Why 2021 has to be the year for the climate

Why 2021 has to be the year for the climate


We cannot afford to see the climate take a backseat again.

For many of us, we celebrated the end of 2020 with a hope that 2021 and the future would bring better fortune, with relief from the COVID-19 pandemic and a glimmer of optimism left for the future of our planet and climate change. It comes with little surprise that as 2020 came to a close, so did the hottest recorded decade. We can expect the future to be hotter, with increased unpredictable and extreme weather events – although the gravity of this situation will be influenced through humans directed through the choices which governments, businesses and individuals make.

2020 was declared a “super year for nature”, with several global climate conferences set prior to COVID-19 to protect biodiversity and slow climate change. There are no doubts that COVID-19 took priority as the ‘big issue’ for 2020 but climate impacts were still felt across the globe: from the arctic ice failing to freeze and reaching the low point in October 2020, extreme record-breaking wildfires, and deadly floods hitting across the globe from Italy to Indonesia.

Recovery packages rolled out by governments and businesses to recover and respond to impacts of COVID-19 will be decisive to the trajectory of emissions – and climate change, short and longer-term. In short, a similar concerted global response needs to be replicated for the fight against the climate crisis.

There is no vaccine nor no single fix for the climate.

Real change however can be fostered through increased technology & technological innovations, transformations of economy & society, reducing carbon emissions and dependency on resources including fossil fuels.

“We need to move to a more sustainable relationship with the natural world”, Jade Goodall, English primatologist and anthropologist.

The Timber Trade Federation’s Conversations about Climate Change design project provides a platform for urgent climate debates. Many policy makers recognise that “forests were going to play a major part in those talks [COP26], and they were going to be looking at ways in which, and financial mechanisms in which, we could keep those tropical forests standing”.

This design project manifesting into an exhibition held at the Building Centre with a wider online / virtual presence, presents the ability to foster wider climate conversations, exploring issues including: responsible sourcing, sustainable forest management, carbon storage, the EU (and now UK adopted) Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan and the timber industry for a low-carbon economy.

For 2021, the health of our planet and the future, we cannot afford to see the climate take a backseat again. Progress and conversations must continue with the crucial climate conference of COP26 in November 2021 – a forum for increasing carbon cutting ambitions and solidarity. The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us of global interconnections,  our vulnerabilities and the unprecedented ability of our world to act or react in ways we cannot control.

More information on the Timber Trade Federation’s Conversation’s about Climate Change Exhibition will be coming shortly.