Stockholm (NordSIP) – At this year’s Earth Day online event, Financing the Race to Zero – Exponential Climate Action Summit II, the message rang loud and clear, delivered with due urgency by business leaders, activists, politicians, academics, and singers alike: We don’t have time! It was a veritable marathon of non-stop contributions from a plethora of eloquent speakers, leaving the audience slightly out-of-breath, perhaps intentionally so.
Given the unanimous and specific message conveyed by the event, maybe what was most impressive was the diversity of opinions that the organisers managed to give voice to. Tuning in to the webcast meant having to rapidly switch between enthusiastic activists, pragmatic CFOs, weathered environmentalists, disillusioned bankers, trade-unionists, dry academics, fiery media gurus, etc.
With Biden’s climate summit happening simultaneously and the EU’s taxonomy regulation fresh off the presses, some of the contributors were excited about the news, while others were underwhelmed and even disappointed. Some of the key-note speakers expressed high hopes for the enormous mobilisation happening in the worlds of finance and industry, others were highly sceptical of the power of free markets to solve environmental problems. Some advocated local community-based micro solutions, others were adamant that we need to focus on global, top-down initiatives to succeed.
Alongside three million other viewers, committing several hours of that most precious non-renewable resource, our time, to the event, we are grateful to the organisers for providing this bounty of cognitive diversity to celebrate Earth Day!