Guardian editors focusing on climate change
Climate change is a topic that reaches every corner of the world. For some people, it may be an early spring, for some, it may be a hotter summer and for some, it may mean floods in autumn.
In the past few months, Guardian editors have covered stories ranging from the record-breaking European heatwave, where temperatures of over 45C were recorded in France for the first time, a heatwave and drought in India, where thousands abandoned their homes, and the unprecedented Arctic wildfires that could be seen from space.
On Sep. 1, last year, Guardian published an interview from Stockholm with a 15-year-old who just two weeks earlier, after Sweden’s hottest ever summer, had gone on strike from school in protest at the lack of action by politicians on the climate crisis.
Climate can also lie at the root of other stories. Failed harvests and rising food prices can often be the final straw that triggers political upheaval, in recent years notably the Arab spring, but we are now seeing in real time how the climate emergency is affecting migration patterns. “I have to find a way to travel north, or else my children will suffer even more,” subsistence farmer Esteban Gutiérrez told reporter Nina Lakhani.
Business and economics are right at the centre of the climate emergency. Companies are among the biggest polluters in the world, from giant fossil fuel companies to agricultural and food businesses, retailers, airlines and car manufacturers.
Writing in the Guardian earlier this year, the governors of the Bank of England and Bank of France – Mark Carney and François Villeroy de Galhau, underlined the importance of change. “If some companies and industries fail to adjust to this new world, they will fail to exist,” they said.
In light of this, many companies are making changes. For example, Nestle and L’Oreal have committed to reducing their carbon emissions to zero.
Most corporate bosses know they have to make changes. But progress is nowhere near fast enough.
Fashion and food are also not far behind in adding to a “climate emergency.” For example, as Tim Lusher, editor of Feast says, “Look at the deforestation of the Amazon to provide grazing for cattle and soy to feed it. But wherever cows are raised, they generate atmosphere-heating methane. As the global human population grows, it’s clear that we need to think about how to feed it, how to use land and what impact our choices have. Meat eating and animal farming have seized the headlines and the public’s focus. There are many reasons why veganism is growing fast.”
“It’s important to talk about all this but what people eat is always going to be a highly personal decision. In many countries where we have the luxury of food options, we are in anxious, uncertain, divided times. Food is joyful. It brings people together – families, friends, communities and strangers – and reminds us both of our uniqueness and of what we have in common. It’s also a time when it’s difficult to know who to believe and to trust. I hope people can be sure of the Guardian,” he concluded.