- 2023 is set to be the world’s hottest year on record.
- The world is headed for a temperature rise of 2.6°C.
- COP28 UN climate talks this month will be a crucial test of political will.
- How can we prevent political expediency from hampering global efforts?
- Greener Vision calls for five key ‘Pillars of Unity’.
After exceptionally high October temperatures, it is now “virtually certain” that 2023 – a year of deadly heatwaves, floods and fires – will be the hottest on record[i]. The UN’s first comprehensive stocktake of global efforts to limit warming has concluded that the world is headed for a temperature rise of up to 2.6°C[ii]. The COP 28 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai will be a critical test for world leaders.
However, the Climate Change Committee warns that the recent net zero rollbacks will make the UK targets harder to achieve and risk hampering global ambition at the crucial forthcoming talks. The Conservatives have established net zero as a “wedge issue” with Labour. Last week the government introduced controversial legislation requiring new North Sea oil and gas drilling licenses to be handed out annually.
In a keynote speech at the Net Zero Nations Projects Conference on 15 November, Greener Vision will call for a radical shift in perception and an approach to tackling the climate crisis that seeks to create unity rather than division. Greener Vision will argue that policy should be informed by five ‘Pillars of Unity’:
First, we must respect the ‘unity of the biosphere’. We need to strive to ‘see the whole picture’ and demonstrate greater honesty and transparency. Better ‘integration of thoughts and feelings’ would improve decision making. We should seek to ‘heal the whole system’ by tackling the root causes of climate change. Finally, we need to recognise that climate change is a global intergenerational challenge, and that we are citizens of ‘one world’.
In developing The Pillars of Unity’, Greener Vision consulted with more than 700 politicians and leading stakeholders. The report Greener Vision: The Art of Seeing also draws on a creative project that spanned 30 years. The Tabula Project started with the assumption that we won’t solve our most intractable problems with the same thinking that created them in the first place.
Claire Haigh, Founder & CEO of Greener Vision, commented:
“Our world is fragmented, disordered and chaotic. We are out of alignment with ourselves and the environment on which we depend. Anthropogenic climate change has been allowed to grow like a cancer with the potential to destroy the world as we know it. This is where our best thinking has got us!
Far steeper emissions cuts are required to avert a future dominated by catastrophic climate impacts. This crisis calls for leadership, strong political consensus and unprecedented levels of cooperation. To achieve real and lasting change, we need to start with ourselves. We need to rediscover the art of seeing.”
If you would like to hear Claire Haigh’s keynote speech on 15th November at the Net Zero Nations Projects Conference, One Great George Street, Westminster, please register here
If you would like information about The Art of Seeing Preview, to be held 16th November to 16th December 2023, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
1 Greener Vision: The Art of Seeing investigates how our approach to tackling the climate crisis needs to change. The report draws on key insights from The Tabula Project 1993-2023 (Note 2) and builds on the Greener Vision Thought Leadership programmes 2020-23 (Note 3). The report concludes that climate policy should be informed by five key ‘Pillars of Unity’:
- The unity of the biosphere – we need a radical realignment of how we perceive ourselves in relation to others and the environment on which we depend. This will require the creation of fairer and more equitable economic systems that allow both humans and the environment to thrive.
- Seeing the whole picture – we need greater honesty and transparency in decision-making, and to become more self-aware. Climate change exposes our tendency to see only what we want to see. Are the assumptions underpinning climate policies fit for purpose? What are we not seeing, or choosing not to see?
- Integrating heart and mind – we need to engage our emotional brains in climate change. Rational scientific data loses out against a compelling emotional story that speaks to people’s values. The tendency to separate thoughts and feelings causes confusion and does not lead to good decision making.
- Healing the whole system – we need to address the root causes of climate change: our addiction to fossil fuels. Too much attention is given to treating symptoms and not enough to the system. We need a whole systems transition to net zero. Pricing properly for carbon is a fundamental building block.
- Citizens of One World – we need to connect with our natural empathy and respect for each other and all living species. Climate change is a global intergenerational problem requiring unprecedented levels of cooperation. We must internalise the new zero-sum: either we all win, or we all lose.
Greener Vision is spearheading a series of events in 2024 to explore how we might develop a response to the climate crisis that is commensurate to the scale of challenge. If you would like to receive information about The Pillars of Unity Event Series, please sign up here
2 The Tabula Project (1993-2023) is a creative project spanning 30 years which started with the assumption that we won’t solve our most intractable problems with the same thinking that created them in the first place. The Tabula Project seeks to provide a new perspective on the mind firstly through examining current thought patterns, then clearing the mind and finally building a new framework for thought.
The paintings depict states of consciousness and thought, and the development of the project is informed by extensive research. The development of the paintings is described in The Tabula Project: A New Perspective on the Mind. A summary of the research findings can be read in The Tabula Project: Towards an Evolution of Thought. Personal reflections, poems and excepts from art diaries are included in The Tabula Project: Selected Writings.
The Tabula Project considers our many self-created challenges. Anthropogenic climate change is not the only peril we face but it is arguably our greatest existential threat. Environmental not-for-profit group Greener Vision applies insights from The Tabula Project to tackling the climate crisis.
3 Greener Vision Thought Leadership Programmes (2020-2023) explored what would be a credible and politically deliverable framework for decarbonising transport. The key question was first posed at the Decarbonising Transport Workshop on 3rd March 2020. More than 700 local and national politicians, leading academics, senior civil servants, business leaders, environmental and user groups were consulted in two extensive series of reports and events:
- “Rising the Challenge: What will it take to decarbonise transport?” (2021) The first series concluded that technological solutions will be insufficient and urgent attention must be given to traffic reduction and behaviour change.
- “Pathways to Net Zero” (2022-23) The second series concluded that we need a radical shift in terms of how we think about decarbonising transport and a whole-systems transition to net zero with energy demand reduction at its heart.
Greener Vision is a not-for-profit environmental group dedicated to encouraging the switch to a greener future. For further information visit www.greener-vision.com
Carbon Brief estimates with 3 months remaining there is a greater than 99% chance that 2023 will be the hottest year since records began in the mid-1800s and likely for millennia before: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-greater-than-99-chance-2023-will-be-hottest-year-on-record/
Copernicus Climate Change Service estimates 2023 will be the warmest year on record: https://climate.copernicus.eu/copernicus-september-2023-unprecedented-temperature-anomalies
NOAA modelling indicates a 50% chance that 2023 will be the hottest year on record and a 99% chance that it will rank amongst the 5 warmest years on record: https://www.noaa.gov/news/world-just-sweltered-through-its-hottest-august-on-record
About the Author
This post was written by Greener Vision.