Christiana Figueres is a founder of the Global Optimism group and was head of the UN climate change convention when the Paris agreement was achieved in 2015.
Your new book is called The Future We Choose. But isn’t it too late to stop the climate crisis?
We are definitely running late. We have delayed appallingly for decades. But science tells us we are still in the nick of time.
You say this decade is the most consequential in human history…
This is the decade in which, contrary to everything humanity has experienced before, we have everything in our power. We have the capital, the technology, the policies. And we have the scientific knowledge to understand that we have to half our emissions by 2030.
So we are facing the most consequential fork in the road. If we continue as now, we are going to be irreparably going down a course of constant destruction, with much human pain and biodiversity loss. Or we can choose to go in the other direction, a path of reconstruction and regeneration, and at least diminish the negative impacts of climate change to something that is manageable.
But we can only choose it this decade. Our parents did not have this choice, because they didn’t have the capital, technologies and understanding. And for our children, it will be too late. So this is the decade and we are the generation.
Only 11 pages or so of the book describe the terrible consequences of unchecked climate change, while the rest talks about the possibility of a much better world. Why?
It’s important for everyone to face the negative consequences that we’re sleepwalking ourselves toward, which is why those 11 pages are there. But equally as important is to spark the imagination and the creativity that comes with understanding that we do have this incredible agency to create something completely different…
Read the whole interview here.