‘Hope’ and climate action — we’re with Greta

By Lassi Noponen, CEO Loudspring

NASA scientists recently announced that the Earth’s average surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth highest in 140 years of record-keeping. It is the unfortunate continuation of an unmistakable warming trend.

Climate change affects living conditions on Earth and at the same time diminishes the operating conditions of practically all sectors of our economy. Climate change is no longer a future possibility but a damaging reality, today.

The insidious threat of climate change is that it is a gradual process. Our economy is not geared to threats which are not imminent. Catastrophes measured in decades require a long-term commitment. As Warren Buffet has said: “someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

In any event, no one can any more hope that ‘business-as-usual’ is an acceptable way forward. 16-year-old climate activist and founder of the student’s school strike for the climate Greta Thunberg recently told the world’s leaders in Davos that her generation doesn’t want ‘hope’ from leaders. She informed them that she wants them to `panic´.

She wants them to act like you would in a crisis. Like your house is on fire.

Greta represents a new generation, using a new kind of language to motivate change.

We aren’t calling for panic. We’re calling for action.

Solutions to curtail climate change exist, and we know what needs to be done. Politicians will have to make hard decisions but equally, the business sector plays a huge role. Investment into the deployment of climate technologies has a direct impact in halting the climate crisis.

Loudspring’s mission is to save limited natural resources. This been the mission of Loudspring for soon 15 years and for me personally soon 20 years. Loudspring invests in and develops growth companies that have the technologies the world needs to avert a climate disaster.

Loudspring companies have a direct and measurable positive impact on the environment. They save significant amounts of energy in manufacturing and real estate, two major energy consuming sectors globally. They can prevent microplastics from getting into our oceans, which is an environmental challenge that is becoming increasingly understood in the mainstream. Loudspring companies substantially increase the efficiency of our existing energy production infrastructure, facilitating the transition to renewable and low carbon energy. Our companies also lead the transition to a circular economy, with businesses operating in the online secondhand market and surplus restaurant food.

Institutions that have accumulated wealth over decades or even centuries have a pivotal role to play to secure the future of the planet, as they are better suited to understand investing in the future.

The global fossil fuel divestment movement has seen an increasing number of institutions removing investments in polluting sectors and is forecasted to amount in trillions worth of fossil fuel assets being removed from the portfolios of major funds in the coming years. This momentum is an overwhelmingly positive sign, but to divest is simply not enough.

Positive change can be accelerated by shifting those investments into companies that actively fight climate change. Institutions with a long-term view have a great opportunity to invest in environmental technology not only because it is line with their values but also because it protects their investments into all other asset classes.

The future can be a positive one, but we can’t sit back and ‘hope’ for it to materialize.

We need to act.