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A year of climate awakening: pursuing a 'sweet deal' for our planet

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By Diego Balverde

· 3 min read


In 2023, we witnessed the emergence of solutions to the climate crisis and their implementation at an unprecedented pace. At the same time, the occurrence of extreme weather events multiplied, firmly establishing climate change as a central theme on the global agenda demanding urgent attention.

Arrival in Delhi

It's truly remarkable what we, as a united society from diverse places and sectors, have achieved in our quest for multiple solutions. We have successfully rallied the world to confront the illness we have all unwittingly contributed to - the ailment of our planet. In this journey, numerous specialized media outlets, have become the intellectual fuel of our daily lives.

Today, as we find ourselves in India, we are armed with a wealth of information to guide our decisions. Among the guiding principles, one stands out: "Simple solutions always work." This motto drives actions on two critical fronts:

  1. Direct climate investments: We are taking tangible steps to offset the emissions of the current year.
  2. Comprehensive efficiency: Hand in hand with the adoption of efficient habits, we are actively reducing emissions.

The path traveled

From a past marked by climate denialism, we have come full circle, with the climate issue now at the forefront of global decision-making. Yet, there's still a long road ahead. To continue this progress, we must replicate successful practices across the globe. The territorial expansion of agreements forged at events like this, which involve crucial measures set by the UN and participating governments, will drive the change we need. This change aims to slow global warming and avert the disasters and catastrophes it brings.

Caring for the planet yields economic profits

I echo the sentiments expressed prior to COP26 in Glasgow, which took place on Halloween, aptly described as 'trick or treat.' I propose an amendment: ‘sweet and treat’, where profits signify sweet and a deal signifies the fulfillment of a commitment.

This dialogue we're engaging in here in India revolves around the understanding that investments are pivotal in magnifying our collective efforts as global citizens. These investments propel us on the path to reduced pollution and global warming. In this endeavor, everyone seeks rewards without taking undue risks. The environment offers us assurance, saying, "Invest in me, and you will continue to inhabit me; invest in my care, and your money will remain secure."

Global emissions, a responsibility we all share to varying degrees, necessitate collective action to find a solution. Each of us plays a vital role in fulfilling this commitment.

Synthesis

The economy is inextricably linked to these events; it's a lifeline for our journey towards recovery. The economy is akin to the circular nature of life - everything revolves, everything gets recycled, and this should hold true for our economic endeavors as well. Thus, many sectors can savor the "sweet" of quick profits, even those not directly involved in environmental stewardship. However, it's not sufficient to have a "deal" alone; we must also find the "sweet" in direct investments in renewable energies to bolster our clean foundation and in practices that safeguard our resources from pollution.

Conclusion

I propose a twofold strategy: Let us educate ourselves on how to care for the planet, striking a real "deal" for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Simultaneously, let's learn to "earn the candy" - money - by investing in sectors generating profits and embracing real-time environmental transparency. Let's bet on the well-being of our shared home, Earth, and work toward a ‘sweet deal’.

illuminem Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Sustainability & Energy writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the author

Dr. Diego Balverde is an Economist at the European Central Bank and has extensive experience in climate finance. He is currently also an Advisory Member of the Council of Foreign Trade at The World Bank. Diego is very active on the international sustainability stage having attended COP27 as a Circular economy for Climate Change specialist and will also be attending the G20 Conference in India as part of the Energy, Sustainability and Climate Task Force. Diego holds a PhD in Foreign trade from Chapman University and an MBA degree from Cambridge Judge Business School.

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