Ask an Expert with Jessy Tolkan and Jessie Macneil-Brown

How can we build a climate movement when people can’t meet in person?

Jessy Tolkan from Purpose Climate Lab and Jessie Macneil-Brown from Ingka Group’s Campaign Unit joined our Liz McKeon, head of the climate action portfolio, to talk about creatively overcoming the challenges facing climate campaigners today for this Ask an Expert session.

23 April 2020

During the event, we had some questions that we didn’t have time to answer. Jessie Macneil-Brown from Ingka Group kindly took the time to answer them afterwards.

Q: What are some ways in which climate change policies and frameworks can be implemented during the pandemic?

A: With most governments offering stimulus packages in response to the Covid 19 crisis, we are presented with an immediate opportunity to use the money to drive a shift away from the grey to the green economy. We can invest in the future and not the past. We can build back better by reviving economies through a clean, green transition and deliver future orientated jobs and more resilience at the same time. Recovery packages can go beyond “economic crisis support” and focus on being in line with 1.5 degree Paris Target and the Sustainable Development Goals. We have the opportunity to support sustainable sectors and projects, end fossil subsidies and find ways to include pollution into the costs. Let’s build back better to deliver jobs and revive economies through a clean, green and just transition.  Governments can invest in zero carbon solutions such as green energy, retro fitting buildings to be more energy efficient and shortening supply chains which also reduce emissions and lower risks associated with further disruption.

Q: Is there data that can be shared with the many on the impact during lockdown to encourage continuation of small changes they have had to adapt to?

A: The data that we have at Ingka group is that  climate positive changes must be accessible and easy for everyone. While it’s great that air pollution is significantly reduced and we’re using less fossil fuels by staying at home, we need to find solutions that don’t require everyone being on lock-down. We’re confident that this crisis will change the way people work, consume and travel, which has huge potential for climate positive changes.  With the Covid-19 Crisis still evolving in many countries, our teams at the Ingka group are working to collect this data so we can share and implement in both our product offerings and ways of working.

Q: Why is it important for people to focus on Climate over other priorities?

We don’t have to focus on climate over other priorities, we can address climate and other priorities at the same time. But its important we use the opportunities we have now to invest in green solutions. We can create jobs by focusing on green energy and we have the studies to prove green investments deliver good returns, which are also needed. The deadline for lowering global warming has not moved  

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something, especially together. Businesses big and small, NGOs, governments, activists, citizens – we still have it in our own hands to turn the climate challenge into solution. Together we can change the direction of the crisis and positively impact the journey towards a more sustainable society.  

Q: Has anyone crunched the numbers on which are the key opportunities for building back better?

Both the European Commission and the G20 have recently committed to green recovery plans. In addition last week the Ikea group joined an alliance of 180 political decision makers, business leaders, trade unions, NGO’s and think tanks calling for a renewed commitment to address the social and economic impacts of the corona virus, including climate change initiatives. So, yes a lot of people and organisations have done the number crunching to prove that building back better involves climate action and a green recovery. As mentioned in previous questions, these opportunities include decarbonizing energy, travel, construction and supply chains. The Ikea group believes now more than ever, the global community must work together to rebuild the economy and to remain committed to the Paris Agreement.