Snippets for 3 February 2022






Thanks for reading our first Snippets newsletter for 2022. We have once again included a mixed selection of articles we hope you find interesting.


Many consumers are serious about climate change but are governments and businesses listening? There are only so many changes you can make at a personal level. It’s important that they do listen, as many consumers are looking to governments and businesses to be leaders in change.


It's not just consumers that are struggling with climate change, many executives are having difficulty getting sustainability embedded into core operations. There are a number of steps they can take to begin their journeys. From product development to requiring suppliers to meet specific sustainability criteria, to name just two.


Aviva is an investment company that is taking action. With a managed fund of £262 billion, it now says voting at AGMs will be influenced by policies on climate, human rights, biodiversity, and executives pay. Doing the right thing is good for business.


At a local level change is occurring. We have an article where a collective of Indonesian women are replanting mangroves, and off the back of this experience, are more confident and have become involved in various local village programmes.


Some people are taking the law into their own hands and taking climate lawsuits against companies and governments. Over 1000 cases have been filed in the last 6 years, a number of high-profile rulings have found the climate action, of certain governments and corporations, insufficient. This type of litigation can be a useful tool to implement positive change.


The World Economic Forum says cities should invest in nature, and there are a number of positive outcomes if a city does. Expanding green spaces and nurturing natural systems that provide water, food, and clean air, doesn't just keep residents healthy and tackle climate-change risks, but can boost their economies as well.


Our next series of articles takes an in-depth look at the global economy's shift to a net zero transition. It’s a full team effort and everyone needs to be involved. It’s going to cost a lot and impact everyone differently from an individual worker, right through to large corporations and countries. The articles lay out the process in detail.


We finish up this week by taking a look at the lax regulations that threaten the viability of the carbon offset boom. Less than 5% of carbon offsets currently remove carbon from the atmosphere! Carbon credits are a virtual commodity. They are worth nothing if there is no integrity. Some work to better regulate this area and ensure confidence is required ASAP.


Governments and businesses need to step up after COP 26 and act on their pledges. Research shows people are very concerned, and feeling personally impacted, but are not making meaningful changes in their behaviour - they are looking for leadership and support to make changes towards more sustainable living. It seems there won’t be significant consumer behaviour change without massive investment and engagement by governments and businesses leading the way. Read more....


A study reveals C-level business executives are increasingly concerned about climate change. Most realise there is a climate crisis, but the majority are struggling to embed sustainability into core business strategies and organizational culture. Businesses are looking for support to make changes. Companies are finding they need to make choices about which of the vast number of strategies they implement, as some have more effect than others. Senior level buy-in is needed to effect meaningful transition, so tying execs remuneration to sustainability performance would provide some pressure to change. Read more....

The investment company, Aviva Investors, is putting directors of 1500 companies they invest in and work with on notice that they will look to get them removed if they fail to show enough urgency in tackling issues like climate crisis and human rights issues. It’s an example of a large business actively trying to provide meaningful change leadership – sending a message to other businesses that sustainability is important for society, but not forgetting the “bottom line” of return on investment for shareholders. Read more....

One group showing climate action can take place at any level, is the Womangrove Collective in Indonesia. Founded in 2015, the group has planted over 110,000 mangrove seedlings in areas previous cleared for shrimp farming. The group is largely funded by NGOs, and is not only instrumental in converting cleared wetland into vital carbon sinking mangroves, but also provides the women involved with critical skills they weren’t previously exposed to. They’re able to become more engaged in community management and benefit the environment. Read more....

There are a multitude of fronts on which climate action can be taken. In this case, the legal front. Climate activists are taking governments and companies to task for their lack of climate action, with one case in Germany resulting in the constitutional court ruling the government’s failure to protect the climate for future generations was unconstitutional. Though not a silver bullet, litigation provides another lever that can be pulled to trigger necessary change. Read more....

On a city scale, climate action can not only avoid disastrous physical consequences, but can also provide major economic benefits, according to the World Economic Forum. In the capital of Sierra Leone, a landside killed 1,141 people in 2017. The city’s mayor responded by planting trees and increasing green cover, to strengthen bare hillsides. Moves such as this should be investigated by cities around the world, before disaster strikes, to minimise risk to lives and livelihoods. Read more....


All our previous articles have discussed a need and an actual desire to change, or as it is officially called, to ‘transition’. McKinsey recently released a suite of articles examining just what might be entailed in a net-zero transition. As it turns out, there are six main characteristics and that the transition needs to be universal, significant and require substantial up-front investment. Furthermore the transition will be unevenly spread amongst different countries, communities and market sectors. But it simply needs to happen. Read more....


We examine in greater depth just how this transition might impact different countries and sectors. All countries will face degrees of physical risk, but equally all will have potential for growth.This article breaks down the world economy into developing and developed nations and those well endowed with natural capital (good sunlight, wind, forests, etc.). It also examines the impact on nations centered around fossil fuel production, emission intensive producers, agriculture-based economies, land-use intensive countries and service-based economies which includes New Zealand. Read more....

Also examined is how a net-zero transition will require a transformation of the global economy and how it will need to be universal, across energy and land-use systems and throughout the global economy. Seven energy and land-use systems act as direct sources of global emissions. These systems are 1) Power in electricity and heat generation; 2) Industrial processes; 3) Transportation; 4) The Built Environment; 5) Agriculture; 6) Forestry and other land-use and 7) Waste. As these systems are highly interdependent, actions to reduce emissions must take place in concert. Read more....

Our final article this week examines the need to support the transition by having an effective carbon offset market. The supply of offsets has increased by 66 percent since 2018 and only set to continue to rise in 2022, underpinned by a deal to create an international market, signed-off at COP26. Current standards allow reductions to come from either carbon avoidance (fuel displacement) or by removal (sequestration). Rules around what an offset actually is need tightening, otherwise they will be without integrity and thus largely worthless. Read more....











This week we have an interesting variety of innovation articles we hope you enjoy:









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