Regardless of one’s opinions, academic studies, international summits, and extreme weather events continue to make headlines virtually every day. Discussions concerning climate change and its consequences on the world we live in are here to stay.
The creator of the CDP, a not-for-profit organisation formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, remarked on the sometimes contentious nature of the debate around our planet and its future in a recent interview with CNBC’s “Sustainable Future.”
In his remarks to Tania Bryer of CNBC, Paul Dickinson made reference to what he described “a sort of anti-climate change movement that is predicated simply on people believing it’s a sort of left-wing plot.”
“The truth is we’re now realizing that this is about everybody,” he said. “This is not a party political issue.”
The argument made by Dickinson will resonate with individuals who believe that climate change is a significant issue that needs to be addressed, a position that it would seem is held by a large number of people.
For instance, the Office for National Statistics of the United Kingdom reports that in October of 2021, three-quarters of British individuals defined themselves as being “either very or somewhat worried about the impact of climate change.” Compared to this, 19% “were neither worried nor unworried.”
In the United States, a 2020 analysis from the Pew Research Center discovered that “broad majorities of the public — including more than half of Republicans and overwhelming shares of Democrats — say they would favor a range of initiatives to reduce the impacts of climate change.”
The Pew poll identified common concerns, but it also offered a glimpse of how discrepancies might occasionally be observed along party lines.
“Much larger shares of Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party than Republicans and Republican leaners say human activity is contributing a great deal to climate change (72% vs. 22%),” it noted.
The CDP was started in the year 2000. According to the website, it offers a platform for enterprises, regions, cities, and states to “report information on their climate, deforestation and water security impacts.”
The CDP’s Dickinson also discussed the potential contribution of big business to the fight against climate change and other urgent concerns during his discussion with CNBC.
“We need to recognize that global corporations have reached such a size and such an importance that … with their leadership on climate change and in their response to Ukraine, they can provide global norms of behavior that will protect public populations,” he said.
When asked what advice he would give businesses seeking to lower their emissions, Dickinson answered they should “do more, do it now, and try and own this.”
“Climate change is like the internet,” he continued. “It gets bigger every year, it never goes away, and you have to learn to make money from it.”
Dickinson continued by outlining a situation in which a company’s approach to energy use would be critical. This was in light of the fact that many businesses, not to mention homes, were starting to feel the squeeze from growing energy expenses.
“Energy is expensive — it’s actually getting more expensive,” he said. “And as governments respond, there will be increasing taxation and regulation of energy.”
“A bit like the cost of cigarettes, let’s just imagine that energy is going to get more and more expensive … until it’s renewable,” he said.
“In that journey, there is only upside for any company that looks at increasing its energy efficiency, reducing the energy in its products and services.”
He continued by saying that a corporation could benefit in a “absolutely enormous” way.
“In every single sector and category, companies, I believe, can win market share and increase margin by focusing on energy efficiency.”