible.
But that kind of thinking doesn’t make any difference at all. CO2 remains CO2, the physics hasn’t shifted one bit and the probable effects look as grave today as they did yesterday. Harping on about how reducing CO2 is going to cost money is not going to help anyone, it keeps the mind from finding solutions, from seeing opportunity.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
- Albert Einstein

We need to recognise that in fact that it is not a 50% reduction that is the problem, the problem lies in thinking that where we currently are is sustainable, appropriate and desirable for us and those likely to be affected by our actions, or by our complacency. Inconveniently, when facing a world wide problem, we risk affecting every living thing on the planet. That’s a lot of stakeholders to consider. But consider them we must if we are to get the chain of eureka moments necessary to sort this mess out.

Nobody wants climate change, but pretending that things have not fundamentally shifted by hand waving and pleading for special dispensation, puts you behind in the game. This is not an issue that is going to go away, and yet we still have had a collective unwillingness to deal with it.

A Risky Business

So while the Governments actions are a step in the right direction, what remains to be seen is a real and demonstrable commitment to providing the necessary conditions that will most likely give rise to the innovations we need to see throughout the economy. Banking on a spirit of Big Society volunteerism is simply not enough. Too many great ideas are lost in the battle through barriers to market imposed by the status quo. Ethical innovators will need heavy weight support behind them to bring their ideas into reality to a level where they can have a positive impact.  For the Government’s problem to go away it will require more than legal requirements. It will require an investment of time, money and political will to allow new ideas to flourish. The stakes are high and that investment comes with risk, but in creativity risk is a good thing. If we invest we either win or lose. If we don’t invest, we have already lost.

If you or your organisation wants to help shape the outcomes we all need more effectively, through innovation, culture change or solution-finding tools and workshops, get in touch with Preseli and find out how together we can make the difference.

Russell Tongue

 

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