Huffington Post Blog
By Ben Ainslie
The world gathered in Morocco recently for COP22, the first meeting since the Paris Agreement – the first truly global and binding agreement on climate change with implications for the global economy and businesses everywhere.
I thought I had a reasonably good understanding of the environmental and global issues surrounding climate change. But after a recent visit to the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and the British Antarctic Survey with my team Land Rover BAR and some of our Partners, it has all become a lot more immediate, more frightening and obvious that the need for action is urgent.
We spent two days at the University of Cambridge for a programme of talks and meetings called Inspiring Sustainability through Partnership. It was sponsored by our Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing, co-founded by Wendy Schmidt, and delivered by CISL.
The scariest thing that resonated the most with me was the impact that climate change will have on the next generation. In the last 30 years climate change has accelerated and we have lost the equivalent of a third of the size of Europe in Arctic sea ice. The impact of this change is an infrastructure breakdown in some parts of the world, with increased conflict and migration as people are displaced in their efforts to survive; and agriculture and food supply are lost through extreme weather events, such as huge droughts or severe flooding.
We have already seen a one degree global temperature rise since pre-industrial levels. I’ve got a 3-month old daughter and if we continue to do nothing then in her lifetime she will see a further three degree global increase. It will lead to a sea level rise of almost a metre and potential loss of over 24 per cent of the mammals and half of the plant species currently on the planet.
In that scenario we can anticipate massive disruption to society as individuals and nations struggle for the resources – water, food, energy – required to survive.