Sorry Santa, we’re still bad
by China Water Risk 18 December, 2019
Sorry Santa, we’re still bad: We are heading for warming of 4.5°C which means you’ll be hotter and eventually homeless. So while it’s great to see Greta named Time magazine’s Person of the Year and “climate emergency” declared as the word of 2019 by the Cambridge Dictionary, let’s face it, these only happened because of how “naughty” we have been
There’s yet more bad climate stats – global emissions have increased again, ignoring the alarm bells sounded last year. Also our seas are rising faster than expected but still those at COP25 struggled to agree to a more aggressive path to curb warming. Don’t have time to read all the latest reports? Get our quick dose of “real news” on our climate future.
Companies, for one, are top of the “naughty” list. Although investors have been pushing them for more disclosure and to go green, they should do better. Indeed, research shows that more disclosure could bring more investment so why are companies not stepping up? CWR’s Ronald Leung shares key takeaways from the latest Sustainalytics and CDP reports. Surprisingly, F&B and garment sectors fare worse than mining in water stewardship!
Speaking of garments, where is sustainable fashion today? It has been another busy and noise-making year for fashion with a cascade of commitments on sustainability and Dawn McGregor (our water-risk-fashionista) took stock of the sector’s actions and promises. See why this left her on a sweet but short high.
Surely, with companies and governments falling behind (despite being shamed by Greta), it’s down to us to be “good” and make it up to Santa. This year’s Christmas celebrations seem like an appropriate place to start …enter cards and crackers: they mean well and are great fun but then again they are resource-intensive and wasteful. There are clear hidden costs and Yuanchao Xu argues that it’s time to go online and circular with our festive paper habits.
What about all things naughty and nice like Christmas puddings, gingerbread men, yule logs and mince pies. These are all yummy but surprisingly water-intensive and energy-consuming to make. You can have a 2-hour shower with the water from producing the ingredients for just one slice of chocolate yule log! More from the team’s avid baker Dharisha Mirando.
Even our pets may be in Santa’s bad books this Christmas. They are definitely cute but are pets green? CWR’s dog lover Chien Tat Low finds environmental impacts of rising pet ownership. Did you know that the water footprint of a golden retriever’s diet is 80% that of an average Chinese citizen’s diet or worse still, 87% that of a vegan’s diet? And we haven’t even started on pet clothes and accessories!
So Dear Santa, while we are sorry for making you homeless, it’s hard for us to change our wicked ways … we are unlikely to give up our pets to save the planet, but we could go on an aggressive eating and spending diet (more tips here in Woody Chan’s TEDx talk).
Happy holidays from the CWR Team!
P.S. in case we don’t make it, we are all going to have to practice deep adaptation and find you a new home!