Environment - Planet power

Why growth isn’t a dirty word

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I’m sure some of you are already aware of the BBC R4 Reith Lectures and enjoyed listening to 2020’s guest speaker Mark Carney. I caught the last of four ‘lectures’ on 23rd December and then went back and began listening from the start. My economics is lacking so I need to listen again to understand some of his points, but I was particularly interested in the fourth lecture titled ‘From Climate Crisis to Real Prosperity’.


‘Net zero isn’t a slogan, it’s an imperative’ – a good reminder to all – but net-zero is also a huge commercial opportunity. Mark talks about how building a sustainable future is capital intensive requiring a huge workforce whether that’s electrifying the transport network, creating a sustainable aviation sector, innovating tech for solutions like carbon capture and storage (CCS). So good news for the economy.


Couple of other memorable phrases were ‘climate roadkill and green window-dressing – over 126 countries have net-zero pledges but Mark warns of worthy statements followed by futile gestures. The same applies to business. Societies will no longer settle for businesses that preach green but don’t manage their carbon footprint.


I felt fairly positive after listening, which I think is important to reflect upon. To shift the system requires huge investments from business + governments. And the more society increasingly values sustainability there will be growth in sustainable technology and products, much like the boom in meat-free food items. That’s why just because Ecover is now owned by the behemoth that is Unilever, doesn’t necessarily mean we should stop buying – if Unilever see the demand for eco-products they will continue to invest in more sustainable products across its portfolio.


I recommend a listen – the above is just a flavour.


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