“Cut emissions can be win-win”: it is with these words that the British Ambassador in Italy Jill Morris opened the meeting – the first of the year 2020 – with the Community of Bologna Business School, dedicated to the theme of climate change, entitled “Sustainability and Clean Growth: the UK Strategy”.
With the approval, in May 2019, of the Labor motion promoted by Jeremy Corbin, Great Britain was the first country in the world to proclaim the climate emergency, accelerating the green turn that began twenty years ago with the push for decarbonization and continued in the following years at a fast pace.
A commitment carried out by all governments, said Ambassador Morris, and supported by the strong push of a public opinion strongly oriented towards considering the climate emergency as a priority in the public and private interest. A turning point that did not, however, represent a limit to growth and economic development: the British green agenda would seem to have managed to combine the fight against air pollution and industrial impulse, with the creation of new jobs. But where did you start?
The list of concrete acts is quite long and rests on some cornerstones, such as the 2008 Climate Change Act, in which the United Kingdom set the world’s first legally binding long-term emission reduction target; the £ 20 billion invested in clean energy since 2010; the construction of the largest offshore wind farm in the world and the allocation of 1.5 billion pounds to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles by 2021.
A wide-ranging action, which also involves Italy, recalls Ambassador Morris, with the imminent cooperation between the two countries at COP26, the United Nations conference on climate change. The UK-Italy partnership on COP26 will put climate change and environmental protection at the center of the multilateral agenda, with a year of planned events culminating in a summit in Glasgow, where 30,000 delegates from all over the world, including climate experts, entrepreneurs and citizens will meet to agree ambitious actions to tackle climate change.
Among the priority themes of the COP26 agenda, there will also be those related to investments towards green corporate conversion, channeling international funding towards low-carb conversion and encouraging companies to give priority to accreditations on environmental sustainability, also favoring new ones investments and capital flows.
A complex path, which – Jill Morris recalls – can not only be brought down from above: the responsibility for the green change lies with governments as well as with individual citizens, with far-reaching corporate policies and with the small daily actions of all of us.
Only the convergence between a sense of private and public responsibility can lead to a real global change, favoring international policies and strengthening the leading role of the countries ahead – even technologically – in the fight against climate change.