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147: IPCC Report: It's Not Too Late to Mitigate with Ko Barrett

The world’s scientists have come together on behalf of the web of life to deliver the most comprehensive review of how we can mitigate the effects of climate change.

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About this episode

So what’s in this latest IPCC report? The latest from Working Group III covers a broad spectrum of topics: from mitigation pathways and in-depth sectoral analysis to finance, international cooperation, net-zero and carbon dioxide removal… Let’s simplify that: mitigation. This report lays out how we’re going to mitigate the effects of climate change. Because make no mistake, climate change is here and gaining speed. It’s up to us to listen to the scientists and follow their guidance to slow it down.

So, here to guide us through this new report is Ko Barrett, Vice Chair, IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and Senior Advisor for Climate, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Ko is widely recognised as an expert on climate policy, particularly on issues related to climate impacts and strategies to help society adapt to a changing world. Not only was she one of the first women elected to serve as a Vice Chair of the IPCC in 2015, but she oversaw this latest report, gracefully and skilfully convening the global scientific consensus on this crucial report on climate change. An incredible achievement.

This report informs business leaders, policy makers, activists, influencers, artists… everybody. Listen in to hear what makes this report unique, how to avoid doomism on climate, and what it’s going to take to get to a liveable future.


Note: Around 34 minutes in, Christiana says all governments negotiate every comma and sentence – huge thanks to a dedicated listener who noted we should specify it's the Summary for Policymakers which is unanimously agreed rather than the entire report.


Full Transcript

Paul: [00:00:12] Hello and welcome to Outrage + Optimism! I'm Paul Dickinson, and I'm here today with Christiana for a special episode focusing on the latest Working Group 3 IPCC report. That's the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And we're going to be speaking with Ko Barrett, who's Vice Chair of the IPCC. Thanks for being here. Okay. Today, Christiana and I have the unique opportunity to interview a real expert on the latest Working Group 3 IPCC report on climate change. We're talking to Ko Barrett, who's Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. She's widely recognised and expert on climate policy, particularly on issues related to climate impacts and strategies to help society adapt to a changing world. She's currently senior advisor for climate at NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States, and she was one of the first women elected to serve as a vice chair of the IPCC in 2015. For over 15 years, she's represented the United States on delegations charged with negotiating and adopting climate science policy and outcomes. It's a great interview, and we go deep on this critical topic with a real expert. Hope you enjoy it. Load More

Christiana: [00:01:43] Ko, thank you so much for joining us on Outrage + Optimism. Honestly, I am delightedly surprised to see you sitting. I thought we would have to record you and interview you lying on the floor of exhaustion. What an ordeal this has been. What an amazing, amazing ordeal. And to begin with Ko I know that there is some novelty in this report that has to do with innovation and technology and demand side measures that we will get to in a minute. But first, I wanted to ask you strictly from the science point of view, from the diagnosis point of view, what is new in this report and why was it even more contentious than previous reports?

Ko Barrett: [00:02:37] So what was new in this report is actually kind of a continuation of the entire narrative of our IPCC reports this cycle. Right. So we've started with the science that tells us the earth is warming faster than we thought, that warming is causing widespread weather and climate extremes like droughts and floods and humans are the cause, you know, and we know we have a narrow window to act to keep the worst impacts from happening. And this report, Christiana, just puts a finer point on that. I mean, we are not on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C. In fact, average annual greenhouse gas emissions during the last decade were the highest in human history. What it would take to keep us to 1.5 is an unprecedented transition to a low carbon economy. We would need to peak emissions before 2025 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by the end of the decade.

Christiana: [00:03:48] Peak emissions before 2025. I think that means three years from now.

Ko Barrett: [00:03:55] Right? Yeah. I mean, you know, the science tells us it's possible, but does political reality tell us that's possible? You know, I mean, and that's really the most sobering message from this report in my mind.

Christiana: [00:04:13] Yeah. I am always struck by every time that we hear from the IPCC scientist how time shrinks, how the horizon continues to shrink, the horizon that we have to reduce emissions to bring our technologies to scale at speed. It's constantly shrinking on us. Right. The narrative that we started with, I don't know how long ago was net zero by 2050. Then we moved to one half of global emissions reduced by 2030. And the fact that 2025 now is looming so large from this report is is daunting. It is absolutely daunting and is the reason, I think this report stands no ambiguity. Right. The complete phase out of fossil fuels and of financing fossil fuels right away. Right away. I mean no no ambiguity whatsoever. Is that tonality, Ko, of no ambiguity really clear cut clear cut language and messaging. Is that what is underlying this scary report.

Ko Barrett: [00:05:36] Yeah. I mean, and, you know, the timing has evolved even during the course of the reports that we've put out in this seven year cycle. I mean, you may recall that in 2018, we put out a report specifically on what it would take to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. And there we were talking about, you know, 1 to 2 decades as the time frame. But as we kind of get through these reports and in particular on this one that looked at over 1200 scenarios, you know, the time frame, as you say, just shrinks to basically now. So and I think because of that, the tone is far more urgent this cycle. But I will also say, and I know we'll get to this later in our conversation, you know, the information that can be helpful to just the average reader, about ways we can each play a part is also I think we shouldn't overlook it. It's important to have that information because over time, Christiana, the and you know this IPCC reports have evolved to be a source of information not just for policymakers but for the average person.

Christiana: [00:07:00] Average person, yes.

Ko Barrett: [00:07:01] There's so many well-informed individuals. Look at the youth who know this science backward and forward. So I think it's really important for us to address those types of actions that people can take and just to keep some motivation going here.

Christiana: [00:07:22] Well, absolutely. And we definitely will get there when we get to the optimism part of this conversation. But it seems to me, Ko, that the time has always been such a frustrating component and factor of climate change, because as we've just discussed, the time horizon continues to shrink with respect to how much time we have to execute our responsibility. But the other part of time with respect to climate change is that the time lag between investing in renewables, changing our behavior patterns, accelerating energy efficiency, demand measures, etc., etc., etc. There is a time lag between that which we must do now and the evidencing of the impact of those measures or those policies. And so that's the other piece that I find so, so challenging about time, because the time lag between the actions that we take and the evidencing, and yet time is what we exactly don't have because as this report has told us yet again, we have to frontload all of this. It's not like we can just say, okay, well, we're going to do this and we have plenty of time to do it, and we can back load it because, you know, our timeline now is 2025 or 2030 or whatever. It's front loading. It's front loading today. And how is the new IPCC dealing with that front loading of the efforts that need to be made?

Ko Barrett: [00:09:20] Well, first I need to just totally agree with your sense about this issue of time and the lack of it, the lack of time that we have to solve this problem. Just front and center in this report and also in the other reports we've put out this cycle. I mean, it is really clear, you know, if we're going to peak emissions in two and a half years or three years, I mean, there is no time. And then, as you say, Christiana, it's not like when we make those changes, there is an immediate benefit that stops climate change in its tracks. So all of that is really apparent in this report. But can I hit on a piece of the time that I found really interesting as we go through these IPCC reports in the last three years? You know, the Paris Agreement asked us to do the report on 1.5 degrees. It was in the decision. And at the time when we were putting that together, we thought, okay, we're going to do the best we can. Hopefully we have enough information to respond to the UNFCCC. I had no idea how that report would basically have focused the world on the idea that the time is absolutely now to make these changes. Because, you know, I think when you talk about two degrees in the future, theoretically it's very easy to think, okay, yeah, we have time, we have time, that's far in the future. But the minute you start looking at 1.5 degrees, as this report does and others in this cycle, the only conclusion you can come to is that we have got to act now. We should have acted yesterday and we better get our butts in gear.

Paul: [00:11:19] Ko, I mean, it's amazing you've produced this fantastic summary for policymakers. Presumably you're going to send the summary for policymakers to the policymakers. And if you could tell us where they are, that would be really valuable for us, because I haven't seen any policy made in the last 20 years really on climate change. And it's kind of scary because isn't this the moment when we really need to? I mean, this is a leading question, I think it's called a jury trial, this would be called a leading question. Isn't it time that we started passing laws, taxing and regulating greenhouse gas emissions so you know that we use the instrument of law and government to reduce emissions at 7% a year.

Ko Barrett: [00:11:56] Yeah, but okay, Paul, I'm just not as pessimistic as you are on this. I know that, look, the problem has to be solved with big transformational change at the national government international levels. Got it. Absolutely true. But there are laws that are being passed and there is progress that we can point to. There's an increasing range of policies and laws that have enhanced energy efficiency, reduced rates of deforestation, and accelerated the deployment of renewable energy. I mean, is it enough? No, but I think the report is really clear that there are options available now in all sectors that can at least have emissions by 2030. And I think if you look at the level of, say, cities, communities who are taking on net zero commitments, there is action that's underway.

Paul: [00:12:55] Yeah. Okay. So, look, you corrected me quite, quite rightly. I was putting this sort of negative scenario. And you pointed out that there's this good habit coming. So can I just ask another question? It's not exactly a science question, but it's something I picked up from looking at some medical research about how doctors help patients with a very serious health crisis that requires lifestyle changes. And this is what I read it said, starting with small changes in a patient's life is much more effective than insisting on an overhaul. Patients who are faced with a radical change in their lives often feel overwhelmed. Don't even try. But they feel they can make small steps and many small steps add up to big changes. So is that, in a sense what you're saying, that we need to kind of reconstruct this around like a million, million hands or a billion hands, 7 billion hands make light work? Is that the idea?

Ko Barrett: [00:13:48] Yes. Although I don't want to be too Pollyanna-ish about this. I mean, there has to be the big message, right? Transformational change at the national and international levels. Absolutely. Full stop. But we hear from youth activists all the time that they are just overwhelmed by the doom and gloom and are very worried, actually worried about even bringing children into the world that we are laying out in front of them. And, you know, I feel like we have to have a responsibility to them to also keep some optimism alive to to at least tell people that there is a way for us to each individually start to make a difference, and then we can grow that to the community level and we can grow that in our influence on national level. But, you know, this report is, I think, very helpful in that regard. Right, because there are specific examples about the way that in the near and medium term, we can make changes in transportation, industry, buildings, land use that can make it easier for people to live low carbon lifestyles. And there are a number of examples. For example, like creating more compact cities and co-locating homes with jobs that could encourage, you know, low impact transportation choices like walking and cycling. There's information about the ways we consume food as an important opportunity. The increased uptake of balanced plant based diets helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And we can also reduce food waste that creates emissions from our landfills. And there's a whole bunch of other examples like that. But I think maybe the most powerful to me is the focus on cities in this report. Because, you know, I don't know the way I think about it is, cities are that kind of perfect level of engagement because it's not overwhelming, like national scale action, but it's greater than an individual. And in the report, you know, it shows that cities and other urban areas are responsible for more than two thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions. Two thirds. So that means that if you start to deal with mitigation options in cities such as sustainable production and consumption, electrification with low emissions energy and improving the carbon uptake, like planting more urban forests and including more green and blue spaces, you have a chance to make a difference on a scale where the people who live there say, Oh, I'm seeing a difference. This makes a difference. And I think that's important.

Christiana: [00:16:43] I want to come in on that code because. Paul sorry, but I did a quick search into Ms. Google. How many climate change laws do we have? Ms. Google is not always right, but. But this actually does come from a pretty serious report. So, yes, there is actually some movement, according to this report from the International Parliamentary Union, we've had a 20 fold increase over 20 years on climate change laws. 60 of them were in the books in 1997. Today we have 1200 climate change laws, and we have a huge uptick in climate led litigation also, which is the other side of climate law. So, yes, there is some movement forward. I think what we're come down to here is two things. One is scale and speed, which this report again tells us, yes, we are walking in the right direction, but not with the scale or speed, for example, with finance. Right. And the report is very clear about the needs of finance. The other thing, Ko, that you have said that I think is so helpful about this report is that it takes it out of the, or it goes beyond it doesn't exempt policy, it doesn't exempt the systemic changes that the financial sector needs to accelerate. But it goes beyond that and it says, hey, you, you the normal person walking down the street, you can and must also contribute to this. So all of these behavioral changes that are actually up to us, this is not for big policy, this is not for huge financial investments, this is about each one of us contributing. It's an all hands on deck message, which you could argue. Well, it's because we're getting pretty desperate. Yes. But also because we are, let me call it democratizing the solution path everyone has to join.

Ko Barrett: [00:18:49] I love that.

Christiana: [00:18:50] And it's a very different tone, isn't it.

Ko Barrett: [00:18:54] Yeah, I love that Christiana, democratizing the path and all of us working on the solutions. And, you know, I think I think there's been a worry in the past that if you just focus on individual actions, you completely miss the boat. But the truth is, we have to each take this so seriously. There's a finding in this report that I think is really sobering for any of us who live in a developed society, but also across societies that basically the richest 10% of households contribute in an outsized way to this problem. So about 40% of global consumption based greenhouse gas emissions, while the bottom 50% contribute less than 15. Now, this is globally, right? So even within every society, there are the richest households that are kind of contributing in an outsized ways to this problem. You know, with that fact, it just, you know, the next it just begs the question, okay, we see ourselves in that place, we have to do our part. And I just think it's motivating to know that that information is out there. And also, obviously, that that just highlights the inequity issue in the way that that plays out across countries but also within countries, and that needs to be addressed.

Paul: [00:20:25] Yeah. No, it makes perfect sense when you put it in those words. And when you're talking about things like walking in cities, it's kind of like a healthier lifestyle when you talk about avoiding food waste, it's like good housekeeping. It's like some of this. It's not like this radical, impossible Everest mountain we've got to climb. It's like just sort of being a bit sensible. Like, I seem to remember people were about 30 or 40 years ago in some regards crazy and others. But can I just ask you a question on cities? Because it picks up on a theme at the end of the report, which I found fascinating, talking about the nature of the kind of transitions that we need to undertake. And the report raised the idea of us examining the roles of values and attitudes, beliefs, structures that shape behavior, dynamics of social movements, education at multiple levels, and both technological innovation, but enabling transitions through multi-institutional multi-stakeholder actors, building support networks, you know, etc., etc. leading to social change. To what degree do you think we're learning that kind of, you know, this particular something is kind of about everything.

Ko Barrett: [00:21:39] This particular something is kind of about everything. Yeah, I think we're learning that. I think what you just kind of laid out there, Paul, points to me that cities or if you're living in a rural area, your community, that is a place where we can seed climate action. It's a place where we know our neighbors, we interact with folks. We care for people. We care about the places we have favorite parks that we know that we visit. And I feel like that just helps to, I don't know, focus us on ways that we can make an immediate difference. And you were talking about it, immediate difference in our being and our way of life at the same time that we are contributing to the solutions. And I don't only want to focus on cities because we don't need people who don't live in cities to tune out.

Paul: [00:22:37] But because it's all these different entities, I mean, cities are great. And, you know, I certainly am dazzled by the city's movement, how it's grown up around the world. But we also have these incredible corporations that are kind of communities in their own right. These investors that our friend Tessa said are like have a bird's eye view over the whole economy. And then there's local government and civil society. So I guess it's all these different kinds of entities growing awareness, a sense of agency and kind of doing stuff, I guess. Is that about it?

Ko Barrett: [00:23:08] That's it. Yeah, that is it. And you know, I think I'm glad that you mentioned businesses in the private sector in this in this instance, because, you know, again, we are starting to see them pay much more attention to this, that both because they have liabilities that they need to be attentive to, but also because there are possibilities that they can be responding to. And there's one of the findings on costs about how much money does it take to really start to solve this problem globally? And it's trillions of dollars. The UNFCCC has a $100 billion a year commitment, but we're talking about trillion dollars, trillions of dollars of investment. And that's got to come from all aspects of society, including businesses and the private sector.

Christiana: [00:24:08] Yeah, those numbers are actually pretty sobering as well, because one thing that as you remember we saw at the last cop is really the financial sector as a whole, really stepping up to to assume responsibility, but also to move toward opportunity, about being able to de-risk their long term assets by moving over to decarbonized assets. And we definitely saw them moving forward. All of the financial institutions that are under what is called the GFANZ, which is the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero. But having said that, since our last report, since your last report AR5, the fact is that finance into clean technologies into all of these until the solution space, let's say, has only increased slightly. And what we actually need is ten times as much as what we have right now. As you said, more than $6 trillion invested there by 2030 every year. That does not mean that it's $6 trillion extra. Right. That's really important to understand. It's not that we have to come up with 6 trillion. It's about finding where those 6 trillion are not well placed, are still contributing to emissions rising and an unstable world and shifting them. It's about a financial shift and not about additionality. That I think puts that whole financial discussion into a very different light.

Ko Barrett: [00:25:53] Yeah, I agree. It's about the redeployment of existing funds into places that make the best sense and and we are starting to see that happen, but it really has to scale up.

Christiana: [00:26:09] Ko, can I take you to an uncomfortable topic? Uncomfortable for me. I have no idea how comfortable you are, which is carbon dioxide removal. We have understood for a while that we will probably overshoot, which means we will go beyond the science recommended temperature average and then we will have to come back down. And so, as I understand it, the science responding to the overshoot is that we will have to enter into quite a bit of investment into carbon dioxide removal technologies. I would love to hear your sense on that. It makes me very uncomfortable to even think about that, but would love to hear your much more informed view on removals.

Ko Barrett: [00:27:01] Yeah, well, I mean, just so everyone is clear, when we talk about carbon dioxide removal, we're talking about the methods that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it on land, underground or in the ocean. And that includes things like reforestation, planting trees where they were before and soil carbon sequestration, which and those two things are widely practiced. And I doubt that we have much of a problem with that subset of CDR. But there are these new technologies that are very much in the literature and on people's tongues that talk about direct air capture and storage and technologies like that that require more research upfront investment and are not nearly as proven in terms of their ability to kind of address the problem at large scales. But as you say, Christiana, I mean, carbon dioxide removal is a piece of every scenario that brings temperature back down. If we surpass 1.5 degrees of warming. And, you know, it's important because it can counterbalance those hard to eliminate emissions like from aviation or some industrial processes. And so therefore it's kind of essential to helping us to get to actual zero emissions. I think the challenge with CDR is, well, there's a lot of pressure on land as it is in land, we have to really balance the way that we use land so that we're feeding people and we're also using it for carbon sequestration. And then there's kind of the unproven nature of being able to scale up some of these technological fixes in time and in safe ways. But, you know, it really is very, very clear from the scenarios that we need it in order to reach net zero.

Paul: [00:29:16] Yeah, I mean, just on that one Ko, I think Elon Musk had this prize for $100 million to come up with a carbon removal. And lots of people were thinking of entering the tree as the technology that could be utilized to kind of remove carbon dioxide. It's tried and tested. It's been around kind of quite a bit longer than us, to be honest with you, and probably will be around long after us if we muck things up. But great to hear you draw that distinction, because a lot of the media has focused on this, you know, kind of will we need big machines. And I think that kind of misunderstands the nature of the challenge. Would that be a fair comment?

Ko Barrett: [00:29:50] Yeah, and it would very much be a fair comment. The thing about trees, you know, again, we're back to what an individual can do. Right? I can plant trees in my backyard and help with the problem. And I will just note, by the way, in our working group two report, which focuses on impacts and climate risks and the solutions in that space, there are fabulous frequently asked questions, one of which is,can tree planting help to tackle the climate problem? The thing about trees is they can be tremendously helpful, but. You have to plant them in the right places. You don't plant trees in grasslands where trees are not naturally sustainable and therefore would take a tremendous amount of water, which creates a whole other problem. Yeah, but trees, you know, like we're all tree huggers. Well, not all of us.

Paul: [00:30:44] What? Right. We're quoting you on that. But what about other trees? Like if the climate is changing, the trees can't move. So that's pretty scary, right?

Ko Barrett: [00:30:52] That is a real challenge. Yeah, right. Trees are not easily movable. And so therefore, you've got to take that into account. So one way to do that is to kind of look at some of the projections for the way that climate is envisioned to change where you are. And in planting trees, choose trees that are adaptable to the future.

Christiana: [00:31:20] Hmm. We're actually repeating on this podcast a conversation that we had with Wanjira Mathai, Wangari Mathai’s daughter, about tree planting, and Wangari and Wanjira, both of them are just so brilliant in how they say this, right? Wangira famously said, unless you have dug a hole, planted a tree, and make sure it survives, because that's the other piece. You've done nothing but talk, you know, so pretty, pretty clear there on her favorite technology for carbon removal. But it strikes me in this conversation, two things have struck me about our conversation here. One is the very broad array of solutions that are again being put on the table by the IPCC all the way from sophisticated, not well known, still very, very nascent technologies, CDR technologies, all the way to cities doing their job because 50% of us already live in cities and 70% of us will soon be living in cities. So city dwellers doing their job there for well being, as we've discussed, all the way to the natural ways to remove CO2 and pointing toward individual responsibility. When you look at all of that on one gamut, if you will, it's a very wide array. And I'm just struck that the IPCC is really taking everything into account, looking at everything from A to Z and giving us a very, very clear message. Nothing can be excluded. It is now time to put everything on the table from simple to complex, from individual to systemic, from behavioral changes to huge financial shifts, everything on the table and not let's not exclude anything. So I'm struck by that because I think we've been moving in that direction, but I haven't seen it quite as clearly as in this report. And the second thing that I'm struck by, Ko, that I would love to get your reaction, I'm struck by your equanimity. I am so struck that you have gone through what I perceive from the outside as an absolutely harrowing negotiation, because, as we know, scientists put the report forward in draft form and then governments actually negotiate every single comma, every single sentence [of the Summary for Policymakers]. And it's not until the government, all governments agree [on the Summary for Policymakers] that the report comes out. And so the effort for the scientists, yourself included, to put the draft report together is huge. But then to go through the harrowing experience of negotiating this with all governments, all of whom, of course, have very different interests and needs from which they react and act. So I am so struck by your equanimity. Is it because you are completely under-slept and underfed, or is it because you know you have this dot, dot, dot? I would love to have you fill in that sentence.

Ko Barrett: [00:34:59] Oh, well, it could be partially due to the fact that I have not slept very well in the last two weeks, but I don't think it is. You know, Christiana, when we were preparing for this cycle, we had a very interesting conversation among IPCC leadership about how we would convey the findings from this report, because at a certain point, if you're too optimistic, it feels like you're not listening to your own science and you lose credibility, right? So so, you know, we've grappled with that and I've personally grappled with that. And I think it's really important to be clear about the sobering facts. On the other hand, there is no other choice. We have to solve this problem and we have to keep people motivated to do that. And, you know, I just you know, I've spent a lot of time with youth activists, as I'm sure you have, and there's this new thing I'm sure you've seen it OK doom or like they don't want to hear the doom and gloom from us. They also need us to point to places where we can start to make stronger changes that snowball into large effects. And I take that message to heart, too. And the other thing I'll say, and maybe this is too philosophical, but I'll share it anyway, I really believe in the power of consensus. You have it in the UNFCCC, we have it in the IPCC. We are looking to reach consensus between what the scientists have found to be the scientific facts and what governments can support in terms of that science. And it's a really powerful thing in the IPCC because you come out of these grueling approval sessions with a document that everyone in that room accepts. And, you know, it's powerful to display to the world that there is agreement on these scientific findings, especially at a time where science is so often, or has, at least in the recent past, been questioned and undermined in some cases. So I actually think it's probably one of the most important things I've done in my career to facilitate that consensus between governments and scientists.

Paul: [00:37:26] Power of consensus with the governments and the scientists on side will win on behalf, Ko, of the entire world. Thank you for the amazing work of yourself and the IPCC. This is the Outrage + Optimism podcast and it is my distinct privilege, pleasure and honor to ask you if you could describe for us one thing that does give you outrage and one thing that particularly gives you optimism.

Ko Barrett: [00:37:52] One thing that gives me outrage is that we've been talking about this problem for 30 years with greater certainty and that we haven't listened to that message soon enough. And I am really outraged by that. This year Syukuro Manabe won the Nobel Prize for Physics for a paper he wrote in 1967, and it's outrageous that it's taking us this long to turn. But what gives me optimism is that we are turning the page and we are making a difference. Look at the cost of renewables, it's just coming down. You know, there are glimmers of hope. And I feel like this is a time where people are finally listening and we are being pushed to take this seriously in our own lives and in these spheres of influence that we can affect.

Christiana: [00:38:46] Ko, glimmers of hope, we definitely always have our view out there for where are there more glimmers of hope in the world. But you are definitely one of those thank you so much, as Paul says thank you so much for the hard work you've done. I've known you to be true to this task for decades now. I won't even tell listeners how many decades we've been. We've known each other in this space, Ko, but thank you so much for sticking with it, because honestly, it is incredibly exhausting. It is just so frustrating. And to see that there are people like you who started honestly when we were both very young and we are no longer very young and we're still at it, Ko. So thank you so, so much. Thank you so much for sticking with it. Thank you for this report. And may it really be a glimmer of hope.

Ko Barrett: [00:39:43] Yeah, let's use it to inspire action. And Christiana, it's so nice to see you again. I'm thinking back to those years when we sat in the bleachers when our now 30 year old children were in their starched ponytails doing gymnastics.

Christiana: [00:39:58] Exactly.

Ko Barrett: [00:40:00] So it's been a long slog, but it's important work. It's really important work. And thank you for your leadership on this topic.

Paul: [00:40:10] It's been a long, dark night, but the darkest moment is just before the dawn. So let's look forward to that.

Ko Barrett: [00:40:16] Now, that's optimism to end this conversation.

Christiana: [00:40:19] There you go.

Paul: [00:40:20] Thank you, Ko.

Christiana: [00:40:20] Thank you, Ko.

Paul: [00:40:22] Bye bye.

Ko Barrett: [00:40:23] Bye.


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