"Cover climate change comprehensively"

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“Climate change impacts everything, so cover it as if it does exactly that.” Yasir Khan Editor-in-chief Thomson Reuters Foundation

We - Kirsten & Wilmar - are live at the WebSummit covering its highlights for you (and ourselves of course). Politico has said WebSummit is “the world’s premier tech conference”, the Atlantic: Web Summit is “where the future goes to be born” and the Guardian calls it the Glastonbury for Geeks. This is our fifth time here.

Climate change is of course a huge topic and so it was at 2022's WebSummit. Whether the talks were how the Metaverse can help think through big solutions to save our world or what we can do to insulate our houses better, Climate Change was all over the place.

Climate change impact everything and everyone

80% of citizens in the US (and Europe?) are feeling the effects of climate change in their daily lives. Whether it is the holiday destination you always went to is too hot, or heatwaves that kill people, floods that flood your house, crops are failing. The sky is falling, but we can’t just flood people with stories of the sky falling every time, all the time. And the tragic thing is people who didn’t cause global warming are going to suffer the most. Climate change is one of the main reasons. That's why it should dominate the news.

Fight without the fists

Widely acclaimed journalist Ann Curry said: "I have covered war, humanitarian crises for many years now. And climate change is the worst humanitarian crisis the world has ever experienced. However I am inspired by the fight in the eyes of the new generation, people like Greta Thunberg. Because it is a fight, not with your fists, but a fight for attention."

The footprint of covering climate change

It is complicated when it comes covering climate change and carbon footprint, because when sending someone in, you're adding to that exact footprint. On the other hand, there’s nothing better than sending a journalist into the field. We always need to ask ourselves: How much of our carbon footprint do we need to actually tell the story in the right way? What is the change that covering will set in motion the change we need. And we need everyone.

A movement

Companies are moving in the right direction more and more. We started late, but there is definitely movement. Not only because it's a trendy topic, but because it's necessary, also for them, for the future of all companies. Siemens for example is putting in a train system for the whole of Egypt that will cut down carbon emissions with 70%. That purpose goes back right to the beginning of the company: Founder Werner von Siemens invented the tram because it connected people in the right way. But also very focussed foundations such as Circle Economy are important as they empower us - businesses, cities and nations - to put the circular economy into action. By helping us understand the current state of circularity, analyse and act upon opportunities and risks, and develop a vision to become circular champions in their respective fields.

So let's not only cover climate change, but act on it, in every way we can, whenever we can.

Wilmar Alex & Kirsten

This blog is based on talks at WebSummit 2022 including those starring Ruth Wright (Euronews), Yasir Khan (Editor-in-chief Thomson Reuters Foundation), Khanh Huynh-Kürzinger (Senior Vice President Siemens), Ann Curry (Emmy Award winning journalist), Raman Bhatia (CEO OVO), Ivonne Bojoh (Circle Economy Foundation)

Date 04 November 2022
Published by Wilmar Alex Tax & Kirsten Scholte

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