The Agenda | Vol. 41 | It’s getting hot in here


by the Global Impact Relations Network


Showing the world how impactful storytelling drives behavior

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Another year of unprecedented extreme weather and wildfires, another Climate Week just ahead of the UN General Assembly. Will this be the year global leaders meet the moment? 

In this month’s Agenda, a look at how communicators are encouraging brands to move beyond lip service on climate, incrementalism as a form of greenwashing, and how climate delayers are using the illusion of time to block meaningful climate action.

SDGs covered in this issue:

Seeking a sense of urgency

Image: The New Yorker

In comms, we do tend to love our National Days of (insert topic here), and there’s certainly no shortage of calendar days devoted to climate change. But, are we wrongly equating them with action? Does their existence create an illusion of time we don’t have? In an op-ed for the New Yorker, founder and columnist Bill McKibben explores how, as yet another Climate Week passes, well-funded climate delayers are using the illusion of time to weaken desperately-needed climate policy, and why.

It’s Climate Week Again, but the Calendar Is Running Out

Doctors prescribe emergency action on climate

Doctors have long been sounding the alarm about the devastating health consequences of a rapidly warming world. A group of them did not mince words when delivering a scathing rebuke via The Lancet to global leaders at the UN General Assembly: “The greatest threat to global public health is the continued failure of world leaders to keep the global temperature rise below 1·5°C and to restore nature.” Not coronavirus, but the failure of those in power to reduce emissions at the scale required to sustain life and food production.

The authors reject the premise that 2 degrees of warming, and all of the devastation that comes with it, is a foregone conclusion. Their prescription: Incorporate health considerations into emission reduction plans, consider the cumulative, historical contribution each country has made to emissions, and mobilize against the climate crisis with the same force and urgency they mustered for coronavirus.

Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health

Calling for climate action while funding climate denial

Image: Washington Post

As one of the most powerful companies in the world, Microsoft has an outsized impact on public policy in the U.S., and often puts its considerable brand heft behind advocating for policies that make the world a better place. For instance, getting to net zero emissions by 2030 and even erasing the company’s historical emissions by 2050. But while the company creates an enviable image of sustainability, it earmarks a considerable amount of its political donations for climate deniers. Climate newsletter HEATED analyzed Microsoft’s contributions, and questioned why it advocated for progressive policy while funding lawmakers who have sworn to sabotage it. 

Microsoft tweets concern for Ida victims while funding climate deniers in Congress

From the Impact Relations Community…


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Thanks for reading,

— Ashley Letts, Managing Editor


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