SW News 13
Flip the narrative
Flip the narrative
In SustainabilityWorks, a dominant theme across our work is the need to flip the narrative on climate action from negative to positive, from crisis to opportunity. This doesn’t mean ignoring the reality of what's happening or avoiding tough decisions or difficult conversations. But it does mean, where possible, framing things in a positive way to inspire optimism and a ‘can do’ attitude that mobilises people to take action.
We recently published a paper on a simple solution that we believe can help shift the narrative on individual climate action away from negative messages around ‘doing less bad’ (less flying, less red meat, less consumption) to a positive focus on ‘doing more good.’ The idea is to develop a citizen green bond for Ireland that allows people to invest in the country's decarbonisation journey.
When it comes to the narrative from business, much of it is still focused on reductions and efficiencies. This is an important part of the sustainability journey, but if you want to bring everyone with you – employees, customers, suppliers, communities – you’ve got to go beyond this and paint a picture of how life will be immeasurably better, fairer, happier, and healthier when you achieve the goals that you’ve set out. There are a growing number of organisations doing this well, such as Tony’s Chocoloney, Interface, the City of Amsterdam, and the World Economic Forum.
With Ireland’s new Climate Bill setting hugely challenging decarbonisation targets, the government is inviting everyone to participate in a climate conversation as part of the development of the 2021 Climate Action Plan. We hope that through this, a powerful, positive story will emerge for what a sustainable Ireland could look like, one in which all of us – citizens, business owners, farmers, politicians – become the heroes in the story where the people save the planet.