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Navigating through muddied water or is it an oil spill?

Apr 21, 2022

Op-ed for Illuminem: April 20, 2022

Was it just the challenging circumstances under which the #securitiesandexchangecommission (SEC) announced the disclosure of climate rule that seems to be drawing much flak? Shiva Rajgopal has an interesting perspective: “Climate reporting may be the third-best, not even the second-best, way of focusing corporate minds on the climate problem…”

Estimated damages in the US – from floods, drought, extreme heat, wildfires, and hurricanes – have grown to about $120 billion a year. These are bound to grow if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. For the first time in history, via the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) the US federal government is formally accounting for risks of climate change.

It’s been fifty years since The Club of Rome came up with ‘The Limits to Growth’. Is #degrowth anywhere close to getting into vogue? “Global North people, businesses and institutions have operated in excess of their fair share of global resources for far too long…” says Jennifer Wilkins, author of a recent paper ‘The Degrowth Opportunity’. She quotes Colombian-American Professor of Anthropology Arturo Escobar: “We are being ecologically and culturally impoverished by a ‘patriarchal Western capitalist modernity’ and the ‘constitution of a single globalised world’…

The #globalnorth versus the #globalsouth debate gets intensified by the #colonisation dimension. The #IPCC has finally made room for it. While we are all in the same boat, the global north must quickly come clean and take a lead so as to become a good role-model.

“Crucial systems, such as food, healthcare and lifeline utilities, must be radically and justly transformed so that all people’s needs, everywhere, are provisioned using a fraction of the resources and emitting a fraction of the pollution we see today”, reminds Ms. Wilkins.

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