The One Young World London Caucus took place in the British Museum on Thursday 21st October in partnership with BP. The caucus welcomed 150 people for a cross-sector collaboration to drive climate action in the lead up to COP26. This was the first in-person Caucus in over a year and a half.
The MC for the evening was Rishi Dorai, ESG Director, Strategy & Sustainability at bp and Coordinating Ambassador UK & Ireland at One Young World. The aim of the Caucus was to bring together experts from the energy, shipping, construction, finance and consulting industries to have meaningful dialogue and share solutions.
Will Day, Fellow at University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Sustainability Advisor for PwC UK, delivered a powerful keynote speech on the fundamental shifts that are needed as “we want to be on the right side of history”. The big polluting companies need changing. “We are locked into the old fashioned expectation” of having unlimited resources with an infinite planet while striving for continued growth in our economy. A circular economy approach must be adapted to achieve sustainable growth and a sustainable planet. Social justice was highlighted as a very strong reason for the climate crisis. Will remarked “you can’t solve the climate crisis without social justice” and that “it is not good to make a distinction between… climate crisis and social crisis issues.”
Governments were able to create an unprecedented turn around during the pandemic, so why can we not have that urgency for the climate crisis. Governments need to “focus on the big stuff”.
Kate Robertson, One Young World Co-Founder
Nikki-Grady Smith, SVP city & corporate integrated solutions at bp spoke of partnerships being the key to drivers of change, saying “partnerships accelerate progress”. In February 2020, BP announced a new strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier. They have engaged with 70 cities and 300 companies to sign their net zero emissions pledge. BP is in a transition period as they pivot to an integrated energy company and want to be the drivers of change.
“We need you to set examples so others can follow”
“The solution lies in partnership”
Nikki-Grady Smith, SVP city & corporate integrated solutions at bp
The panel talk was moderated by Wen-Yu Weng, Strategist in FTI Consulting’s Global Energy Transition Practice posed spoke to:
Hannah Vickers, Chief of Staff, Mace Group,
Matt Stone, Partner, McKinsey & Company,
Vijay Peruri, Director, Capital Markets & Treasury, Brookfield Renewable
Thomas Bond, Business Advisor, Chief Executive Office, bp.
Key takeaways from the panel talk were:
- Vijay spoke on the growth in the renewable power sector doubling each year causing “huge challenges”. Although, these are exciting challenges for the future.
- Matt referenced the innovative technologies in shipping. Pointing out that net carbon shipping is needed in the next three to four years to solve the whole energy supply system and not exclusively for shipping.
- Hannah addressed the challenge of decarbonising housing. She highlighted the politics that lie within. These are long term challenges but in political terms only short term solutions are being implemented. She remarked on the challenge of “such a task in engaging people into the energy sector”.
- Thomas reiterated the need for aims and timelines to achieve climate targets.
Matt Stone left the caucus of young leaders with some powerful words “Never lose sight of the north star you are trying to achieve”.