For this inaugural issue of Solutions 2020, we have partnered with contributors from a diversity of sectors and organizations to present some of the most creative solutions to inspire sustainability action around the world. Two articles highlight the urgent need to improve sustainability capacity, commitment, and outcomes in the fossil fuel industry – one focused on the state of carbon capture technologies and one focused on the overall innovation opportunities being pursued by oil and gas companies worldwide. We also draw close attention to banking and finance with an article about the ways sustainability is deeply embedded at Bank of the West and an article that generally reviews Larry Fink’s recent publication of a call for climate, sustainability, and equity key performance indicators (KPIs) across the banking and finance sector.
These approaches are sorely needed. We faced a devastating 2019, filled with extreme temperatures, flooding, and fires that continue to rage most notably in Australia but also around the world. Some of the highest estimates place the loss of animals in the Australian bushfires at 1.5 billion, a nearly incomprehensible statistic that shudders the heart . It can be overwhelming to consider the scale and complexity of the solutions we need to address such widespread suffering.
In spite of the desperate need for systemic and coordinated change, many struggle with where to begin and which interventions to prioritize. The challenge of evolving our policies, institutions, and places to support shared prosperity on a healthy planet is considerable, but it can be done. Several articles in this issue highlight the ways diversity, equity, and inclusion impact sustainability outcomes; Indigeneity, religious pluralism, and the North-South divide operate to structure access to the best knowledge, services, and technologies. These contributors remind us that interventions are needed at all levels of our cultural and ecological systems, and significant efforts need to be made to devise strategies that work in cash-strapped, marginalized places and to include more diverse voices and perspectives in all places.
Global coverage of the climate crisis can leave us discouraged and overwhelmed, but there is certainly room for optimism in 2020. As our Editorial Board member Gus Speth writes in his editorial, there are many signs that at so many levels, the tide is turning. Movements are activated and spreading convincing messages, local governments are innovating in exciting ways that are improving the health and prosperity of their residents, international policy mechanisms are providing clearer guidelines, and subject experts around the world are tireless in their efforts to clarify the metrics and measures needed to chart a course for accelerated action. We are part of this movement, and I know you and I and our wonderful Solutions community will not give up our efforts to search out and amplify the best practices and cutting edge pathways required to build a sustainable and desirable future.
In deepest solidarity,