New Climate Hopes for 2010 & Decade Ahead
A random selection of our abc carbon express readers—a very important collection of people at the best of times —have responded to our invitation to express their hopes for the year and decade ahead. Read what 35 business, scientific and community leaders have to say.
Here’s what some of our important readers had to say when asked what their hopes were for 2010 and decade ahead:
- That we face reality now and start to plan and act seriously to achieve a low carbon-emission future.
Peter C. Doherty, Nobel Prize winner for Physiology and Medicine in 1996 and author of “A Light History of Hot Air”
2. My hope is that governments here and around the world can provide the price signal and other incentives that will inspire to the inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders to drive the transformation to a low carbon, low polluting economy.
Giles Parkinson, Green Chip Columnist, The Australian
3. My hope for 2010 is that the insane and politicised bickering over the validity of climate science is done and dusted and Australia, and indeed the world just get on with the hard job of progressing with the many real solutions on offer. My hope for the decade ahead is that new technology and new economics give rise to clean, and equitable ways of achieving prosperity for all. We could aim for solar-energy surplus by 2020. We could aim to replace fossil fuels completely by 2020. By 2020 we could end poverty and protect the world’s forests forever. We could do all this and more by 2020 if we had the global political will. So that’s what I am hoping for.
Dave Sag, Founder, Carbon Planet
4. During 2010 everyone will come to understand that we already have a process to remove billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere safely, quickly and cost-effectively – while at the same time reversing desertification, boosting biodiversity, enhancing global food security and improving the lives of hundreds of millions of people in rural and regional areas around our planet. This process is called changed grazing management and soil carbon.
Tony Lovell, Founder, Soil Carbon
5. I look forward to the first GW sized solar electricity plants permanently employing inland based Australians, in particular indigenous Australians, as a new focus for economic activity. In this coming decade, we will see the first solar plants that run 24 hours, clearing our air by avoiding emissions, running new electric vehicles, assisting the mining industry, and gradually eliminating our imports of petroleum fuel.
Dr. David Mills, Chief Scientific Officer and Founder, Ausra
6. “I hope that the world, and Australia, starts to perceive and to act upon the reality that we all share a finite planet, and that the stability and security of our climate, water resources and ecosystems cannot be taken for granted. I hope that by the end of 2010 we have an emissions reduction scheme in place, even an imperfect one, because time is short and it is more important to learn by doing than by arguing.”
Dr Michael Raupach, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research & Global Carbon Project
7. I already know that 2010 is going to be a great year. Despite the political landscape we are seeing companies continue to take a leadership role and get on with redefining their business, becoming more sustainable and also influencing others. Personally my aspirations and hopes are on this work continuing and that the leaders of the world get a reality check. 2010 is also a special year as in March I am due to be a first time dad and becoming a parent has brought some clarity to the work that I am doing and the importance of me being able to leave a legacy for future generations.
Lee Stewart, Director, Change2
8. I will attend the General Assembly of Green Cross International in Geneva in January. My hope is that the organisation, and its Australian namesake, will continue to be a catalytic force for global conflict avoidance and sustainability initiatives.
Khory McCormick, Minter Ellison Partner and Chairman Green Cross, Australia
9. I hope that in 2010, and in the decade beyond, that resilience to climate change is further recognised as a crucial element of prudent business management. I also hope that the Australian Government becomes a driver of binding targets at the Mexico COP16 negotiations. A final wish is that in 2010 the Australian Government announces free university education for those choosing to study climate change mitigation and adaptation. Its going to be a busy decade and we need all the help we can get.
Donovan Burton, Head of Local Government and Planning, Climate Risk
10. That businesses and individuals consider the carbon and environmental footprint not only of operational issues such as energy consumption in buildings and homes, but also the embodied impacts of products, materials and resources in their buildings and lifestyles.’
David Baggs, Technical Director & Principal Consultant, EcoSpecifier
11. I hope that in 2010 the misinformation, poor science, sloppy thinking and downright bloody-mindedness of climate change denialists will be overcome. While it is a perfectly valid and defensible to view the science of climate change with some scepticism, it is morally irresponsible to ignore the overwhelming evidence and to make at least some preparations for the strong possibility that the science is right. It is unfortunate that the debate has become political – denialism has become an article of faith in some circles, based on a misguided belief that short-term advantage is preferable to long-term action.
Graeme Philipson, Research Director, Connection Research
12. I like self-fulfilling prophesies, so for 2010 and the beginning of a new decade – ideas, debate and action based on commonsense and injecting real value back into markets and policies. We can have a future that isn’t dominated by short-termism, greed and collateral damage, but now – not tomorrow – is the time to act.
Fiona Wain, CEO, Environment Business Australia
13. In 2010, Sustainability will increasingly move from being talked about to practical actions by individuals, families and communities. Rising concern about the negative impacts of global climate change will lead to sharp increases in sustainability expectations and actions. People will realise that they must act for themselves. It’s no use waiting for ‘others’ to move first. Government and big business will too slow and too selfish to act fast enough. The sum of individual behaviours will drive change towards sustainability as people strive to reduce their personal ecological footprints: bicycle by bicycle, veggie patch by veggie patch, tonne of carbon offset by tonne of carbon offset, vote by vote…
Julian Crawford, Director, EcoSTEPS
14. First - a hope: that we avoid experiencing the full “price” of carbon - not as applied by laws and markets, but by Nature. Second - a suggestion: that we come to accept that realistic, timely action on climate change by governments (especially in international fora) is only ever likely to be an echo of, and should never be a condition precedent to, commercial initiative and human ingenuity. Third – my recommended reading for all who are interested in this subject in 2010 – “Ultimatum” by Matthew Glass.
Andrew Beatty, Partner, Baker McKenzie
15. In 2010, I intend to vocalise my sustainability passions in my interactions at work and outside work even more as I believe most people are receptive to receiving catalysts to take stronger personal actions. And I hope the Federal Government (and Opposition) implement an Australian emissions trading scheme. In the decade ahead, pessimistically, I think the world needs a clear crisis to shock it into action, but optimistically, I believe the latent potential of humankind to respond to that crisis is almost limitless. Necessity will drive innovation.
Dean Comber, Manager Sustainability, Ergon Energy
16. The road ahead will be a collective one with the whole world’s attention now on Greening our work place and our lifestyle. Our thinking and habits will change hopefully by choice without intervention by Governments and other outside forces. The future is in our hands so let’s us all make it a long one.
Dean Harman, Managing Director, Natures Paper
17. We are on the cusp of significant philosophical change- issues of sustainability are slowly becoming not just words but actions! Slowly but surely these actions are taking hold, they are being implemented for the right reasons, long term sustainability that has a holistic outcome. This momentum must be maintained for businesses to move from Industrial age thinking to Design age thinking and action. Actions that are consistent with a sustainable future. However cynicism is still extremely high as evidenced by the Copenhagen outcomes and closer to home the businesses that are in essence the purveyors of Green-wash! These are the businesses that only use Industrial age thinking to further their own ends and maintain general cynicism! In my opinion the next decade needs to be of action not rhetoric – a base has been built and we now need to continue to build from here!
Nick Alford, Director, City Smart, Brisbane
18. That people will stop being drawn into pointless arguments about global warming and instead get busy working together on (among other things) eliminating the inappropriate use of fossil fuels.
Janis Birkeland, Professor of Architecture, Queensland University of Technology
19. My hope is that by the end of 2010, heads of state will sign a treaty to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and beyond, reflecting a tidal wave of support by people around the world for this result. I will continue to do my bit to help make this happen. I hope this comes true! Best wishes for the year ahead – hopefully a greener one that 2009.
Imogen Zethoven, Director, Pew Environment Group, Australia
20. I hope 2010 sees the global community take a new tack with climate change issues. This year I hope to see the G20 create a new governance framework for active cooperation on emissions reductions among its members (complementing not superseding the UN COP process). Among its strategies would be an emphasis on mixing regulatory and market innovation, extensive public education and engagement on the issues, and an open minded approach to relevant technologies. The main problem with climate change is that its solution means human change. I would hope that because the major players (from both the developed and developing world) achieved a shared practical agenda in the early years of the decade, the global community would be on track to achieve no worse than a 2 degree warmer Earth. An optimist can hope for no more.
Professor John Cole, Director, Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development University of Southern Queensland
21. In 2010 our choice is between being proactive and making the future we want, or having thrust upon us a future we may or may not want. It’s a choice between very hard work to create a better, fairer and more sustainable world, or waiting idly for the devils of unsustainability to roll their dice!
Richard Cassels, Director Climate Leadership
22. We enter a decade where the politics of Asia will be formative for global environmental strategy. Demand for Australia’s extractive industries driven by Asia is likely to ensure that we remain among the worst Greenhouse gas emitting culprits (per capita). The USA (only 4.5% of the world’s population) and European Union (7%) are unlikely to achieve their desired emission reduction targets as they endeavour not to restrict their own economic recovery. Developing nation population demographics and food supply are likely to re-emerge as core global issues central to the climate management debate and preparedness for humanitarian disaster relief.
23. My hopes for 2010 and the decade ahead are simple. Focus on sustainability and peace. All else is irrelevant.
Barbara Carseldine, author of “Creating a culture with a reverence for water”
24. I’d like to see the world’s countries display more empathy towards the planet and come up with an agreement to suppress GHG emissions. I hope that my organisation embraces the area of energy/carbon management more fully this year; I see my career path changing this year, I want to be fully involved in this area of great importance.
Lucas Skoufa, Lecturer in Energy and Carbon Management, University of Queensland
25. I hope we stop talking and start acting. I hope we stop waiting for someone else to fix things and start realising that we have all the climate change solutions we need. I hope we stop worrying how hard it is and start seeing it’s really easy. I hope we show how smart we really are.
Freddy Sharpe, Chief Executive Officer, Climate Friendly
26. The negotiations at COP-15 did not fail because of scientific uncertainty or lack of policy options: all 193 national delegations understand the fact of human-induced climate warming and the myriad of ways of reversing people pollution. There was no agreement because our leaders believe they have no mandate: they think we do not want to change. In 2010 it is ESSENTIAL that we change this.
Ann Henderson-Sellers, formerly Director of World Climate Research Program, now ARC Professional Research Fellow at Macquarie University
27. My hope for 2010 and the decade ahead is that politicians and organisations will quickly stop treading water and stop spinning conflicting policies and actions. It is necessary to move forward positively to reap the benefits (including the necessity) of ceasing unstainable practices producing increases in Greenhouse gases before a possible tipping point for abrupt climate change is reached.
Lloyd Stümer, Managing Director, Wind Power Queensland Pty Ltd
28. My hopes for 2010 and the decade ahead: We need to actively invest in the transition to a low carbon economy. To that end I hope that the issues impacting on the low Renewable Energy Certificate price are resolved quickly, so that we start to see the necessary investment in large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia.
Megan Wheatley, Business Development Manager, Suzlon Energy Australia Pty Ltd
29. “We believe the next decade will see the movement towards a low carbon economy and environmental sustainability reach a tipping point. Popular consciousness will reject insatiable consumption; traditional ideologies and institutions will be challenged. This decade will set the foundation for a new era of humanity.”
Adrian Vannisse & Werner Murray, Climate First
30. My hopes for 2010 and the decade ahead are that governments and businesses will not only take unprecedented actions to accelerate the change of mentalities toward a more environmentally responsible society (“less consumption, less pollution!”), but also strongly commit to support a rapid integration of clean technologies and renewable energies.
Philippe Reboul, Director, Electric Vehicle Conference
31. For 2010 I want to see real action on climate change, not just talk. I believe the CPRS is compromised but it is better than nothing so I would like to see the legislation passed. My hope is that by the end of the next decade that we will accept that our choices can have dramatic impacts on the environment – good and bad – and then that everyone makes better choices as part of our every day, and that the choices are as simple as putting on a seat belt in a car. In so doing, that we all live more gently on the planet.
Sara Gipton, CEO, Greenfleet
32. Within the next decade my hope is that geothermal energy will achieve its commercial potential providing Australia with base load, zero emission power allowing (amongst other things) zero emission, electric vehicles to become commonplace sights on Australia’s roads.
Damian McGreevy, consultant & former Government policy advisor
33. This year and this decade I’d like to see sustainable environmental management be considered for what it is: a serious and complex policy challenge instead of being variously treated as a cause, a fad, a fashion, a political opportunity or a vehicle for protest and dissent. My hope is it assumes its rightful place as an unremarkable but essential pillar of good government and good business.
Matthew Warren, Chief Executive Officer, Clean Energy Council
34. My your hopes for 2010 and the decade ahead are that business proactively lead the charge to the new low carbon economy in a practical and common sense manner. The ‘Lean and Green’ approach provides a practical framework which will deliver sensible, commercial outcomes for business. Businesses should be more pro-active in using Lean to go Green!
Grant Forsdick, Director, Level 5 Lean
35. My hopes are that I work myself out of business! PAX’s mission is to help create a sustainable world by developing leaders that understand and work towards a sustainable future. Right now we’ve completed a market exploration survey that indicates that for-profit and not-for-profit organisations alike are struggling with simply understanding sustainability in their own contexts. There is no doubt that organisations need quite substantial help with this, but they are crying out for both meaningful and practical assistance, a difficult combination for experts who are usually good at either one or the other. There is an inherent problem with capitalism without meaning in a sustainable world. This is both a philosophical problem and an ethical leadership issue. I am looking forward to helping leaders and organisations through the labyrinth!
Louise Metcalf, Director, Pax Leader Labs