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Climate Change: How Consumers and Businesses Can Make a Difference

This online discussion looked at how consumer behaviour can make a difference to climate change—and how businesses can make it easier for us to live sustainably.

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Climate change is an urgent threat that will require all of us—governments, businesses and civil society—to take action. But how can consumer behaviour make a difference, and how can businesses make it easier for consumers to live more sustainably? 

The food we eat, the clothes we wear, our means of transport and even the things we buy to furnish our homes and provide entertainment add to our carbon footprints. By consuming products less reliant on fossil fuels, we can help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving us towards climate catastrophe. But who must lead the change required to ensure that more sustainable products are cheaper, more widely available and easier to buy? Consumers or businesses, or even governments? And how can we transition to a more waste-free, circular economy?

We brought together a panel of experts to address these questions at this online event, including: 

  • Rajiv Joshi: Economist; business leader; Founder and CEO of Bridging Ventures; Founding MD of The B Team; and Special Advisor to Mission 2020, convened by former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres
  • William Higham: Consumer futurist, CEO of strategic consultancy Next Big Thing, and author of The Next Big Thing: Spotting and Forecasting Consumer Trends
  • Katie Treggiden: Journalist, author and podcaster championing a circular approach to craft and design, and author of Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure
  • Veronica Bates Kassatly: Independent analyst in sustainable apparel; previously a financial analyst and economist at the World Bank; author of The Great Green Washing Machine
  • Professor Peter Wadhams: Emeritus Professor of Ocean Physics and Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, and Chair of the Science Committee for the Extreme E electric racing championship
  • Angela Saini (Chair): Award-winning science journalist, broadcaster, and author of three books including Superior: The Return of Race Science

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