One of the most dangerous newspaper headlines you’ll ever see – “Climate change is a lose-lose affair”Friday, December 12th, 2008
This blog exists because of my belief that a vigorous response to the climate change challenge provides a win-win situation, not a lose – lose. Yet Fairfax Digital’s Independent Weekly has just come out with this headline “Climate change is a lose-lose affair”.
This sort of headline is very dangerous because it promotes fearful thinking, and fearful thinking will not get us out of the economic crisis and neither will it solve climate change.
Let me give just one example of how a vigorous response to the climate change challenge provides a double win. From a manufacturing company which uses a LOT of energy. Supposedly a company that would be a big loser from climate change. But not just any manufacturing company, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies. Big company. Uses a lot of energy. Surely acting on climate change is a bad thing for this company?
But no, in actual fact responding vigorously to the climate change challenge has yielded multiple WINS for this company.
Over the last three years its Australian manufacturing plant has reduced direct carbon emissions per widget manufactured by a staggering 30%. WIN = big savings on its energy bills.
One of its widgets is synonymous with “green,” is the most energy efficient on the market, and there is a waiting list to buy it. WIN = growth in market share.
Its environmental credentials attract some the best and brightest in the industry to work for it. WIN = people are the key success factor in any business.
The company of course is Toyota Motor Corporation, and the widgets referred to above are cars. Andreas Kammel, Environmental Policy Manager of Toyota in Australia recently said to me “there are strong business opportunities on the back of climate change, climate change does not have to be something that is difficult even for an energy intense manufacturer such as ourselves.”
The Toyota sustainability report can be found at http://toyota.republicast.com/sr2008/republicast.asp?page=1&layout=1&control=yes&zoom=100
Cars are a major source of greenhouse gas pollution, and I’m certainly not saying you should ditch your bicycle for a Prius. But I would not be surprised if Toyota is one of the first manufacturers to come out with a mass produced zero emissions vehicle. For Toyota, acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is good for the company and less harmful to the environment. It’s a WIN-WIN not a lose-lose.
We are in a time of economic crisis, and moving into a period of great environmental crisis. The last thing we need is the poverty of thought promoted by media with negative headlines.