Climate change is not a “left-wing plot”, says charity founder

Photographed in Lower Saxony, Germany on July 19, 2022. There was a heat wave in several European countries last month.

Julian Stratenschulte | Image Alliance | Getty Images

It has been declared a “global emergency that transcends national borders” and is described as “the greatest security threat ever faced by modern humans”.

Regardless of one’s views on the subject, debates about climate change and its effects on the world we live in are here to stay, with academic studies, global summits and extreme weather making headlines almost daily.

In a recent interview with CNBC’s “Sustainable Future,” the founder of CDP — the nonprofit charity formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project — reflected on the sometimes harshness of the debate over our planet and its future.

Speaking to CNBC’s Tania Bryer, Paul Dickinson called it “a kind of anti-climate change movement that’s based on people believing it’s a left-wing conspiracy.”

“The truth is that we’re realizing now that it’s about everyone,” he said. “This is not a political party issue.”

Dickinson’s argument will strike a chord with those who see climate change as something to be taken seriously, a view apparently shared by many.

According to the UK Office for National Statistics, for example, in October 2021, three-quarters of British adults said they were “very or somewhat concerned about the effects of climate change”. In contrast, 19% were “neither concerned nor not concerned”.

In the United States, a 2020 report from the Pew Research Center found that “vast majorities of the public – including more than half of Republicans and a large share of Democrats – say they would support a range of initiatives to reduce the impacts of climate change.”

While the Pew study pointed to shared concerns, it also provided a snapshot of how disparities can be seen along party lines.

“A much larger share of Democrats and Democratic-leaning than Republicans and Republicans say that human activity contributes a lot to climate change (72% vs. 22%),” he noted.

Making money

CDP was founded in 2000. It says it provides a platform for businesses, counties, cities and states to “communicate information on the impacts of climate, deforestation and water security.”

In an interview with CNBC, CDP’s Dickinson talked about the role big business can play in tackling climate change and responding to other pressing issues, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We must recognize that global corporations have grown to such a size and importance that … with leadership on climate change and in response to Ukraine, they can provide global standards of conduct that will protect the public population,” he said.

On how she would advise companies looking to reduce emissions, Dickinson said “do more, do it now and try to own this.”

“Climate change is like the internet,” he continued. “It increases every year, it never goes away, and you have to learn to make money with it.”

Read more about energy from CNBC Pro

With many companies—not to mention households—starting to feel the pinch of rising energy bills, Dickinson sketched a scenario in which the way companies look at energy use would be key.

“Energy is expensive, it’s getting really expensive,” he said. “And as governments respond, taxes and regulation of energy will increase.”

“Like the cost of cigarettes, let’s assume that energy will become more and more expensive … until it becomes renewable,” he said.

“On that journey, there is nothing but good for any company looking to increase its energy efficiency, reduce the energy in its products and services.”

He noted that the profits of a business can be “absolutely huge”.

“In every sector and category, companies, I believe, can gain market share and increase margins by focusing on energy efficiency.”

Climate change is not a “left-wing plot”, says charity founder

Source link Climate change is not a “left-wing plot”, says charity founder

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