Time to lace up

Heliotropy: “We will grow taller, stronger and faster when motivated by things that are light and full of positivity.”

The climate change statistics look grim. Charmian Love and Gillian Benjamin say it’s time to look to the sun.

Wayne Gretzky, known as The Great One in ice hockey, has an important lesson on strategy. When asked, “Wayne, what makes you so great?” he reportedly responded: “I skate to where the puck is going, not to where the puck is”.

There is wisdom in these words that relate far beyond the arena of sports. In today’s world we know where the puck has to be if we want a planet we’re proud to leave to the next generation. The Sustainable Development Goals set out in 2015 at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit have been referred to as “the closest thing the world has to a strategy.” They are the 17 goals that have been globally agreed and we have until 2030 to meet them.

In recent weeks the 2030 timeline has become more profound, catalysed by the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report comparing the differential impacts between 1.5°C and 2°C of warming.

“Decarbonisation of this magnitude calls for the full-scale retooling of world economy.”

The report carried a call to arms. We have just 12 years to shift the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions to stand a chance of not exceeding a 1°5 C of warming, otherwise the risk of irreversible changes to the climate system become real (in reality this timeline is probably event shorter given the IPCC’s consensus-based way of working and the scientific conservatism that underpins their work). However, in 2030 Charmian’s children will be 18 and 20.

2050 is also marked in the minds of people working in climate change. It is the time when emissions need to be at net-zero. Not long to completely reshape the global economy and not an easy feat when considering trends like population growth and increased resource consumption.

It will be difficult. But it is possible.

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