Delighted to be attending the IUCN’s Leaders Forum. The morning spotlight kicked off with a really inspiring talk by Bertrand Piccard, Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation. Piccard certainly did not beat around the bush as he shared his no-nonsense perspective on the need for clear regulations to ensure we overcome climate change stagnation.
His approach derives from his experience as a psychiatrist where he notes the importance of understanding who we are talking to, in this instance, about climate change. As he points out not everyone is inspired or motivated about what is happening to our planet right now.
In fact, whilst there is a large body of people who are fully on-board with making the required sacrifices and change their behaviour to reduce climate change and protect our planet, there is an equal number of people whose focus is purely on personal gain. These people have no interest in protecting the environment and are immune to the plight of our fragile eco-system.
Hence Piccard suggesting we change the narrative to make it more exciting and more enticing, but, according to Piccard we also need clear regulations, actions and consensus to drive the required change. No small ask and not everyone in the audience or the following sessions agreed with the possibility of regulating our way out of the climate change issues.
Certainly I agree with Piccard when he says we should neither be overly pessimistic, leading to a sense that there is no point trying to make changes, or optimistic, taking the view that all will be fine in the end, just watch and see.
Instead we need to be realistic, there is much to be done, and regulation will certainly have a strong role to play, but none of us can afford to wait for that to happen. We each have it within us to make changes, even small incremental ones, and we need to start right now, with what we have.