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Climate Resilience: How forward-looking organisations are taking action to mitigate the impact of climate change

Climate Resilience: How forward-looking organisations are taking action to mitigate the impact of climate change



Asia Pacific Centre for Social Enterprise (APCSE), Griffith University, Open Lecture Series. Tuesday 19 February, 2013, 6:00 - 7:30pm ...

Asia Pacific Centre for Social Enterprise (APCSE), Griffith University, Open Lecture Series. Tuesday 19 February, 2013, 6:00 - 7:30pm
South Bank Graduate Centre (S07), Room 1.23
South Bank campus, Griffith University

Climate change requires a new narrative. Professor Jeremy Williams argues that our primary concern now should not be whether climate change is human-induced, but what we are going to do about it in order that societies might protect themselves from the effects of climate change.



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Climate Resilience: How forward-looking organisations are taking action to mitigate the impact of climate change Climate Resilience: How forward-looking organisations are taking action to mitigate the impact of climate change Presentation Transcript

  • Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise@APCSEClimate Resilience:How forward-looking organisations are taking actionto mitigate the impact of climate changeProfessor Jeremy B. WilliamsActing DirectorAsia Pacific Centre for Sustainable EnterpriseGriffith Business SchoolSouth Bank Graduate Centre, 19 February 2013
  • Presentation slides and Twitter back channel facebook.com/profjeremybwilliams
  • Welcome to the Anthropocene
  • Welcome to the Anthropocene
  • http://www.anthropocene.info/https://vimeo.com/39048998
  • (World Biocapacity/ World Ecological Footprint) x 365 = Ecological Debt Day August 22nd
  • Chinese proverb: “Better to give a man a rod than a fish” Source: Daly, H.E. (2005) ‘Economics in a full world’, Scientific American, September, p. 102.… the supply of fishing rods is no longer the problem
  • 15 football pitches per dayImage source: nationalgeographic.com  It is a shortage of trees, not chainsaws, that threatens timber production
  • The Aral Sea once the fourth largest lake in the world, continues to shrink and is now 10 percent of its original size• Water itself has become scarce relative to the powerful pumping technologies used to access it
  • Examples of ecosystem services (Costanza et al 1997)Ecosystem service ExamplesClimate regulation Greenhouse gas regulation, dimethyl sulfide production affecting cloud formation.Disturbance regulation Storm protection, flood control, drought recovery and other aspects of habitat response to environmental variability mainly controlled by vegetation structure.Water regulation Provisioning of water for agriculture (e.g. irrigation) or industrial (e.g. milling) processes or transportation.Water supply Provision of water by watersheds, reservoirs and aquifers.Soil formation Weathering of rock and the accumulation of organic material.Nutrient cycling Nitrogen fixation, nitrogen, phosphorous and other elemental or nutrient cycles.Waste treatment Waste treatment, pollution control, and detoxification.Pollination Provision of pollinators for the reproduction of plant populations.Biological control Keystone predator control of prey species, reduction of herbivory (plant eating by insects) by top predators.Food production Production of fish, game, crops, nuts, fruits etc. by hunting, gathering, subsistence farming or fishing.Raw materials Production of lumber, fuel or fodder.Genetic resources Medicine, products for materials science, genes for resistance to plant pathogens and crop pests, ornamental species (pets and horticultural varieties of plants).Recreation Eco-tourism, sport fishing and other outdoor recreational activities.Cultural Aesthetic, artistic, education, spiritual and/or scientific values of ecosystems.
  • Paul Hawken„We have an economy that tellsus that it is cheaper to destroyearth in real time rather thanrenew, restore, and sustain it.You can print money to bail outa bank but you can‟t print life tobail out a planet.At present we are stealing thefuture, selling it in the present,and calling it gross domesticproduct.‟
  • Source: nationaljournal.tumblr.com
  •  October 2006: “The greatest market failure the world has ever seen” Sir Nicholas Stern  January 2013:
  • IPCC Fourth Assessment Report February, 2007: Evidence of Human- caused Global Warming is ... “Unequivocal”
  • New colours on the temperature map
  • December 2012 was the 36th consecutiveDecember 2012: December and 334th consecutive month with global temperature higher than the 20th century average. Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US Department of Commerce http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/g lobal/2012/12
  • 31
  • James L. Powell (author of The Inquisition of Climate Science) reviewed 13,950peer-reviewed papers published between January 1991 and early November2012, and only 24 (0.17%) clearly reject global warming or endorse a causeother than CO2 emissions for observed warming.
  • 2005: CO2 = 379ppm
  • 350.org
  • 36Source: http://www.21school.ox.ac.uk/news/archive/200702_inaugural_lecture.cfm
  • Dr. Malte Meinshausen
  • Meeting the Cancun Agreement commitment  International commitment to limit global warming to 2°C above pre- industrial levels  Meinshausen et al calculated that to reduce the chance of exceeding 2°C warming to 20%, the global carbon budget for 2000-2050 is 886Gt CO2  Deducting emissions from the first decade of this century, leaves a budget of 565Gt CO2 for the 40 years to 2050
  • July 2011 The carbon budget for the 40 years to 2050 is 565Gt CO2 All of the proven reserves owned by private and public companies and governments are equivalent to 2,795Gt CO2 Only 20% of the total reserves can be burned unabated, leaving up to 80% of assets technically unburnable http://www.carbontracker.org/wp- content/uploads/downloads/2012/08/Unburnable- Carbon-Full1.pdf
  • At the present rate of consumption, the 2000-2050 carbon budget will be exceeded around 2024
  • Bill McKibben
  • In 1750 (before the growth of fossil fuels) there was 2 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide gas in theatmosphere. If we extracted it from the air, this the total volume of that gas. (At standard pressureand 15°C the cube is over 65 miles across.)
  • Since 1750 we have added another 1.5 trillion tons
  • Nearly 1 trillion tons of the carbon dioxide we have added is still in the atmosphere. The rest hasdissolved in the oceans or been absorbed by plants and microbes.
  • Warming the planet by more than 2°C risks run-away climate change, and catastrophe for life onEarth. If we add any more than half a trillion tons we will exceed 2°C.
  • When we add up the declared reserves of fossil fuel companies, it turns out they are equivalent to2.8 trillion tons of carbon dioxide. This is fuel we cannot afford to use.
  • “This shows that the fossil fuel companies have five times more carbon in their reserves thaneven the most conservative governments think would be safe to burn” – Bill McKibben
  • The reaction to the Meinshausen et al (2009) paper Web of Science: 262 citations in scientific articles More than 600 citations in Google Scholar Top 0.1% of cited environmental papers Overall results widely accepted by scientific community Silence from fossil fuel industry
  • Paul Gilding
  • Creating the next industrial revolution Paul Hawken, Amory and L. Hunter Lovins propose 4 central strategies of natural capitalism:  Radical resource productivity  Biomimicry  Service and flow economy  Investing in natural capitalwww.naturalcapitalism.org See, also by Paul Hawken, (1994) The Ecology of Commerce
  • Nick Robins, Head of the Climate Change Centre atHSBC Bank, London, on the impact in Europe of adeflating carbon bubble:Could nearly halve the value of coal assets on theLondon exchange, and knock three-fifths from thevalue of oil and gas companies.“At the moment this risk is not being priced at all”
  • John HewsonAsset Owners DisclosureProject (AODP)“The average pension fund invests about 55 per cent of its portfolio in high-carbon intensiveindustries and only 2 per cent in their low carbon counterparts.How are they going to manage the risk of catastrophic climate change going forward? The bestway is to put a higher percentage of their funds in low carbon-intensive industries.”
  • http://www.kpmg.com/AU/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/is-natural-capital-a-material-issue.pdf
  • http://www.oxfamamerica.org/press/files/prep-value-chain-climate-resilience.pdf
  • http://www.greenbiz.com/research/report/2013/02/state-green-business-report-2013
  •  „For the purpose of attaining freedom in the world of nature, man must use natural science to understand, conquer and change nature and thus attain freedom from nature.‟ Speech at the inaugural meeting of the Natural Science Research Society of the Border Region (February 5, 1940).Chairman Mao
  • January 2013: Beijingair pollution off the scale Gaia 1-0 China
  • October 2012: Superstorm Sandy Gaia 1-0 USA
  • Long term prosperity needs resilience not just efficiency  The key to sustainability lies in enhancing the resilience of communities, not in optimising isolated parts of the system  Need to think in terms of social- ecological systems  Build in redundancy to stay within known thresholds Walker & Salt (2006)
  • facebook.com/profjeremybwilliamsau.linkedin.com/in/jembwilliams@TheGreenMBA@jeremybwilliamsjeremybwilliams.net