Horizons Newsletter – week 38 // 2021
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
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Irreversible climate change calls for action
The latest report of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) marks the definitive rhetorical shift from preventing climate change to limiting climate change. Instead of the usual narrative that sufficient climate action could still limit global warming to acceptable levels, this new narrative tells us that climate change will be disastrous, no matter what we do. Nevertheless, we still can and should prevent matters from getting worse. Looking back, we have to acknowledge that the mere threat of climate change was not sufficient to persuade the world to take concrete and direct measures beyond the long-term goals that have defined climate agreements thus far. This year, we are being confronted with visible and undeniable climate change in the form of extreme droughts, floods and wildfires. Looking ahead, we can only hope that this confrontation will finally result in the institutional and behavioral change that is needed to limit further harm.
Broaden your horizon?
In this section we share content that may be of interest to you:I
- Wired gives a good explanation why it is so hard to predict where the COVID-19 pandemic is headed next. Since human behavior has changed along with the virus and the public health measures, modelling its course has become more difficult.
- In the digital era, dead malls are becoming a symbol of the past of brick-and-mortar stores. But even if society moved past the need for malls, it hasn’t moved past the need for community. Malls were places where people could just congregate and socialize freely. With their demise we lose that community aspect as well.
- In a recent speech, Benoît Coeuré, a senior official at the Bank for International Settlements, told central banks to start developing their own e-currencies or risk being overtaken by a world going digital.
Consumers take climate action
While governments and institutions have an important role to play in climate actions, consumers too can take action. Concepts such as minimalism or zero waste give practical tips to reduce consumerism. A February 2021 study from Statista among U.S., U.K. and German consumers (see graph) found that half of German and British and a third of U.S. consumers think that their daily behavior can influence environmental problems. Indeed, consumers – the younger generations in particular – are increasingly avoiding excess packaging, focusing on local produce, favoring animal rights, and choosing for products made of recycled materials (e.g. clothes). Beside looking at their own behavior, the growing number of climate litigation cases shows that citizens are taking their governments to court to speed up climate action, instead of waiting for traditional consensus-based legislation. With their actions (both in consumption and in court) consumers are both directly and indirectly (e.g. by lowering stock prices of grey companies) stimulating a shift to a more sustainable world.