At a Business beyond covid-19: Resilience and recovery webinar this morning, from The Economist, the virtual panel discussion on resilience and recovery was music to my ears!

Speakers Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute, Nina Seega, research director for sustainable finance, Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership, Alastair Hamilton, associate partner at McKinsey and William Hobbs, chief investment officer, wealth management & investment, Barclays UK set the scene very clearly, regarding the huge economic gains of decarbonising now, while financial systems are trying to help in the recovery.

They talked about only “being in the foothills of the digital transformation” and how businesses must gear up for the 4th industrial Revolution and re-tool the workforce for it.

They healthily talked about the lag between job destruction and construction, and that now was the time to focus on the changes as later on could be detrimental to businesses and potentially missed.

John Ferguson asked how we avoid a coalfired recovery, to which the panel robustly said, having been vulnerable to the pandemic, companies are realising to be resilient to future global threats reducing emissions is key – “you can’t build sea walls so high”.

It was made clear investing in fossil fuels was fiscally the wrong decision; assets risk being stranded [again] in reaching the 2050 government and 2030 ‘others’ net zero emissions targets. It is important to look at supply chains and employee practices (we have FREE resources for the latter-just ask).

As we start to enter the hurricane season, with record sea surface temperatures (you won’t find a sceptic in the world to argue warmer seas = more storms, its basic earth systems science), stress testing is vital. We’ve had that through the pandemic, now let’s use the recovery grants to ensure a low carbon pathway is planned in, from now. This is because we can still affect the trajectory.

It was clear the panel wanted business to be more involved with policy change and being in communications with governments. On asking how a low oil price affects all this, the panel made clear businesses can enthuse government to taxing fossil fuels.

The virtual panel were moderated by John Ferguson, country analysis director from The Economist Intelligence Unit. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact them at events@economist.com.

Funnily enough, we are currently writing the training for businesses to get ready for flooding in Cornwall, if you want in, its free, get in touch soon. All this and more, will be shared.

luci@climatevision.co.uk (Staff plan and business resilience training in Cornwall – both free).


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