Sustainability Group Meeting: Climate Change
20 September 2015 - Nick Marshall

The first meeting of the Impact Hub King’s Cross Sustainability Group was held on Thursday 3rd September. Fifteen individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds met to discuss climate change, its implications and possible solutions.

Karl Walker, a trained member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, helped set the scene with an informative and challenging presentation on the effects of global warming on the planet today. He raised the argument that “the time for debating the reality of climate change is passed”, owing to the overwhelming scientific consensus on the subject, and that now is the time for concerted action to avoid a greater than 2 degree warming scenario. A scenario above 2 degrees of warming being one which pushes humanity and ecosystems beyond their adaptive capabilities.

But Karl also emphasised the positive actions that are taking place around the world, which on their own are perhaps only marginal in their impact, but together form a powerful and meaningful example of what can be achieved through organized, collective action. These actions range from the micro (a community-built wind turbine for rural African energy) to macro (Denmark’s commitment to delivering 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050) in scale.

With the UN’s Climate Summit taking place in November of this year, individual countries are currently pledging their commitments to address climate change and, so far, 50 nations, covering 70% of global emissions, have submitted plans which do not enable us to meet the 2 degree target. Now is the time for action.

And so with this in mind, the group took to discussing ways that we can positively contribute as individuals, as a single Hub and as a global network of entrepreneurs, to become part of the change that is required to tackle the climate challenge. A number of ideas were suggested:

  • Establishing a low carbon task force within the hub network, with a champion in each hub, to share best practice on carbon management and emissions mitigation for small businesses
  • Creating a media story for news outlets outlining the commitment of start-ups to addressing the climate challenge, possibly linking to the migration issues
  • Hub network and members switching to run off 100% renewable energy
  • A campaign of personal and/or business level pledges to reducing climate impact from across the Hub network leading up to (and beyond) the Paris summit that can be aggregated to demonstrate the power of collective action

There was a recognition of the hard work required to get anything started and the limited resources at hand. But there was also a degree of commitment to make something happen. The Hub Climate Pledge idea seemed to resonate around the table with its echo of the country pledges being made for the UN summit right now. One member has a live platform that could host such a campaign.

The group will reconvene on the following dates:

30th September – to progress the Hub Climate Pledge idea and discuss the available platform for hosting it, with a view to presenting the idea at the Hub party on 1st October

14th October – meeting 2 of the Sustainability Group to be hosted by Simon Hodgkinson on the important topic of Biodiversity

See you at the next meeting!