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500 words on… Why I’m inspired to fight for our planet

By Nigel Robinson

So, I was inspired recently by the exploits of Messrs Branson and Bezos in their successful forays to the edge of space. These were truly inspired projects and amazing feats of engineering that will expand our knowledge and present opportunities for us to extend human existence beyond our planet. And if we don’t take care of our planet – we may well need this capability!

In November this year, the world’s leaders will come together at the climate change conference in Glasgow, UK known as COP26: And this important meeting could not come at a more important time. Ice sheets are melting at alarming rates, floods are devastating communities around the world, heat records are being broken and wildfires are destroying forests, devastating ecosystems, and releasing yet more harmful carbon into the atmosphere – all related to human-induced climate change.

If we don’t commit to something inspirational to reduce the amount of CO2 and other harmful gases that we negligently release, we will lose the opportunity to reverse this alarming trend – the window will close – and we will be on a trajectory where the stability of our society and the survival of life on earth might be in jeopardy. I implore you to read the speech given recently by John Kerry at Chatham House which clearly articulates the need for change – the risks in not doing so and also the opportunities presented for business by doing the right thing, now.

As Richard Branson said after his flight into space – “imagine what you can do.” Here at Perpetual, we help senior executives to set audacious goals for their businesses and to hunt them down via their people. It takes big ideas and inspiration to achieve extraordinary outcomes – and yet in practice, it also takes the efforts of everyone in the tribe to bring those ideas to life. Only when these two powers are in unison are dreams brought into reality.

So, as we approach COP26, I urge you to think about what you can do personally to help solve this climate challenge both putting pressure on politicians to do the right thing at the strategic level and to make small but meaningful changes to your lifestyle that when aggregated across society will make a significant difference. Because, although space exploration continues to inspire us – having a safe and stable planet to come back to is perhaps the most important thing. Our kids will thank us for it.