September 2020 was the hottest month ever recorded. Millions of acres in California have been scorched by devasting wildfires producing the region’s first ever ‘’gigafire’’. In Siberia, land normally covered in snow has instead hosted uncontrollable fires that spew carbon emissions into the atmosphere, adding to the still climbing toll of pollutants produced by human activity.
Many scientists believe it is already too late to avert a global disaster. But the Covid pandemic has shown us how society can rapidly change and adapt to new realities. Pollution levels plummeted during lockdown. Efforts to build more sustainable and green economies have been accelerated. When we emerge from the pandemic, will it have taught us how to solve climate change?
Associate Professor in Public Law, University of Cape Town
Richard Calland has thirty years of experience in law, politics and sustainability. He practiced law at the bar for seven years before moving to South Africa in 1994 to work on the country’s founding democratic election. He is now based at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as an Associate Professor in Public Law.
Richard is a Fellow of the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and has advised a large number of organizations including the World Bank.He Is a prominent political analyst, and a columnist. His latest book – Leadership and Crisis: Lessons from South Africa’s Post-1994 Presidents – is due to be published in 2021. Earlier books includeAnatomy of South Africa: (2006), The Zuma Years (2012) and Make or Break: How the next three years will shape South Africa’s next three decades (2016).
Director of Cambridge Zero, University of Cambridge
Dr Emily Shuckburgh is Director of Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge and Reader in Environmental Data Science at the Department of Computer Science and Technology.
She is a mathematician and climate scientist and a Fellow of Darwin College, a Fellow of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy and a Fellow of the British Antarctic Survey.
Strategy & Sustainability Advisor, Systems Thinker, Natural Scientist
Dr Gary Kendall has been working at the intersection of business strategy and systemic risk for more than a decade.
Prior to joining Nedbank in November 2013, he was Deputy Director at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) in Cape Town for 3 years, helping business leaders in Southern Africa to understand the mounting system pressures that will reshape their operating context.
Gary previously served as Executive Director at SustainAbility, a hybrid think-tank and strategy consultancy based in London, where he advised numerous blue-chip organisations – including Ford, Shell, Nestlé, Novo Nordisk, Anglo American, A.P. Moller-Maersk and Sasol – on how to strengthen their business strategies with enhanced systems intelligence.
His career in sustainable development began when he joined WWF International’s Climate & Energy team in 2006, which followed 9 years in the downstream oil industry with ExxonMobil, spanning diverse roles from technical services to sales, marketing and business development.