Michele Wucker, author of best-seller, Gray Rhino, spoke at the ESG Global Leaders Summit held in Beijing August 26, focusing on “ESG Development and a New Low-Carbon Sustainable Future.” The summit was led by Sina Finance ESG channel and co-hosted by CITIC Publishing Group.
If we humans do not change, we will be trampled.
So how do we face down this gray rhino?
The climate crisis is existential, challenging every society, government, organization, and citizen on the planet to think hard about who we are and what we value most. It also raises practical, tactical questions about the steps we need to take -particularly as ESG leaders- to reduce and remove carbon emissions, and to live and work within the planet’s capacity to sustain life.
As such, let’s turn now to the practical, tactical side of our conversation. What are the concrete steps that ESG leaders can take to rise to the opportunities and challenges of climate change? How can we make the most of a new surge of interest in economic, social, and governance investing to reach net zero carbon emissions?
First, It’s important to focus on messaging and making sure key stakeholders recognize the opportunities that come from switching to a more sustainable way of doing business.
Second, Accurate and consistent reporting and standards are essential to both risk pricing and to combating greenwashing.
Third, Companies and countries need to collaborate across borders while engaging in healthy competition -a race to the top.
Just like all gray rhinos, the climate challenge brings opportunities along with danger. It creates the urgency to apply clean, renewable technologies to reducing pollution and greenhouse gases. That will create jobs, reduce future energy costs, and improve health and living conditions.
Climate change is shifting the conversation from “How much does it cost to fix this” to “How much does it cost NOT to fix this” and “How do we tap into the value proposition of fixing the problem?”
Michele Wucker is an award-wining global thought leader who draws on three decades of experience in media and non-profit management and policy development.
Michele is the author of several books, the third of which is the highly praised “THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore”, which grew out of a presentation at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland in which she coined the term “gray rhino” for highly probable, high impact crisis events.
Michele founded Gray Rhino & Company in 2015 to help leaders and organizations to identify and strategize responses to gray rhino risks that are neglected despite -and all too often because of- their size.
Michele has been recognized as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Guggenheim Fellow, among other honors. Her previous leadership positions include Vice President for Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; President of the World Policy Institute, which she re-launched in 2007 in a dramatic turnaround; and Latin America Bureau Chief at International Financing Review. She also has taught master’s students at the School for International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, of which she is an alumna. An engaging keynote speaker, moderator, panelist, and facilitator, she has delivered presentations in 16 countries on five continents. She lives in Chicago.
Michele’s speaking topics include:
- Gray Rhino-Proofing Your Future: A New Way to Think about Risk and Response
- Gray Rhinos, not Black Swans: A New Way to Think about Risk and Response
- Demographic Gray Rhinos: Robots Meet Aging and Migration
- Beyond Kicking the Can: How to Stop Muddling and Innovate