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Snippets for 21 October 2021

Welcome to our latest Snippets newsletter.

If there was ever any doubt as to the severity of climate change, the UN has made it unequivocally clear that not only are we failing the planet if we allow climate change to continue unchecked, but we are failing to uphold a fundamental human right. The UN has declared that access to a clean environment is a human right, meaning failure to ensure this right is upheld for future humans, could constitute a massive intergenerational violation, providing even more pressure for people to act now on the crisis.

Dramatic as that may seem, our next article argues that far from being a burden to one’s bottom line, investing in nature actually gives businesses a competitive advantage. Businesses will want to look at how they can make a positive impact on the environment if they want to get ahead of their competitors. Speaking of investment, globally we need to invest more in our world’s peatlands, according to our next article. With peatlands able to store up to 5 times as much carbon as an equivalent area of Amazon rainforest, we cannot afford to lose these incredible carbon sinks.

When it comes to effective action on climate change, many of us may not immediately think about the impact advertising and PR firms have. Our next few articles look at the issue of advertising’s influence on the climate crisis, from a few different angles. Firstly, we look at how consumer and employee activities are driving positive change in some advertising firms that traditionally have helped promote oil and gas companies. Next, we look at how these firms have been flying below the radar, able to influence consumer behaviour into “overconsumption” – which is having a catastrophic impact on the environment. Then, we see how Google pulling ad revenue from content that denies anthropogenic climate change, making it less profitable to the creators of such content.

We finish with a light-hearted article about how an Australian comedian ran several ads in Times Square, poking fun at the Australian Government for its actions (or lack thereof) addressing climate change.

The United Nations Human Rights Council recently recognised access to a clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right – indicating the UN is throwing its weight behind the fight against climate change. The vote passed with overwhelming support, highlighting how estimates put some 13.7 million deaths a year, or around 24.3% of the global total, down to environmental risks such as air pollution and chemical exposure. This move by the UN, is a clear signal that this has to stop and to try ensure people have a healthy environment to live in. Read more....

Investing in nature can give industry and business a competitive edge and provide an opportunity give something back to communities. Biodiversity is emerging as an area of interest for firms looking for that first-mover advantage. Simply put, healthy ecosystems are needed for healthy growth. Purely from a GDP point of view, half of global GDP depends on healthy ecosystems rich with biodiversity. Why not think of the environment we’d like to live in! Read more....

Investing in nature, in this case, could help the worlds peatlands stabilize the climate. Peatlands make up 3% of the earths landscape but absorb huge amounts of carbon and harbour a wide range of biodiversity. And it’s not just the capture of CO2 and habitats for wildlife, peatlands act as a natural water filtration system – which is vital to some areas fresh water supply. Trees are good, but a square meter of peatland can hold up to 5 times more carbon than a square meter of Amazon rainforest! Read more....

We now take a look at the role of advertising in the climate crisis. Our next article takes a critical look at PR firms and their responsibilities when it comes to addressing the climate crisis. It points out the hypocrisy of oil giants advertising their minority spend green products, while continuing to extract fossil fuels from the earth. But, thanks to consumer, and in some cases employee, pressure, PR firms are changing their tune and some are making moves towards net zero commitments. Read more....

Continuing in the advertising theme, this article looks at the psychology of how advertisements are driving us towards “overconsumption”. As we well know by now, there is a carbon cost to just about every product, meaning overconsumption has a big climate and ecological impact. With advertisers’ uncanny ability to get their products under our skin and lodged in our brain, often without us noticing, campaigners are calling for legislation against high carbon advertising – and in some places this is happening. Read more....

It’s not all negative in the advertisement space though. Google has announced it will ban monetization on content that denies climate change. They cite growing pressure from advertisers who did not wish to see their ads run alongside climate change denial content. Though this move won’t eliminate such content altogether, it will make it much, much less profitable. Read more....

We round out this week with a lighthearted look at an Australian comedian who took advertising issues into their own hands. Dan Ilic ran a fundraising campaign which allowed him to run a series of ads criticizing Scott Morrison’s climate policies – in Times Square. The comedian is looking to run similar ads in Glasgow before the COP26 talks, as a means to ramp up the pressure on the Australian government and “to let the world know that the people at the talks representing Australia don’t represent Australians”. Read more....

This week we have an innovation article that we hope you enjoy:

  1. Aquaponics: The future of agriculture?

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