Report on ‘Rapid + Fair Response to Climate & Ecological Emergency’ with Andrew Simms

On Tuesday 8 December, 36 participants attended Andrew Simm’s talk on the Rapid & Fair Response to the Climate & Ecological Emergency.

Andrew gave a wide-ranging and inspiring talk about the change that is possible. We need to believe in change, he said, looking further back past the Covid crisis to the financial crisis and the Icelandic volcano, both of which caused rapid change and forced both local and systemic adaptation.  In times of upheaval, such as we are in, change can happen, Andrew said.

The climate emergency has been declared in many countries, and despite the backlash against initiative such as low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and other local conflict, instances of innovation such as Swiss airline pilots retrained as train drivers, are there to guide the way. Not only is change possible, but when it happens people change too, forgetting that they may initially have had their doubts, for instance with the congestion charge in Stockholm where people opposed it at first, but after a while supported it.

Lessons too from the pandemic era, with retailers advice to ‘buy only what we need’ being perhaps a more long-term habit to gain, and with a more active state. There is a policy coherence problem, however, which means that climate policy is undermined in some cases by other policy such as investment in roads.

A key tool for everyone’s use at whatever scale is to test every project or innovation against three questions:

  1. Does it reduce carbon emissions, bringing us closer to 1.5 degrees?
  2. Does it reduce inequity, building a more inclusive and equal society?
  3. Does it contribute to our wellbeing?

If the answer to all three is yes, then you know you are on to a winner, and the project is a good one!

Read the full report with key points from the breakout rooms here: