As the world continues hurtling towards ever greater carbon emissions and the predicted disastrous outcomes of a 2+ degrees celsius (3.6 degrees fahrenheit) global warming scenario, we sometimes wonder if it is even possible to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Can we actually prevent global warming?
Can the world actually achieve Net Zero emissions?
The truth of the matter is that it is, technically, possible.
The UNFCCC and the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, believes it’s possible, and it produced a whopping 224 page report detailing how the world can do it. If you read the report, you’ll soon learn of the enormity of the task. The world is going to need new technologies to be developed, some technologies already in-development to be advanced, and old technologies (such as, of course, producing energy via fossil fuels) to be phased out.
Certain things stand out, such as the requirement that renewables power 88% of the world’s energy needs. That sounds like a big ask, but in 2020, the share of global energy generation for renewables was already 29%.
It is going to take an enormous amount of work and cross-culture and cross-border cooperation.
It will need to be a colossal, collective human effort.
And therein lies the difficulty.
At what time in human history has the world come together for the common good?
At what time in human history has the world come together for anything?
There is one example of this, and funnily enough, it happens every four years. It’s called the Olympics. It’s a highly nationalistic endeavour, and it actually has a sizeable carbon footprint, but it does bring people together to satisfy a core human desire.
Humans love to compete.
That’s why we have sports. It’s just a basic human thing we do (alongside blinking. And watching Netflix).
Politicians, generally, aren’t very good at sports. So the area they compete in is the GDP of their nation. Or perhaps they just compete solely against their political opposition, or perhaps they’re just utterly self-serving.
Who really knows.
So if sport is seemingly the only thing that brings people together, then perhaps, to combat global warming, what the world needs is a nationalistic competition aimed at solving climate change? A global, competitive tournament to determine which country is doing the most to combat climate change.
The World Climate Games?
Here is our somewhat idealistic, semi-satirical, but-it-might-actually-work proposal for the inauguration of a World Climate Games to help combat global warming.
Proposal for a World Climate Games
- Establish an organisation
Establish a World Climate Games organisation (we just grabbed worldclimategames.org – sounds about right)
- Funding prize
Someone very rich put up a funding prize. At least $1 billion USD, but $5 billion USD would be better. Hello, United States. Hello, Elon Musk. Hey Jeff. Bill… sup.
- Entry requirements
Rather than individuals entering to win athletic glory, companies with the most innovative emission-reduction initiatives enter to win funding glory (they also get a healthy dollop of brand exposure and new customers).
- Event format
The event format would be similar to a Shark Tank style pitch-to-investors competition. Companies pitch on stage and show off the climate-saving potential of their technology, and actual emissions reduced to date. Where possible, they bring along their equipment to demo the technology. An IPCC-nominated panel of judges do the judging, and award Green, Gold & Silver medals (you suck, Bronze). Medal winners get a big chunk of that funding money proposed in point #2, so they can further fund their ideas and expand their planet-saving efforts.
- Individual Events
Individual events should include Best Climate-Saving Transport Innovation, Best Carbon Capture Utilisation & Storage (CCUS) Innovation, Best Renewable Energy Innovation, Best Carbon Accounting Solution (we had to put that in there didn’t we), Best Clean Fuel Innovation & more. There really could be hundreds of areas to provide awards in.
- Entry fees
Small companies pay a $1,000 fee to enter, larger companies $5,000. If the event is sufficiently funded, those fees go towards carbon credits to ensure a carbon neutral event
- Government participation
Governments can also enter to compete in the arena of which country reduces their carbon emissions the most. Countries submit emission levels one year prior, and then again at the actual event to calculate progress. Thereafter every four years. The medal table shows the country that reduced emissions most at the very top of the table, and also the tally of corporate winners from their nation.
- Honorary awards
Individuals who can claim to have had a large impact on climate change will also have the opportunity to enter into an honorary category. Hi (sigh), Greta.
- Start date
Let’s choose 2025 to start. We dodge the Paris Olympics (2024) and the Men’s Soccer World Cup (2026).
Let’s host it in Switzerland. They seem to be right on top of this climate stuff. Plus they have really nice chocolate.
- Establish an organisation
So there you have it. A World Climate Games to combat global warming. A global, competitive, tournament of corporations event. It could build awareness of our climate emergency, provide funding to much-needed innovations in the climate tech space, and rally the people around our climate goals.
Maybe even the IOC could get behind it? They approve lots of stupid things (not saying this is stupid).
So… what do you think?
There have been crazier ideas to reduce climate change, surely?
Okay, well, I was kind of like, you know, just putting it out there.