I'm sitting on the beach at Bondi, enjoying the sand underfoot, unable to return home to the UK.
It's been a pretty tough year for most of the world.
We've learnt some sharp lessons, including:
- It's critical to listen to the scientists. And listen early.
- If tough measures are called for, policymakers should take them now. Delay courts disaster.
It's been a bitter time. Listening to scientists has saved untold lives - and saved economies, from Australia to South Korea. Not listening has had the opposite result.
There have been some bright lights:
- The mobilisation of science has seen vaccines developed, at speed. A testament to what we can do if we focus.
- And we've discovered we can dramatically reduce emissions! (Who would have thought?)
As we recover, we turn to the future - rebuilding our societies and economies. That requires us to be clear about what that future must and will be like.
We need a clean and green future; sustainable societies that avert climate catastrophes. But we also now know that to be able to manage further shocks that will come, we need an equitable, shared, and inclusive future.
We need to embed resilience into our social structures and communities. For instance, to stop pandemics we need everyone to have healthcare and income support to avoid working while sick.
The good news is that we know we have the solutions on hand, whether in energy, water, urban development, or land use management.
Most of those solutions require capital; happily, we find ourselves with more than enough capital in the world today. We just need to match that capital to solutions. It's that simple. Done before. We can do it again.
We have the collective creativity, the technology, and we know the direction of travel.
A Chance to Change our Future
As I look out over Australia's famous beach, I'm thinking that in 2021, we have a chance. A chance to change our future from something ominous to something brighter.
A good chance.
CEO, Climate Bonds.