On November 21st in Bristol, Iona Capital’s Richard Barker gave the key-note address at a Climate Reality event, organised by Marvin Rees, the City’s Mayor. The event, at which more than 160 people working within Bristol’s private, public and third sectors attended. It was held to mark Climate Reality’s 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action, a global initiative that saw 1,750 presentations in 80 countries on the urgent steps needed to fight the perils of climate change.
As well as being an adviser to Iona Capital and a member of Iona’s Investment Committee, Richard Barker is one of a handful of UK members of the Climate Reality movement, which is spearheaded by Al Gore, the former Vice-President of America. Its mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis, through action across every level of society.
Across the world we are witnessing extreme weather events – heat waves, drought, heavy rain, floods, hurricanes, and severe storms – causing loss of life, water and food shortages, human migration and a massive economic cost, which has been put at US$653 billion over the past two years alone.
Richard spoke about the steps that are already being taken to address the effects of climate change – for example the switch to renewable sources of energy (especially wind and solar) and the increasing take-up of electric vehicles. He also highlighted the climate change/Net Zero commitments made by governments (and cities like Bristol) and international corporates; over 190 global companies have made a commitment to go 100% renewable.
Richard’s presentation focused on the crisis that is facing us today, rather than offer the audience any particular solutions but he left the audience in no doubt that actions, rather than words, were needed – and fast.
Arup, Bristol Energy Network, Hargreaves Lansdown, Skanska, Wessex Water were among the companies at the event, as were the Environment Agency, Bristol University, the University of the West of England and Extinction Rebellion.
Bristol Council’s Sustainable City team will be using the feedback from the event (which included a workshop involving all attendees) to help inform the City’s emerging Climate Change strategy; this is expected to be published in the first quarter of next year.
If you would like to hear more from Richard about the risks of climate change or the work of the Climate Reality organisation, please contact him via [email protected]