Demand action on the climate emergency - WWF
Ahead of our event on Thursday May 23rd, we thought we’d catch up with Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate change at WWF.
We’ll be taking over BMW i Electric Car showroom on Park Lane for an evening of talks, music, panel discussions, ethical stalls and networking. Come join us!
Also participating in the event: Ecover, Budwesier, BMW i, WWF, Goodwings and Loop.
We’re keen to find out how these big players are setting the standards for sustainability and influencing other companies to follow suit.
Book your ticket here.
Please could you tell us a little bit about WWF and the important work that you do?
WWF is the worlds’ biggest independent conservation organisation. We have national offices and conservation projects in well over a hundred countries worldwide, and our mission is to build a world in which people and nature thrive. Here in the UK, we’re focused on climate change, on our food systems, and on protecting UK nature – particularly if we leave the EU. We want to build a movement of people committed to fighting for our world, and to working with us to protect and restore nature.
What is the current state of our climate and how can we address the unsustainable consumption of precious natural resources?
Climate change is wreaking havoc on people, wildlife and nature in all parts of the world already, at 1ºC of warming. The world’s climate scientists have warned us that we have little more than a decade’s worth of carbon that we can afford to emit before we lock in warming at 1.5ºC and above – putting us on track for climate breakdown. At 1.5º, we might just be able to protect a third of our corals; at 2º, we face their total loss. And ice-free summers in the Arctic become 10 times more likely at 2º than at 1.5º. Never has it been more urgent for us to act to tackle the causes of climate change, and to restore nature to store more of that carbon that we emit. We know the solutions. We need to raise our voices and demand that governments and businesses act. This is a crisis, and we need it to be treated as such. We need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and invest more, and faster, in clean, renewable alternatives. And we need to change our approach to land-use – which, in turn, means moving our diets to being more plant-based. There is hope – it is doable. But we need to get on with it!
What ways can someone support WWF?
The best support is your voice! We want a movement of people demanding climate action from businesses and government, because we are the last generation who can stop devastating climate change. Join us and make your voice heard – stand up and fight for your world. But also look at your own environmental footprint, with our calculator and see how you can make changes in your own life – and then help your friends and family make those changes too! But most of all, go and tell your MP that you’re doing this, that you care about this, and that you want to see action to tackle climate change – because they don’t hear it from their constituents often enough.
What role do you think large companies have in setting the standards for sustainability?
Three major ways.
First, any company has an environmental footprint itself – and the bigger the company, the bigger the impact. So companies that understand that and commit to reduce it are contributing to the rapid and deep emissions cuts that we need if we’re to keep warming to 1.5º. Companies can sign-up to Science-Based Targets – cutting emissions in line with a 1.5º world, throughout their value chain. Tesco and BT are both signed up to these, here in the UK – big companies, with a big potential impact if they deliver on those targets.
Secondly, they can lead by example. They can show others – including their own supply chain – how to do it.
And thirdly, they can change their businesses to make it easier for us to make cleaner, greener choices. A supermarket getting rid of plastic packaging is making it easier for each of us to avoid single-use plastic. Energy companies offering cheap, convenient, flexible renewable tariffs are making it easier for us to cut our own emissions. Restaurants providing great vegetarian and vegan dishes are helping us to cut down on our meat consumption. Banks, insurance companies and pension funds that divest from fossil fuels are helping us to ensure our money isn’t invested in a climate change problem, rather than a climate change solution. So many ways in which companies can do this, and so important that we try and use our money and our custom to nudge them towards it!