Agreements must be respected, this is the meaning of one of the most famous Latin phrases. What might it mean today in the context of the climate crisis? There is one unwritten pact that we must all respect above all else, without hesitation. The covenant for the future. The covenant that each generation must hand over the planet to the next in good condition. The climate crisis means that this pact has been broken and we are in a situation of real environmental emergency. The subject has been talked about for a long time, but only recently has it begun to be taken seriously, after having been, unbelievably, marginalised. We must prevent the planet from becoming an unlivable place in the space of a few years, with excessively high temperatures, devastating phenomena of extreme weather, serious health consequences, worsening economic scenarios, continental or global food crises …. The economic model that got us into this serious situation has in fact failed and we need to rebuild it: the model was not sustainable, even if it claimed to be. We will need the seriousness of science, ambition, coordination, global cooperation as never before. The fight against climate change is therefore becoming the main challenge for the inhabitants of the planet: the issue is complex and is linked to other enormous problems that are tending to worsen, such as the pollution of the air, land and sea, the loss of biodiversity, deforestation and other global risks. There will be much to do, but also much to stop doing. The change must be radical and epochal.
So let us write this pact, as the Latins also used to say “Verba volant, scripta manent”.
I am writing it today on this website, but we should repeat it in every forum, before every economic meeting, at whatever level. Government meetings should start with a report by a climate scientist, as should meetings of startups and businesses. Schools will have to lead the change and universities adapt to the challenge.
“From now on we will do everything we can to avoid climate catastrophe, this pact must be respected. We cannot fail. Now we can start our meeting by talking about climate action …”
How do we want to be remembered in history? I don’t want to be remembered as someone who broke the pact and left a planet uninhabitable. And you ?