Success at the first UNA Harrogate Climate Forum I’m so pleased to report that our very first UNA Harrogate online Climate Forum last month was a great success. Thanks again to Epic Steps for their technical support in hosting the webinar. Climate Forum is an online one-hour webinar to support one volunteer (in the “hotseat”) to determine and commit to new action to help mitigate climate change. For our very first Climate Forum, we had Ali Borhani, MD of 3Sixty Strategic Advisors in the hotseat to share his challenge relating to Global Conflict and Climate Change. Below is his reflection on his experience at Climate Forum, followed by his thoughts on the topic. And do read to the end for more information on Climate Forum. Reflections from Climate Forum “I would like to thank Climate Forum and in particular Clive Wilson for inviting me to their inaugural and 1st Hot Seat. I genuinely believe the development of such a committed, constructive and cooperative platform like Climate Forum where dialogue on unconventional and creative solutions can be put to debate, discussion and action is essential. Collaboration between UNA UK and Climate Forum is of great significance and my hope is that with the support of UNA UK some of these solutions, recommendations can make their way to policy formation, and mitigation of climate catastrophes that we are all exposed to with a collective action.” Ali Borhani, MD of 3Sixty Strategic Advisors Global Warming and the Unsung Culprit The Carbon Footprint of Conflict & The Destruction By Ali Borhani In life we all have our moments of epiphany and the encounters with a thought or an idea that we should not suppress or bypass but see, savour, behold and be bold for. I was blessed to have one of these encounters in the midst of the carnage, chaos and causalities of military interventions of late. The thought was gently nudged again to my conscious to write about and to my subconscious to act upon just after COP 21. My challenge to all of us, you myself, policy makers, governments, and representatives, NGOs, students and academia and businesses can be summed up in the following short summary and outline: The global community is dealing with a silent termite, which is at the center of global carbon footprint emissions, and not talked about: the ongoing and unending conflicts of choice, arbitrary military interventions that are purely offensive. During the past 18 years (almost 2 decades and counting) we have seen a growing number and trend of military interventions, which had neither the endorsement of the global community nor the blessings of UN in any shape or form. As such the challenge puts forward a clear recommendation in the following intertwined four pillars: 1. To measure the carbon footprint and CO2 emissions of these interventions through the entire value chain: a. Deployment & mobilization phase b. Operation and maintenance of forces (secondary impact) c. Demolition & destruction of all infrastructure, houses and cities d. Reconstruction of the same as a consequence 2. The challenge puts forward the argument for creating a global CO2 emissions measurement dashboard, factually and accurately simulating the entire cradle to grave impact of such interventions not only in destruction but also re-routing of commercial flight, fuel for patrolling seas for refugees and the entire cost of the war. 3. Thereafter to introduce and apply a global levy, carbon tax and monetary co-factor that could be applied to any government/s embarking on such adventures 4. The intersection of Technology (AI) + Awareness (Extinction Rebellion and Sir David Attenborough) + The Growing Challenge of Climate Change for Militaries around the World (The Inherent Assets and Expertise that can and must be put to more noble use) + Government’s Awakening (UK’s goals to be Carbon Neutral by 2030) all present a perfect timing to move beyond talk to hard calculation and simulation of the carbon cost of these conflicts. If we can together put this challenge on the agenda of COP 26 to engage a few global world leaders, governments, and leading universities and technologists to measure the impact and share of such conflicts in the total 12bn tons of CO2 emissions of the past 10 years. Perhaps the most important element in this process is the constructive engagement of armed forces around the world. To deploy their expertise and their unparalleled assets and resources in not only developing and utilizing such a tool and mechanism but to even go a step further and to create a Global Climate Change Control Force or what one would call GC3F. This could be an international cooperation, which is more coherent, more relevant, more inclusive and more vital to any country and nation than NATO or any other global alliance. For the sole reason that when a natural disaster or climate crisis arrives on borders and shores of Europe or United States, China or Russia none of these countries can tackle such a disaster, crisis and tragedy on their own single handedly. The time to act is now, as its imperative and universal. Ali Borhani is the Managing Director of 3Sixty Strategic Advisors Ltd. It is the readers’ responsibility to verify their own facts. The views and opinions expressed in this article/commentary are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other individual, agency, organization, employer or company. Feedback from the first forum I really enjoyed the first of many Climate Forums hosted by UNA Harrogate and Epic Steps. It was a fantastic opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals on the most pressing issue of our time, climate change. I was particularly grateful for Ali’s input, as I hadn’t previously considered how conflict settings expedite and contribute to climate change. Anneka Patel, UNA (UK) Thank you for an inspiring session today. What you are doing is so important for humanity and the planet. Phil Clothier, Barrett Values Centre The next Climate Forum will be on 27 September 2019 If, like many others around the world, you are keen to create a world fit for future generations, there will be opportunity to join us online for our next free action-focused one-hour webinar, on 27 September between 1400h and 1500h BST. Joining instructions will be announced in a future article. But do feel free to register your interest by posting a comment to this article. If you have a challenge associated with Climate Change, please do let us know. The topic for September has not yet been selected. Purpose The aim of Climate Forum in general is to help one of the attendees to gain clarity on an action they wish to take to mitigate climate change. If you have such a challenge, contact us to be in the hotseat in a future forum. Facilitator Climate Forum is facilitated by Clive Wilson, author of "Designing the Purposeful World – the Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint for humanity" and "Designing the Purposeful Organization – how to inspire business performance beyond boundaries". Method Clive will ask the person in the hot-seat to briefly describe their challenge and then invite the other attendees to offer in their single most powerful question or comment. This is a technique Clive has used for over ten years and proves to be an effective way to inspire action from people who are keen to make a difference. After the commitment to action, the learning of all attendees will be shared. Book early to avoid disappointment In view of the interactive nature of the webinar, places are limited so, for future forums, remember to book early. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Acknowledgements Climate Forum is offered free of charge in collaboration with: Epic Steps Careers+ and Epic Steps CIC http://www.epicsteps.co.uk/ who bring leadership, careers and sustainability together; and The United Nations Association (UNA) through its Harrogate Branch (chaired by Clive Wilson) https://www.una.org.uk/branch/una-harrogate In addition to the online version, Climate Forum can be held at your organisation's premises with a face-to-face audience of like-minded people of your choosing (internal or external). If this is of interest, please let us know.
Clive Wilson, UNA Harrogate