Pre-crisis, Critical Event(s) / In Crisis! / Prevention, Mitigation – Where Will the World Act in the Context of Climate Change?
At certain times, an unknown unknown may strike, rapidly triggering a serious crisis situation. Think of a tsunami or earthquake. Many other times the crisis situation occurs and there is a dozen, maybe dozens of precursor events or activities that over time if neglected set up the going over the cliff situation. The G&A Institute team collectively has helped to manage literally hundreds of critical events or crisis situations over the years for clients. We have seen many crisis situations over time -- but none with the scale of the dangers posed to humanity and planet by climate change. Ignoring this is not an option for humankind.
The crisis situations that can be pretty accurately projected or forecast are often years in the buildup. Leaders may ignore unpleasant situations until things spin out of control. There is the powerful human capacity for denial – this can’t be happening / this won’t happen / there are slim chances that “this” will go wrong, and we will lose control of things.
Until things do go terribly wrong. Think of the September 11th terrorist attacks – what could have been to prevent these? The damages of Hurricane Katrina. The unbelievable, tragic opioid epidemic in the USA. Right now – the worldwide Covid pandemic. Think about the Exxon Valdez oil spill crisis in Alaskan waters and what could have been addressed in preventative measures. (We did several management workshops on this walking through two dozen clearly-visible precursor events.) Think about what could have been addressed up front to address these situations and other classic crisis situations well ahead of time to prevent or limit the human and physical costs.
We have time today to address the unbelievable potential harm to human and widespread physical damages that we will see in the worst cases in global climate changes. It takes recognition of these serious risks and dangers, political will to act, public support of the leaders’ actions, and considerable financial investment. Are we on target with limiting of damages, mitigation for the worse of possible outcomes, and most important, in taking prevention strategies and actions?
Each of us must answer the question and then take action. The encouraging news is that collective action is now clearly building in volume and momentum – that’s the focus of some of the Top Stories we’ve selected for you. There are valuable perspectives shared in these stories.
The world stands at critical point, said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed to European Parliament Vice President Heidi Hautalan, referencing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The United Nations is working to strengthen its partnership with the EU to deliver on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs – with 169 targets for action). “The work is more urgent than ever” was the message. This is the decade for multilateral engagement and action – we are but nine years away from a tipping point on climate disasters.
Many companies in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and other regions have publicly declared their support of the SDGS – but now how are they doing on the follow up “action steps” – especially concrete strategies and actions to implement their statements (walking-the-talk on SDGs)?
The Visual Capitalist provides answers with a neat infographic from MSCI; the powerhouse ESG ratings & rankings organization sets out the SDG alignment of 8550 companies worldwide. Are they “strongly aligned” or “aligned” or “misaligned” or “strongly misaligned”? Looking at this important research effort by MSCI, we learn that 598 companies are “strongly misaligned” on Responsible Consumption and Production” (Goal 12) – the highest of all goals. Could we as individual consumers and/or investors and/or employees of these firms help to change things in time? (Back to the proposition -- Think about what could have been addressed up front to address these situations and other classic crisis situations well ahead of time to prevent or limit the human and physical costs.) Are we willing to make tough decisions about these enterprises – about the climate crisis overall?
And this from the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock: The firm will push companies to step up their efforts to protect the environment from deforestation, biodiversity loss and pollution of the oceans and freshwater resources. This from guidelines recently published by the firm, including the readiness to vote against directors if companies have not effectively managed or disclosed risks related to the depletion of natural capital – the globe’s l natural resources.
President Joe Biden, in office now for just over two months, has a full plate of crisis, pre-crisis and post-crisis situations to deal with. Prevention is key, of course, President Biden and VP Kamala Harris have set out the “Climate Crisis Agenda” for our consideration. One of the big challenges? Our oceans – and the incoming head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be on point for this part of the agenda. NPR Radio had interesting perspectives to share on the warming of the oceans and what can be done to prevent further damage.
We bring you the details of all the above in our selections of Top Stories for this week’s newsletter. Of course, there is action being taken. Is it enough to prevent global disasters as the climate changes? Your answers and actions (as well as “ours”) can help to determine the answers!
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