“The fact remains that the Public Sector has unprecedented control over the world and everything in it” says Sir David Attenborough.
Sir David said this in 1979, 42 years ago, it also seems a long while ago now, since “The Paris Accord”, hailed as a ground-breaking step in the global approach to climate change. So forgive the brief look back to L’Accord, which is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016. The agreement's language was negotiated by representatives of 196 states at the 21st Conference of the Parties in Le Bourget, near Paris, and adopted by consensus later. In 2018, delegates to COP 24, in Katowice, Poland, adopted a comprehensive rulebook, fleshing out the operational details of the Paris Agreement.
Since then, of course, the USA’s “hokey cokie” between consecutive presidents, Trump and Biden, on whether the USA should be “in” or “out” of the agreement, has been one of the most covered issue in the press, along with Greta Thunberg’s thorough telling off of world leaders around the climate crisis at every opportunity.
Under the Paris Climate Agreement, the promise was made that “each country must determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming. No mechanism forces a country to set a specific emissions target by a specific date, but each target should go beyond previously set targets.
”The UK Government published its “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” in November 2020. This document is part of the Governments response to set out broad targets, but also to produce “a plan” as referenced in the Paris Accord. A cynic would say, just in time for the UK to host, and be president, for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow between 1 – 12 November 2021. The stated aim being to “bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework”.
The Prime Minister states in the ten-point plan “The UK was the first major economy to embrace a legal obligation to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It will establish ‘Task Force Net Zero’ to take forward this national priority,” and the ten-point plan sets out the first steps on that journey.
So, what has this to do with the public sector?
Well under point 7 of the plan around ‘Greener Buildings’ it states:
“By 2032 - Ensure that the public sector has reduced its direct emissions by 50% compared to a 2017 baseline.” That is quite a target from where we are today!
EventMAP has worked for several years now with a wide range of public sector organisations. By means of our approach, combining scientifically developed Transformative Optimisation methodologies, we can help you to meet those targets by understanding the data. Transformative Optimisation is a combined software and experiential approach, whereby you can drive efficiency within your organisation:
So here is where I come clean, and give you Sir David’s actual quote on Life of Earth in 1979:
“The fact remains that man has unprecedented control over the world and everything in it. And so, whether he likes it or not, what happens next is very largely up to him.” Sir David Attenborough, Life on Earth - 1979
But given the targets being set for the Public Sector now, it is up to the sector how it deals with the challenge ahead. This admittedly could seem insurmountable, without a clear data grounded plan to address and deliver the reductions.
So, whilst Sir David was speaking to each of us individually 42 years ago, the echo, and the resultant action, is pressing for organisations and individuals alike in 2021.
Peter Jones – Associate Director