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201: Lifelines VS Deadlines

The Need for Science Based Policy (Part Two)

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About this episode

Welcome to another episode of Outrage + Optimism, where we examine issues at the forefront of the climate crisis, interview change-makers, and transform our anger into productive dialogue about building a sustainable future.

Last week Paul Dickinson, Dylan Tanner and our guests explored some of the good, the bad, and the downright dark side of government action on climate policy, or perhaps that should be inaction.
This week, with the help of co-host Fiona Macklin, part two of Lifelines vs Deadlines will go beyond the politics and speak to industry and city leaders, lawyers and youth activists on the need for collective support around regulatory lifelines if the deadlines, climate science has set for us are to be met.

Expert guests including:
  • Mark Watts, Executive Director at C40 Cities
  • Lord Adair Turner, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission
  • Paul Polman, Business leader, campaigner and co-author of ‘Net Positive: how courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take’
  • Georgina Beasley, Secretary General at Net Zero Lawyers Alliance
  • Joshua Amponsem, Founder, Green Africa Youth Organization and Co-Director - Youth Climate Justice Fund
  • Shyla Raghav, Co-Founder, Chief Portfolio and Partnership Officer at TIME CO2
  • Dr Ellen Quigley, Special Adviser (Responsible Investment) to the Chief Financial Officer and Principal Research Associate (Climate Risk & Sustainable Finance) at University of Cambridge
Please don’t forget to let us know what you think here, and / or by contacting us on our social media channels or via the website. 


Paul Dickinson, Founder Chair at CDP

Fiona Macklin, Senior Adviser, Groundswell at Global Optimism

Dylan Tanner, Executive Director at InfluenceMap
Twitter | LinkedIn | Website

Mark Watt, Executive Director at C40 Cities
Twitter | Instagram

Lord Adair Turner, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission
Energy Transitions Commission
Twitter | LinkedIn

Paul Polman, Business leader, campaigner and co-author of ‘Net Positive: how courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take’
Twitter | LinkedIn | Website

Georgina Beasley, Secretary General at Net Zero Lawyers Alliance
Net Zero Lawyers Alliance

Joshua Amponsem, Founder, Green Africa Youth Organization and Co-Director - Youth Climate Justice Fund
Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Shyla Raghav, Co-Founder, Chief Portfolio and Partnership Officer at TIME CO2
Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram
Twitter | LinkedIn | Website

Dr Ellen Quigley, Special Adviser (Responsible Investment) to the Chief Financial Officer and Principal Research Associate (Climate Risk & Sustainable Finance) at University of Cambridge
Paper: Universal Ownership in Practice: A Practical Investment Framework for Asset Owners
Paper: Universal Ownership and the Polycrisis: Social Norms, Feedback Loops, and the Double Hermeneutic

Series Producer: Catherine Harte
Exec Producer: Sarah Thomas
Producer/Sound Design/Editor: Clay Carnill
Production Coordinator: Mandy Clark
Social Media Manager: Kam-Mei Chak
Communications Manager: Zoe Tcholak-Antitch
Operations Manager: Katie Bradford

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Full Transcript

Paul Dickinson: [00:00:12] Hello and welcome to Outrage + Optimism. I'm Paul Dickinson. And today we bring you the second and final episode in our series Lifelines Vs Deadlines, looking at the need for science-based policy to help us deliver net zero by 2050. Now, last week we explored some of the good, the bad and the downright dark side of government action on climate policy, or should I say inaction. This week we'll go beyond the politics. We'll speak to industry and city leaders, lawyers and youth activists on the need for collective support around regulatory lifelines if we're to meet the deadlines climate science has set for us. Thanks for being here. Now I'm delighted to be joined by Fiona Macklin as my co-host for this episode. And Fi, you actually coined the term lifelines versus deadlines. What's the story behind that?

Fiona Macklin: [00:01:11] Well, Paul, hello. And firstly, thank you so much for having me on this podcast. It's an absolute honour. I had the privilege of managing the Race to Zero campaign with the UN High Level Climate Champions team for just over two years, and I was really energised by quite a few things, but in particular the exponential uptake in the number of non-state actors. So the businesses, the cities, the regions, the financial institutions committing to net zero over the last couple of years. I mean, the campaign literally grew ten fold between 2020 and 2022, and that's fantastic. But what I was also aware of was the intensity of the scrutiny on these commitments. And there's a lot of criticism around a lot of strong focus on accountability. And of course, all that is critically important to to help drive us towards delivering the deadlines that we need. But I think we also risk falling into a bit of a trap of overwhelming ourselves with increasingly urgent deadlines rather than promoting the tools, the lifelines that we need to achieve what we know are scientific limits, not just targets.

Paul Dickinson: [00:02:21] So who better to kick start this conversation off than, Adair Turner. Were he a pompous person, we'd have to call him Lord Adair Turner, but he's not, so he doesn't mind. Among his other titles he's former Head of the CBI in happier days when it wasn't in trouble. But more importantly, he's been chair of multiple government commissions, including the Pensions Commission. He was inaugural Chair of the Climate Change Committee. He was Chair of the Financial Services Authority. Now he's Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission. I began this interview by asking him, in his view, how business should be approaching this policy challenge.

Adair Turner: [00:03:06] Look, it's very important to be clear about the balance between private business and private finance and the public environment. I think it is very valuable that we have got now a whole load of private companies and private financial institutions committed to net zero, committed to finance net zero. It's very valuable the work that CDP has done on getting people to disclose what their plans are. It creates an accountability, a debate. I think the fact that we have steel companies in the world setting out targets of what they will do by 2030, 2040, all of this will make a difference, but it will always be inadequate if it doesn't occur within a framework of public policy. If you just leave it to the private sector, you will place the good guys in the private sector in an impossible position. You know, the good steel company will say, I want to be net zero by 2050. I know that on the initial steps of that process that involves a higher cost of production. But I want to go through that. I want to deploy that technology. But if you haven't put in place either a regulation, that means that all the steel companies in the world have to do that, or a carbon price which levels the playing field, that company will be a great company, it'll go bankrupt because it will be undercut by the people who aren't doing it. And one of the most important things that business has to do, business has to do things for itself, commit to net zero, work out how it's going to get there, deploy the technologies. But it should also be supporting argument to government to say, please impose the carbon taxes, please impose the regulations because I want to be in a position where I can make profit by doing the right thing. I don't want to be undercut by the people who haven't got the same commitment. So engaging in public policy to demand the regulations that's required is as crucial a part of corporate responsibility as the commitments that they make within their own companies or within their own banks or asset managers etc.

Paul Dickinson: [00:05:21] Existing cash flows kind of protect themselves, don't they? So if you're an oil and gas company or something and some law is going to come along, that's possibly going to diminish the supply of your product. There's a sort of budget available, isn't there, to lobby against government action, whereas you're describing a sort of jam tomorrow future, and I'm guessing it's a bit harder to find the the dollars inside the organization, the lobbying budget, or am I wrong?

Adair Turner: [00:05:42] We obviously have a problem of vested interests, right? People who are making money out of the old technologies will want to keep those old technologies going as well as possible. And that's why we need a politics which can create, you know, public policy support for ultimately being tough and saying, no, that's not okay. One of the things that makes me optimistic is the power of innovation, the pace at which when people know that something is non-negotiable, they innovate a way around it. Let me give you an example. It's now clear that the future of the passenger car is electric. All the automotive companies accept that they've got to get there and that the regulation is going to force them to get there. So that's become non-negotiable. That makes it non-negotiable, that you have ways of providing mineral supply, and that means you've got to worry about minerals supply. You've got to worry where it's come from. Five years ago, everybody was worried about the cost and the risks involved in cobalt. Cobalt fundamentally primarily comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. And everybody was worried about the political risk. People were worried about both what was happening in the Congo and what might happen to the price. A lot of people talked about this as a major barrier to the electric vehicle take off. And in the course of five years, the amount of cobalt which is required to go into an electric vehicle battery has come down about 80%. And what happened is there was an awareness of a technological problem and it got solved because it had to be solved, but it would only have got solved because the boundary conditions had said, you know, beyond 2030 or 35, you're not going to be selling any internal combustion engines. So use the power of innovation to work out what we have to do within those non-negotiable overall targets. The free market works best when public policy has set some overall direction that makes sure that what the free market will do, the market economy will do, is compatible with what society needs.

Fiona Macklin: [00:08:15] Wow Paul, what an interview from one titan of the climate change movement to another. Paul Polman is one of the most amazing leaders, I think, working at the intersection of global business, government and civil society. And he's been such an inspiration to so many people across this movement, across generations. During his ten years as CEO of Unilever, he made the case for green business not only being better for the bottom line, but also for the general safety and health of humanity.

Paul Dickinson: [00:08:42] And he was the keynote speaker at pretty much every single conference on sustainability everywhere in the whole world for the last ten years. So we should know what he's talking about.

Fiona Macklin: [00:08:51] Absolutely Paul. Well, let's see then. What's his take on how we need to move forwards.

Paul Polman: [00:09:05] We're in one of these crucial points again once more, and it needs a fresh approach. It needs different thinking. It needs a new narrative. I think the major acceleration we probably have seen since Glasgow, I would say in the last 2 or 3 years, we've achieved more than the previous 10 or 15 years, at least from my perspective. Paris marked a real breakthrough. The good thing is partly on the initiative of the private sector alone, because they see the increasing cost in their business models. They also have increasingly access to solutions with technologies etc. But also we should recognize that governments are moving. Often we say governments are not doing enough or not doing fast enough. We don't disagree with that. But still, most of the governments themselves have made now net zero commitments and really some nice pieces of legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act or the European Green Deal or now the Industrial Plan are actually starting to lead to a race to the top versus a race to the bottom. We really have seen a drastic change in this regulatory environment. The financial market has caught on. They are realizing that it's not only about short term returns, but it's also about returns on on pensions and wealth we can live in and not only about risks, but opportunities. So increasing amounts of assets under management, I reckon about 70 trillion now is making commitments to decarbonize their portfolios. You see them being more active in shareholder meetings and putting pressures on companies that don't move so fast. And ultimately, I think the best sign of change is us as citizens, which obviously in normally democratically working systems should be the main galvaniser of change and consumers are citizens. Load More
Paul Polman: [00:10:54] But having said all of this, Fiona, I think we're at the most dangerous point in humanity where frankly there is a false sense of comfort or a risk of complacency that we're all moving and that we're doing the things but that we're not doing fast enough. You know, we are still applying linear solutions if you want, to exponential problems in every category, every sector I work in, I see that the issues are getting far bigger, faster than the solutions that we provide. We need to go down 45% with our carbon emissions and we're still going up 10%. So we should not be naive about this, but I have a certain level of optimism next to this outrage of of not being where we are and a certain level of optimism that that I think comes from the fact that you see people increasingly looking at at how do we work differently, differently together to form these broader coalitions and role government in that to really get to these broader systems changes, how do we implement the Sustainable Standards Board. How do we really ensure that per first legislation is coming out. How do we work at industry levels to have food collectives, fashion collectives, tourist and travel collectives, sustainable airline fuel collectives. How do we increasingly engage governments to ensure that we have the right policies and regulations in place. So mixed picture, but remaining hopeful that I think that we can overcome some of these gaps that we still have to deal with.

Fiona Macklin: [00:12:35] I'd be really keen to pick up on what you were talking about in terms of this emergence of business communities that have come together working on a joint agenda since Paris, and you've really helped to to pioneer the sort of pre-competitive collaboration between businesses in the same sectors. You've brought together Nestlé, Coke, Pepsi and others using harmful gases to stop that in your your Refrigerants, Naturally! campaign, which was which was brilliant. But what would be your message to other businesses in different sectors to encourage them to really embrace this sort of collaboration that seems so needed to to really unlock the exponential solutions that you mentioned?

Paul Polman: [00:13:16] Yeah, you're totally right. I always have actually believed that when it gets to the future of humanity, which we really are talking in this conversation, we should not really compete about these issues. And I think the better skill of a leader in the future is moving from competitive leadership to cooperative leadership. And that's very difficult because all of our incentive systems and reward systems often go the other way. But partnerships are increasingly key and frankly, they are expected. The leaders that actually do that and embrace these partnerships will increasingly be rewarded because there are many of the issues that you cannot solve alone. Take the issue of carbon emission, where most of it is scope three, which is outside of your direct control, but in your value chain, so to speak. It's a typical example of why you need these partnerships. So I think most CEOs have discovered actually that that nobody can, no company alone can really make these transformative changes. No company alone can solve climate change or plastics in the oceans or deforestation, and yet it drags the whole industry down. It drags whole economies down. So there is a broader understanding now that some of these things need to be done together. And what is interesting is what I focus on is like your natural refrigerants example. It often doesn't take the whole industry to change. You just need to bring the right people together to create tipping points. Pepsi, Coke, Nestlé and Unilever had enough influence on on refrigerant cabinets like beverage cabinets or ice cream cabinets to together say we are going out of these carbon emitting engines of HFC and CFC, and we built natural refrigerants in there, and that's about 3% of global warming that you can end right there by by bringing people together. So this transformative power is increasingly understood, I think.

Fiona Macklin: [00:15:07] How do we bring the kind of cross-business collaboration together Paul with the government collaboration and sort of private sector government collaboration, for instance, in in Biden's landmark legislation, which you mentioned, the IRA, there are blockers and leading businesses who are moving forwards on climate action are then trying to pull back on the on the legislation introduced by government. So how do we unlock how do we transform business lobbying so that it's so that it supports both the kind of collaboration between businesses and with governments?

Paul Polman: [00:15:38] Yeah. Again, one of these dichotomies that on the one hand you see more business wanting to work with governments and putting right frameworks and and legislation in place, sometimes even pushing governments to higher ambitions. You know, I myself spent a lot of time in the White House with the former president to convince them to stay within the Paris Agreement. These are the type of lobbying things. And I think governments increasingly will look at business to help them de-risk what has become a very difficult political process. And and we need to recognize that it's not easy to be in government. Business has a I think would be well served to work with governments because we will not solve the issues anymore at the scale and speed that we need. If we don't have clarity of direction, if we don't have clear legislation or frameworks in place to get there, there are too many free riders and in every system we might have some of the good actors which we always celebrate. But we should also recognize that we still have many bad actors that look for their own self-interest etc. And you can only get to really the solutions if ultimately governments are involved. So there's no question that we need to find ways to work with government. If you're in government, it's very hard to understand the business community. But if the business community really says this is what we are actually doing on that, say regenerative agriculture or these are some of the things mechanisms we can put in place to stop deforestation. Business can also push with ambitions around that when they have actually implemented things that are better for society and haven't hurt the the financial part of a business or made the businesses increasingly stronger. I also think that many of the issues we need to attack are sectorial issues. That's what you have worked very strongly with the Race to Zero as well. So these sectors coming together and going to governments and saying together we can solve these sectorial issues and there are enough of our responsible business people who want to change. These are messages that the governments need to hear.

Paul Dickinson: [00:17:54] When you've listened to those interviews Fi, what do you take from that? Where should we be focusing our attention?

Fiona Macklin: [00:18:00] Well, the first thing I think to highlight is it's really picking up on what Adair was saying about how change is happening. It's happening faster than we expected and at such great scale. And I think his example of EVs is is a brilliant one and that's happening across sectors. So I think really recognizing that this is not some futuristic hypothesis, this transition is already fast underway.

Paul Dickinson: [00:18:25] And you've also invited Georgina Beasley next. Can you tell us a bit about her?

Fiona Macklin: [00:18:29] Well, one of the things I was really struck by when when we brought together actually a group of experts to think about how we we collaborate across the voluntary, the standards and the regulatory landscape and this need to, to really call for the acceleration of the conversion from from voluntary action into the ground rules for the global economy is just how critical the legal infrastructure is to making this all happen. And and I got really excited when I was with Race to Zero, when the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance approached us wanting to bring big law firms into Race to zero, not just to operationally commit to net zero, but actually start ceding their advice in line with a net zero transition. So I've been so inspired by the work of Georgina Beasley, who's the Secretary General of the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance, and and working with her colleagues like the likes of Wendy Miles, who's a fantastic barrister and really helping the law align with net zero. And we kicked off the conversation about how law can play a role both as a as a blocker, but also as a potentially really powerful enabler. So shall we have a listen?

Paul Dickinson: [00:19:36] Let's do it.

Georgina Beasley: [00:19:41] Often people think, you know, climate and law that equals climate litigation and that that is the the boundaries of how law can impact transition. And to have that misunderstanding is just missing a crucial piece of the transition puzzle and really missing an opportunity because we're all transitioning under legal frameworks and these frameworks and the advice being provided around them is having a huge impact on the pace of transition. And we really need to consider this in more depth if we're going to actually get to net zero by 2050. So in my eyes, what we need to focus on is how the law can create an enabling environment for transition. And as part of that, we really need to tap into the expertise of lawyers who really know the systems that we're trying to change inside out. But a big step here that we need to take is to get lawyers themselves to understand this potential. Because although I'm fortunate to work with absolute climate champions within our membership, so so from commercial law firms as a profession, we're simply not there yet. And I also talk to a lot of lawyers who just aren't seeing the connection and who say to me, climate has nothing to do with with my work. It belongs over there with the renewables teams, with ops, with the ESG committee, and we simply can't afford to have this mentality. We need all lawyers, whether it's an immigration lawyer, finance lawyer, property, antitrust lawyer. We need them understanding the connection.

Fiona Macklin: [00:21:38] You make me think about a conversation I was having with fellow podcaster Josh Amponsem yesterday who was who was talking about this this lack of education still. And it's something that I find really distressing because working in climate, you have it all around you all the time. And yet I think you're so right to highlight the the need to to bring this knowledge to a lot of different sectors that still don't necessarily see that connection. You've spoken a lot about how the law can can really unlock change and and how do you think it becomes an enabler and a real accelerator for for ambitious climate action? And perhaps also maybe give us a flavour of where you see this already emerging.

Georgina Beasley: [00:22:20] So we see that antitrust laws are irrelevant to transition because collaboration between competitors is required to achieve net zero. And we've seen collaboration be wildly successful at government level, and it's set us on a path to net zero by achieving global consensus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And that was Paris. But now we need collaboration from within the private sector to help us achieve the goals of Paris. But what we have is we have fears of falling foul of antitrust laws, and this fear is preventing some businesses from collaborating with their competitors to achieve their climate goals. So in short, the law has the potential to really prohibit the enabling environment that we need. But I think we can move away from that. And and I think we are in a place that we are making that transition from blocker to enabler, and that's through A, advice being provided around these laws and also from going that step up to the laws itself. So the existing laws that we have do provide scope for collaboration and we've got these incredible lawyers coming in and supporting their clients to navigate these laws as they should, just like they do with other laws. And they're providing net zero aligned legal services which allow their clients to execute their climate ambition within the boundaries of the law. You know, importantly. And then when we go that step up, we've got legislators and regulators who can ensure that the private sector have the clarity they need around sustainability agreements. And for example, in the UK we're awaiting guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority, the CMA, and that is so promising. So we are moving quickly from potential blocking to fostering enabling.

Paul Dickinson: [00:24:20] Just makes us all think, I suppose, that policies, laws, regulations, whatever can come from multiple different sources can come from multiple parts of society. I suppose we have to recognize that law in a certain sense is suffused through everything everyone does. And therefore it can it can be created and evolved and interpreted by by all sorts of different organizations. And not least speaking about leadership on these issues, one organization that embodies some of the most impactful climate leaders in the world is the C40. Now, the C40, for those who haven't heard of it, is a global network of around 100 of the world's mega cities, representing approximately a somewhat mind boggling 800 million people and 20% of the entire global economy. And I caught up with the very self-effacing and deeply charming, humble but brilliant Executive Director Mark Watts to hear how good regulation is critical to successful, sustainable cities. I just wanted to lead us through a little story. I actually invited you to a meeting in New York last September, which you came to, and it was on the theme of the pivot to policy. What encouraged you or made you want to come to that meeting?

Mark Watts: [00:25:48] Well, actually, I came because you invited me. I was interested and intrigued because it looked like it was a conversation that I hadn't been part of. And therefore, I wanted I wanted to understand what was going on at the nexus between climate leaders in the private sector and government, because the role of regulation I see as absolutely critical to what we do at C40. Often people don't think about city government as being regulators, but actually mayors are responsible for either putting in place or delivering a lot of the regulations that are absolutely critical to bringing down emissions as fast as we need to and make them resilient places to live. So I was intrigued by the way you you'd set up that that that meeting and the work that went around it about having a positive conversation between the private sector and government about regulation. Because so often we only hear the negative, the way that regulation is supposedly gets in the way of progress. And very much where I come from, good regulation is what drives successful markets, is what drives thriving civilizations.

Paul Dickinson: [00:26:53] So can we just maybe like dig into that that regulatory point a little bit? Because, I mean, is there a particular character to the nature of city's regulatory powers? Is it that I mean, obviously, I guess they're within the borders of the city, is that it? Or is there is there something else?

Mark Watts: [00:27:08] I mean, it does vary tremendously across across countries. But but I think if you kind of go through the gamut of the strongest, most successful type of regulatory powers. So look at Local Law 97 in New York, the mayor of New York has introduced essentially requires the owners of all of the kind of skyscrapers across New York to go through a dramatic renovation of those buildings to improve their energy efficiency, cut their emissions. It's backed by really strong fines for failure, million dollar plus fines. And it's the kind of thing that you can see has created or massively expanded now a $20 billion market for retrofit, but also stimulated a big increase in renewable energy supply to the city. So I think, you know, there's buildings is a is a sector where often mayors have the power to regulate. The transport sector, you know, also so often this is public transport, as the name suggests is in is in the power of the mayor. But even when it's not, if you look at across the world at the moment, China the absolute leader on electric buses but but close behind them now cities in Latin America and often that's in situations where the mayors don't own the bus fleets, but they regulate them.

Mark Watts: [00:28:29] And so Bogota, Sao Paolo, Santiago, they've all regulated so that private bus operators have to replace their old buses with clean electric models much quicker than the market would otherwise have provided because they're mostly European, North American manufacturers were prioritizing Europe and North America and were telling Latin America, you're going to have to wait another decade before we stop selling you diesel. But that kind of strong regulatory lead really shifted things there. But you know, that regulatory I'd say, you know, the regulatory powers extends into things people often don't think about. Most city governments are the single biggest purchasers of food within their geographical boundary. And so when the mayor of Milan or the mayor of Sao Paulo, so two cities in countries that are famed for for meat in their diet have regulated to reduce the quantity of meat based protein in children's food in schools and instead bring in much more plant based protein, engaging with families, engaging with kids to do that. That doesn't just affect the health and well-being of those kids and reduce the emissions from the school meals. It starts to change the whole market for food supply within the city.

Paul Dickinson: [00:29:40] Are there sort of systems? Is there is there like a database that can be shared or or how can city governments kind of best draw upon the collective wisdom of the cities to to to find the fastest, smoothest path to sort of an ideal regulatory environment?

Mark Watts: [00:29:56] Well, I think, you know, in our days of of now mostly doing things online, it's it's still the case that there's no substitute for in my world one mayor hearing from another mayor what is possible. The person most likely to convince a mayor of a big city that it's possible to do something that everyone else is telling them in their city can't be done is hearing it from a mayor in another place. Whether that's virtually or better, you know, better in in person. But we run at C40 now something called the C40 Knowledge Hub. It's an online database of best practice across the world. It's used now by over 250,000, mostly officials and some mayors across, as you can tell by that number, it's not just C40. In fact, the vast majority of the users are not members of C40. 

Paul Dickinson: [00:30:45] So it's completely open source and all the rest of it.

Mark Watts: [00:30:46] Completely open source. And we're just encouraging, you know, any any city official that wants to take advantage of it to do so.

Paul Dickinson: [00:30:53] What's the sort of relationship between national government and city government? And I guess it's a bit of a leading question, but do you see potential for greater delegation of the climate change response from the national to the to the city level?

Mark Watts: [00:31:05] Yeah. I mean, I think perhaps starting at the end there, I think really what we need, if we're going to halve emissions globally by 2030, then you've got to empower those who are willing and able to go fastest and go first and fit for a variety of reasons, particularly the bigger cosmopolitan cities have got electoral support for stronger climate action that is often able to mobilize at a national level with all the different kind of contradictions and are willing and ready to really deliver on those on those commitments, those science based targets right now. So I think we need that delegation. And you can see when that kind of when that works, you can see the impact it has. And I think back to the start of my career working in London for then Mayor Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, he was able to deliver a world first in the congestion, bringing the congestion charge into London, surprising for vehicles in central London, which was basically an environmental tax at its at its heart, and partly because of his incredible vision and leadership, but also because Tony Blair as Prime minister, created the powers and delegated them to London. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown didn't want to take responsibility for introducing charges for people to drive into the centre of cities, but they were willing to give the opportunity to a leader in London to do it and then back them financially quietly to make it happen.

Mark Watts: [00:32:28] So I think in an ideal world, we need to see that you do see that kind of synergistic relationship between national and city governments, particularly in East Asia. You know, in China, we're mostly working with city governments and with national government departments simultaneously, for example, around trying to reduce through good regulation the embodied emissions in building materials in construction. The Chinese government there is is allowing C40 city members to be the pilots for for trying out European type standards that taken particularly from from Oslo and Scandinavia. But but it's true it's you know too often it's the reverse. We actually find, you know, a tension between the national and the local that holds back action. And particularly that's the case in for for Global South cities in their ability to access international finance, which often requires a sovereign guarantee. And too often that that is held back if there isn't political cohesion between the two levels of government. And I think that's a reason we really need a change to that multilateral lending architecture. There needs to be dedicated city, urban level climate programs that cities can access directly.

Paul Dickinson: [00:33:39] A lot of people will say that the NDCs that are, you know, the nationally determined contributions that go to the COPs, they often sort of speak about, you know, we're going to do all of this stuff at a national level. And then, you know, a lot of NGOs and people in the climate change movement will say, but there's no real evidence this is going to happen. Maybe it's a case of the national make that commitment, then hand that over to the cities and say, you know, kind of you're the you're the you're the frontline administrators of this part of of our nation. Get it done.

Mark Watts: [00:34:05] Yeah. And I think you can see the evidence so we just we did effectively a kind of global stocktake of C40 cities at the end of last year. 74% of our members are reducing their emissions per capita emissions faster than their respective nation states at the moment. The quarter that are not mostly it's either we haven't got data to be certain about the kind of the answer there or it's that they've reduced their emissions so much in the previous decade. They're kind of not at the point now where you can have those really big, big reductions. So I think there's a real there's a need in a case and they should be, you know, the big cities should be going faster. But at the moment, they're not going quite as fast as they can because they're stretching their powers to the to the limit. But if more was devolved, there'd be certainly greater certainty and give greater certainty to to the private sector partners in those cities that they could take bets on, on new technologies, trying out new things in these big cities and have that regulatory backing and some local investment.

Paul Dickinson: [00:35:13] If I think about 30 years, I've been doing this kind of thing in one form or another. I think for us to recognize that alongside, you know, the cry at the COPs, for example, you know, our national governments must do more. Let's remember the power, the strength, the capability of our city governments, our mega city governments. You know, I remember going to the Tokyo metropolitan government offices, and they're pretty big, right? Because Greater Tokyo region is twice the size of the Netherlands, and that's one city. You know, so just to recognize that there's this other enormous source of power. They've been in the climate movement for a long time. But I think there's so much scope for us to collaborate with them to to achieve more. What do you think?

Fiona Macklin: [00:35:55] Often in my experience there, there is a potential or a risk for the subnational governments and their ambition to sometimes be stymied by national governments if the latter are less ambitious. I actually also think that we've seen amazing examples, as Mark has alluded to, of subnational jurisdictions really leading the way.

Paul Dickinson: [00:36:15] Hmm. Well, let's bring some more voices into the conversation. Now, Fi you've invited Joshua Amponsem into this episode. Tell us a little bit about how you know him.

Fiona Macklin: [00:36:27] I actually remember really vividly first meeting Joshua during the Bonn intersessionals last year in an underground cafe, which sounds very, very sinister. It wasn't. It was lovely, but.

Paul Dickinson: [00:36:38] The whole building's half underground, as I remember.

Fiona Macklin: [00:36:40] Exactly. And he was an absolute ray of sunshine. He's the Founder of the Green Africa Youth Organization, as well as being a youth fellow at the Global Centre on Adaptation and a climate specialist at the Office of the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth. And I think all of what I said really shows his engagement and his network with the youth movement. So I was really interested to hear from him how he saw this balance between lifelines and deadlines and in particular how he sees the youth movement really showing up and providing, I think, one of the most important lifelines to help us achieve these targets.

Paul Dickinson: [00:37:19] Great. Let's hear from Joshua.

Joshua Amponsem: [00:37:29] Currently, my head is at how do we get the broader community to understand their role? And when I say broader community, I mean sort of general public to really understand better the extent of the crisis, which seems to be common knowledge, but it's not really as common as we think it is because it's knowledge is becoming more sort of available. But it takes a while for people to really get the core of the message. And so how to get people to really understand that and also to be able to join the advocacy in a way that yields impact as opposed to just really talking about it and feeling very stagnant. And I think if we can be very objective around what is working, what is not working, no matter how beautiful and nice and how glorious it all looks to having a different political champions and youth activists, champion in this way, if we will go back to the drawing board and look at what has been the progress in terms of actual action in meeting some of these timelines and deadlines, we would also we will realize that while there has been some progress, we are far from wherever we want to be and we will be able to review what is working and what is not working. But I think that balancing hope versus actual reality can be a big challenge, and I think that is where we need to really play the game very safe without not getting too hopeful, forgetting the reality of where we are, but also maybe getting stuck too much on our reality that we give up on hope.

Fiona Macklin: [00:39:05] What do you think is the primary value of having these deadlines and perhaps how do you think they can be as best as possible imposed on on non-state actors so that they are balancing reality with keeping us on track?

Joshua Amponsem: [00:39:20] Yeah. I mean, anytime I think of deadlines and timelines, I think of the majority of students in any any academic campus. You you get a timeline and then you have a deadline. And typically what happens is that you spend a lot of the early days thinking and saying, I need to do this, I need to do this, I need to do this, I need to do this. And they're very close to the deadline. A larger part of students, this is when things get done, right. If you had left that timeline pretty open, it takes longer to be in that thinking phase of, oh, I need to do this. But then once you're close to the deadline, it has to get done so you do it. In the climate discourse, I think some of the effect of timelines and the value of that is that constant reminder of we need to do this and we need to get this done. But I think that the bigger share of things is what is the risk that is at stake if it doesn't get done. And I think that sometimes that is communicated in a very broader context that not everyone can relate to. And that is very important. And I think that being able to communicate a timeline and the and the impact of it in a way that really reflects the reality for many people to be able to connect to that if it's important. If not, it's going to be like students.

Fiona Macklin: [00:40:40] I love that, I love that analogy. And I think the your point about sort of actually introducing impacts of missing the deadlines is perhaps what's missing. But it strikes me that sometimes what's missing as well in the climate discourse is the possibilities that open up if we do meet those deadlines. But what are the what are the lifelines that you think young people can offer businesses and policymakers to to inject that hope into the system and inject the sense of possibilities that can be envisioned alongside the risks that we need to come to terms with.

Joshua Amponsem: [00:41:11] If you look at our youth movement that existed, it's really always around trying to be the most ambitious within that, within that the frame where they are really at the peak of whatever they are demanding for and asking for. And if you look at the climate movement and others like that, it's really been very ambitious. It's giving those constant reminders and being able to boldly say this is unacceptable and it has to change. That is great and that is good. But also at the same time, you see that a lot more young people, in addition to, of course, all the anxiety and the criticism and not seeing progress, there is also a very large sense of we can make this work. Now, the reason for that we can make this work is that you're already here and you want to live. Right. You're already here. You want to live. You see a future. And you imagine to yourself doing beautiful things in your future. Now, that is something that can be capitalized on very much in all spaces in politics, in businesses, in systematic and structural changes within society. That is what drives some of the ambition that comes for the youth movement. So I think that what can be offered from the youth movement to all the different spaces, including businesses, civil society policy makers, is that we are going to be here, we are going to be here, and we can make it work. Now, the the we after saying that the next step of that is what is the ideal? What is reality and where do we find a middle point where we can actually match the ideal scenario with our current recent capacity? To achieve that, we want to be here and we will.

Joshua Amponsem: [00:42:53] We will be alive and we have to live. And I think that the challenge we are facing with this is that either you have a group or a movement that is really on the ideals of. It has to be absolute and it has to be this tomorrow morning or next week or next year. Within a very sort of strict boundaries of what needs to happen. And then you have another sector of society, whether it's a business, whether it's policymakers thinking of their resources and capacity or decision makers or responsible entity in how do they make that possible. And they typically traditionally move in transition. So it's really moving in very sort of steps, different steps to achieve that ideal scenario that young people are asking for or demanding. And I think that the baseline here is that for young people, that lifeline is we are here, we will be here and we will make it work. And we need institutions to work with us on how that is going to be possible. And we need to understand what are the current resources, capacity, strength and weaknesses that we need to take into consideration when we think about how to make this work.

Fiona Macklin: [00:44:01] Josh that sort of almost sent shivers up my spine. I think. I think that sense of we are here is so powerful. And actually it also echoes the the importance of of collaboration and a recognition that we've made mistakes. We're still making some. But actually, if we all show up and recognize each other's worth, that's what will get us out of this. And also that is what will drive a more collectively positive future. And perhaps just finally, and I'd love to hear your your thoughts, given the work that you've done on equity, on justice and the experience that you've had working across the many different regions that you've worked in, how do you think that that that sense of we are here is is being communicated by different youth movements? And I think we've also spoken a bit about the differences across youth, youth movements.

Joshua Amponsem: [00:44:52] Solving the climate crisis or the many environmental issues we have is really embedded in a lot of other societal struggles that we see. Um, it is very important in some of the communication recognizing that it is not pieces in isolation, but they are very much cascading. When you think of building resilience in many cities, the most part that city managers want to protect is the financial hub, the credit card infrastructure and not the slum areas where people are living. Now these impediments are very important and I think this is where youth movements are communicating. We are here. We want to solve the climate crisis and we want to be here in the future, but we don't want to be here with the climate crisis gone and still seeing these inequalities span across society. And I think that is what is happening now for the for the large part of the youth movement is raising these issues not to stop the processes from going on, but to figure out these very complicated sort of nexus and be able to do it well and do it fast. Big institutions and decision making institutions are having youth councils or youth advisory group to help shape that thinking. Because we are here and we want to remind you that we will be here and for for us to be here and eliminate everything we've seen that doesn't work for us. We need to work with you now in sowing those seed because we work together and we reminded ourselves that we will be here.

Paul Dickinson: [00:46:38] There's that old phrase that I endlessly repeat, no one better to break the chains than those who wear them, and that is younger people in this particular instance, although it's kind of all of us. Someone else who shares Joshua's sense of urgency on this is Shyla Raghav. Now, Fiona, how do you know her and why did you want to bring her into this conversation?

Fiona Macklin: [00:46:54] Yeah Paul, well, thank you. And actually, just before I do that and just reflecting on what you've said, I think that's a really pertinent quote. I actually just saw this morning, Clover Hogan has carried out a survey through her organisation Force of Nature. I think she's utterly brilliant. Um, which showed that 85% of surveyed young people across the UK want to work in climate, environmental justice or sustainability. I mean, that's enormous. So I think that's, isn't that massive? So I think that really proves Josh's point that the younger generation are here, and it really marked me how how he voiced that. So I just think that's phenomenal and massive kudos to all those young people who are showing up and who will take us to a better tomorrow. And that's why I really wanted to bring in Shyla to this. Shyla is an absolutely kickass woman. She's currently the Co-founder and Chief Portfolio and Partnership Officer at TIME CO2. But she's worked on a whole host of things. So she's been in climate mitigation and adaptation at Conservation International. She's worked for the World Bank for the Adaptation Fund for the UNDP and the UNFCCC. So she's got an amazing set of experience and expertise, and particularly especially given her current role with TIME CO2. I just wanted to ask her about how we can be better at communicating these lifelines and of course, the deadlines.

Paul Dickinson: [00:48:21] Let's hear it.

Shyla Raghav: [00:48:28] I've spent my entire career working on practical climate solutions, whether it was with local fishermen and women in the Caribbean to studying climate change in Borneo and deforestation. I've also worked a fair amount with the UNFCCC and the ups and downs of climate policy. And I think what what's what's really occurred to me is that despite all of our hard work over the years, nature is still more valuable dead than alive. And ultimately we've still not figured out how to incentivize and compel climate action and a just transition at scale. That's fundamentally where we are right now, unfortunately. Now, you've probably heard of TIME and its red border. It's kind of iconic and trusted brand that's really been reporting on many issues, including on climate change for many years. It has a 100 year legacy ultimately, by telling stories through people, right, through through individuals and the influence that individuals can have in shaping how we perceive the world and how we move through the world. And TIME is now building on its 100 year legacy to take on climate change in earnest. Right? To not only just tell stories of individuals, but ultimately equip, celebrate, convene and empower businesses to act on climate change rather than giving up amidst all of the complexity and all of the uncertainty surrounding climate change that's really leading to this kind of futility and lack of of hope and determination. And so fundamentally, a lot of this really comes down to a communications challenge, right? It's not necessarily, you know, in its entirety a technological or even political challenge. It's ultimately how do we communicate more effectively? A post-fossil fuel world is inevitable. It's really just a matter of time. It's how fast we get there. And we have at our disposal most of the solutions that we need.

Fiona Macklin: [00:50:28] I couldn't agree more with you about the sense that this is really a huge communication challenge. And you've been talking about the the change that's inevitable. And just thinking back to the sort of framing of this series and thinking about how to provide the lifelines that are needed, how do you think we can we can support the private sector, the leaders that we need in embracing this new type of leadership? And how do you sort of see that collaboration working so that these businesses can get the lifelines they need to deliver on the deadlines?

Shyla Raghav: [00:51:00] Ultimately, what we need to do is acknowledge, right, that there isn't one rubric or one yardstick by which we can evaluate and measure every individual or even every company. And companies are in different places. You've got the historical leaders, the big players who've always, the early adopters and and the early first movers who have championed climate change way ahead of their time. They absolutely need and deserve the credit for their leadership and their work over over the many years. But then there's the companies that have made the biggest change from bad to good, right? They can provide those relatable examples and also deserve a spotlight so that all of the small and medium sized businesses today that are struggling with the complexity of climate action are then empowered to copy and replicate those changes right and ultimately take those actions. So that's kind of another category. And then there's the innovators, right? Those that are kind of creating new approaches that are allowing us to imagine a future that we want to build together. And this form of leadership can help us to see how these solutions can scale and ultimately take hold.

Fiona Macklin: [00:52:11] Final question on this topic and because of your area of expertise and work at the moment, you've provided such clarity on the support that can be provided. Also, just really interested to hear your thoughts on the the the blockers that we need to remove. And I know that we've spoken a little bit about the media sometimes being problematic in how it presents and communicates, the lack of leadership, the sort of doom spiral that we're in, and maybe just a few reflections from you on on the role of media within this leadership and supporting businesses as you've just outlined.

Shyla Raghav: [00:52:47] Yeah. And I think the media can be so important. My, you know, objective and our vision at TIME CO2 is to really flip media on its head, right? How do we disrupt media in a way that that doesn't deploy it in a way to to generate more fear or even convince people to buy more things and to sustain an unsustainable, broken society that is leading to people feeling more lonely than ever. How do we use media to uplift, inspire, activate, rather than to demotivate and to paralyze climate action? And so I think a big part of it is telling those inspiring stories, right? It's using the power of storytelling of of different forms of media and communications to enable us to imagine a different future for ourselves. And and I think that's what's so exciting about about telling these stories and ultimately communicating to companies in a way that's that's that that compels them to act rather than compels them not to act.

Paul Dickinson: [00:54:06] Well, great to hear Shyla talk about communicating leadership to inspire peers, and I think there is a whole discussion about communication. One can, for example, posit that this is all about policy and government policy. But essentially in democracies, government policy is in fact entirely about communications because it's those who communicate best, who win the elections, and then they get to set the policy. So maybe it is all about communications. Now, we are actually, as we get towards the end of this episode, beginning to deal with first principles in society. And I can't help thinking that we're discussing a political architecture for human survival when we have such a powerful global business system that's sort of now seems to sit on top of so many aspects of our society. And that is where Universal Owner Theory comes from. And I think it has a very important answer. I first came across Ellen Quigley, a PhD student at that time, now Dr Ellen Quigley, who is Senior Research Associate in Climate Risk and Sustainable Finance at the Centre for Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge. And she's Special Advisor on Responsible Investment to the Chief Financial Officer of the University of Cambridge, who have more billions to invest than you might imagine. So I started off by asking Ellen, what on earth is Universal Owner Theory and why does it matter?

Ellen Quigley: [00:55:45] Economists talk about externalities. So these are costs that companies impose on society that they don't pay for. So things like pollution or emissions and the like. And what universal ownership is about is it's about recognizing that the companies that you own externalize those costs, but those costs end up being internalized by other companies in your portfolio or by society, by the planet. The things that support your whole portfolio and long term returns that allow you to pay out your liabilities some some decades from now. And it's kind of funny. Back in the day, if you talked about externalities, what economists were really talking about was like a poisoned river or something. I mean, not to diminish that, but you know, something like, you know, half of all emissions have been emitted in the last 30 years or something like that.  I should really know the figure.

Paul Dickinson: [00:56:43] Since the first episode of Seinfeld. Yeah.

Ellen Quigley: [00:56:45] Okay. Oh, my god. Interesting. Okay. Love that. Um, so. So really, it's my lifetime. You know, I'm not that old, but it's in my lifetime that externalities have become such a force that it no longer makes sense to think about things from the perspective of whether you can protect individual assets from something like climate change, which is what most kind of ESG or responsible investing is about. You really have to think, how am I able to mitigate these systemic risks in the real world? That's the only way to actually protect my portfolio and of course, the health and well-being of people and the planet.

Paul Dickinson: [00:57:24] Can you tell me just a little bit about where Universal Owner Theory comes from?

Ellen Quigley: [00:57:28] So a lot of people think of BlackRock or Vanguard as universal owners. They are emphatically not. They're not the owners. They are the managers who are, you know, getting fees from the owners. And they have very different, they have conflicts of interest.

Paul Dickinson: [00:57:43] Okay. So, what do you mean by an owner? Like, what's the difference like BlackRock's got all this money, 9 trillion, I think, or something. But you're saying they're not an owner. So what defines an owner?

Ellen Quigley: [00:57:52] Good question. So let's contrast, say, a big pension fund, let's say CalSTRS and BlackRock.

Paul Dickinson: [00:58:00] The California State Teachers Retirement System, if I'm not mistaken.

Ellen Quigley: [00:58:02] Yes. Yes. And they're one of my favourites. So let's talk about them. So they are trying to pay out teachers for their retirements many decades from now in some cases. And they aren't trying to to build their asset base. Right. They're not trying to get more clients. They don't want, like other state's teachers to start investing with them. That's not their incentive. Their incentive is to treat those teachers fairly and pay out a retirement as planned on schedule and to the amount required. So the assets are owned by CalSTRS, let's say, but then they might be managed by a fund manager like BlackRock. So a fund manager may be reluctant to do something at a company's AGM if they also want the business of that same company's pension fund, right. But also generally they might think, well, we don't want to do things that would make it look like we might cause a problem for a client's potential clients or their pension funds, or it changes the way you think. And you're all about fees. So what you want is you want higher assets under management, and that doesn't necessarily mean that you want those assets to maintain the health of people on the planet to 2050 and beyond. It's just not going to come into the way that you're remunerated, the way you're incentivized, the way you think. It's just a completely different way of thinking.

Paul Dickinson: [00:59:33] The asset owner that sees itself as universal investor. Can you tell us how they might think about the system that they operate in and indeed their interaction with public policy?

Ellen Quigley: [00:59:54] So I love that question because I think one of the things that people miss in this space is who benefits? Who is aligned with the public, with public goods, with, with the commons. And really, I mean, there might be other actors that I'm unaware of, but the really big ones, the ones with genuine, genuine power and influence who actually do align well with the public good, are asset owners. These are pension funds and endowments, charities etc. They're the ones who probably want the same things as any well-intentioned government would.

Fiona Macklin: [01:00:45] What's your take on asset owners? Do you feel they are developing in the right direction?

Paul Dickinson: [01:00:51] Well, I don't know about the right direction, but I do think the asset owner community are beginning to recognize their own importance. But Fi we've gone through a whole journey here and we're looking back at, I guess, a series of insights, and it's always a challenge to kind of put them together. Are we telling a coherent story and if so, what's the red thread through it, if that's the right cliché?

Fiona Macklin: [01:01:23] Paul, we have been on a journey and it's not over yet. Um, and, and I think it's been really insightful to, to hear all these different experts. I think the red thread perhaps for me in here and this is really showing my, um, growing up in France and being obsessed with French philosophy, this is, this is a quote by French philosopher Henri Bergson. He said, the future can no longer be what is going to happen. It's what are we going to do? And I think that encapsulates perhaps for me the discussion that we've had, because this is not something that we need to sit back and observe. This is the policies that we need to introduce the lifelines that are coming from young people, from communications, from the private sector.

Paul Dickinson: [01:02:11] Well, I'm impressed actually, with your consumption of the great French philosophical tradition. I wanted to study French philosophy more, but I ended up watching movies and I would watch the Terminator movies. And I remember, I think in Terminator 2, our protagonist, is that the word? What does protagonist mean? Is that the leading figure, right. Our protagonist, Sarah Connor, the heroine, hero, heroine. She carves into a wooden table, no fate but what we make. And it's the same thing, right?

Fiona Macklin: [01:02:44] Absolutely. Well, there you go. French philosophy and the Terminators are all one and the same after all.

Paul Dickinson: [01:02:49] Unity. Unity. Great to spend time on this episode talking with you Fi. Can we, can we finish off by bringing Dylan in? And let's just close this, this triangle, because it's, yeah, it's not the two of us, and it's not me and him. It's. It's the three of us. So let's. Let's bring him in.

Fiona Macklin: [01:03:07] That sounds brilliant Paul.

Paul Dickinson: [01:03:14] Okay, Dylan, Fi, here we are together, the three of us. It's been quite an epic journey. How are you both doing?

Dylan Tanner: [01:03:22] I'm great, yeah. It's a 34 degrees day in May in Tokyo here. And they haven't turned on the air conditioners, which is a good thing. But everyone's sweating and. 

Paul Dickinson: [01:03:31] But is 34 degrees not normal for Tokyo at this time of year.

Dylan Tanner: [01:03:34] Not at all. It's 15 degrees higher than it normally is, which is double.

Fiona Macklin: [01:03:41] Dylan, I feel your pain. I was I was spending a week of working remotely in the south of Spain at my my partner's parents house and they've just come out of a record heatwave with with temperatures of ten plus degrees higher than they usually are. And actually going into the hills over there, it's quite susceptible to wildfires in the summer. But already in in late April, it was it was just looking horrendously dry and and ripe for lots of fires this summer.

Paul Dickinson: [01:04:13] Okay, well, so it's important, right? So so why is the important why is the conversation we've been having important. Fi, why do you think it's important that we're having this conversation?

Fiona Macklin: [01:04:23] Well, I think I think it's important in many ways. I think for me at the moment with where my head is at right now, it's important because we can do this. We are still in 1.5 degrees, the Paris Agreement, they're still in reach. Um, but not, not without substantial intervention urgently. So I think it's important because we've seen a dramatic uptick in, in voluntary action and that really now needs to be paralleled by a similar engagement from, from a policy perspective in order to, to turbocharge that, that exponential change that we need to see at the speed and scale that's required.

Dylan Tanner: [01:05:04] Yeah. Fi, I love that. I would agree that we do have more time, but I think there's a danger in constantly saying we have more time. It means people get complacent. But I think what the scientists are saying now, as loud as they possibly can, is we have a little bit more time, but the policymakers need to act now with the full toolkit that is in their command. And also along the lines of what the IPCC Sixth Assessment said. And there's plenty, plenty there.

Paul Dickinson: [01:05:32] So just, you know, people will spend forever talking about COVID 19. But I always remember when I like heard all flights across the Atlantic had ceased. And then I remember the government saying to me and everybody else, stay in your homes. And and then something like 18% of GDP being spent on furlough programs, you know, government going just, you know, the whole toolbox opened up and applied. And why is it that we can't do that when there's arguably a far larger emergency.

Dylan Tanner: [01:06:04] The strategic campaign by the fossil fuel industry that Senator Whitehouse is is so incensed about is is a huge problem that we need to address. Without addressing that, we won't get there in time, in my view.

Fiona Macklin: [01:06:18] And I fully agree with that Dylan. I'd also say it's a it's a communications issue. I mean, I think the science shows that what we're failing to communicate, which we communicated well during COVID, is that acting now and introducing the policies that we need will be the most significant risk aversion project this decade.

Paul Dickinson: [01:06:36] Dylan, let me ask you a question. I'm sort of overwhelmed at the idea of what Senator Whitehouse was saying, that essentially the fossil fuel lobbying has has put the state in jeopardy. If this really is a national security issue, isn't this something that actually the security agencies should look at?

Dylan Tanner: [01:06:53] Yeah, I mean, they they have to play a part. I think they they may do when things get really bad. But, I mean, let's just face the problem and the blockage full on, which is in the case of the United States Congress is been hijacked by the Chamber of Commerce and the fossil fuel industry and prevented from from acting consistently over the last 20 years. And this is something that Senator Whitehouse is screaming from the top of his, well, bigger hill than we have, but still a relatively small hill in Washington. And he does it hundreds of times in the Senate.

Paul Dickinson: [01:07:30] Or can we get our movement behind someone like him. Fi, you know, the people you spoke to, we spoke to, are real leaders in the climate change movement. You are yourself, if I might say so. How do you see our movement turning and supporting, you know, this this voice?

Fiona Macklin: [01:07:45] Well, I think, and Dylan's pick up on what you've you've been saying, I think it's absolutely critical to get behind these leaders and call for change. But actually, I think what perhaps we're missing a trick by not calling for the removal of policies that do exist that are already themselves hampering voluntary action. And I think that's the first step that's perhaps easier to get behind because it feels less daunting and it feels less laborious when we when we face the issue of having to navigate around competition law whilst wanting to make it very clear that members who joined Race to Zero as a campaign really had to get on track with phasing down and out fossil fuels. And that was fought against because technically under competition law, that could be read as boycotting an industry. I mean, that's to me seems completely daft. And so how how are we not already starting to address those sorts of policies and legislations and regulations that just need to be knocked out the way so that we can get a move on with the ambitious action that we need? And I think that's where, you know, similarly to needing both momentum and perfection, we need the deadlines because we know that they are scientific limits. We we know that very, very clearly and they are absolutely critical. And we need these lifelines to to come in and help us achieve those. And I think for too long, we we've been overwhelming ourselves with the deadlines that are screaming and coming right at us very fast.

Dylan Tanner: [01:09:16] I think one thing that maybe occurs to me is that the climate movement is at the moment trying to do too many things. It's trying to reform and reimagine finance. It's trying to get companies to commit to long term voluntary targets. It's trying to get consumers to behave in a different manner. It's trying to create social justice around the climate agenda. And the oil industry is saying, okay, how do we stop every single piece of legislation that comes up or keep in place our incumbent subsidies. That's all we want to do. And they have much more money. And so that's why they're winning, I think.

Paul Dickinson: [01:09:52] Well look, a last word. I have to say, it's been such a pleasure to do this two part series with you both. I have enormous admiration for you both and the organizations that that that you work in. Can you give, close by just giving our listeners some advice how to take this forward what you think you've learned, that the many many, many thousands of people listening to this can take and and use in their work going forward? And maybe start with Dylan this time.

Dylan Tanner: [01:10:20] The best way you can influence the climate agenda is via your vote and by letters to your representatives in Parliament.

Fiona Macklin: [01:10:27] I love that Dylan, that was so crisp. I think what I'd say and this comes from, I think having a mindset as a as a former athlete of really needing goals to be bite sized chunks and taking them one by one. And I think that that offers the opportunity to take satisfaction in progressing and then exceeding those goals. And that in itself is motivating to move faster. So I think what I would say is believing that we can do this together is critical and that can help seed the ground for moving and together calling for the removal of the policies that we don't need and the introduction of the policies that we really desperately do need.

Paul Dickinson: [01:11:11] I think we we all know about these terrible, terrible deadlines that have been hemming us in and kind of coming closer and closer like some terrible army of nightmarish ants. And thank you for giving us the lifelines Fi. I think it's the perfect compliment. And if we hold them both, the sort of outrage and optimism, deadlines and lifelines is a great way of framing, getting in right relationship with the task ahead. Thank you both very, very much for this. Let's do it again soon. As soon as Tom and Christiana let us let's let's get back on and we'll make some more.

Fiona Macklin: [01:11:43] Amazing.

Dylan Tanner: [01:11:44] Thank you, Paul. Thank you, Fiona. And great to see you both.

Fiona Macklin: [01:11:48] Yeah, great to see you both again. Thanks so much.

Paul Dickinson: [01:11:50] Bye for now.


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