The global inequitable impact of climate crisis
As a company headquartered on the Florida coast, we are keenly aware of the consequences of the climate crisis, and we are committed to decreasing our environmental impact, and crucially, the impact of our customers.
The recent wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington State are just the latest example of the volatile, changing world that the scientific community predicted decades ago. Recent analysis1 found that climate change plays an unequivocal and pervasive role in increasing the intensity and length of fire conditions.
The consequences of climate change, however, go beyond the physical, intersecting with people’s lives in profound ways, resulting in significant social and economic costs. A 2017 study published by the United Nations Department of Economic & Social Affairs that outlined how “initial inequality causes the disadvantaged groups to suffer disproportionately from the adverse effects of climate change, resulting in greater subsequent inequality.”2
This year, we have witnessed firsthand the inequity of climate change, and how the impact on the most marginalized groups in our society is exacerbated when disruptions wreak havoc on people’s lives disproportionately. A 2018 study by researchers from the University of Washington and the Nature Conservancy3 found that low-income neighborhoods and immigrant communities often lack the resources to prepare for wildfires, pay for adequate insurance, or cover rebuilding costs, increasing their overall vulnerability. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has worsened conditions even further for many, increasing inequality amongst groups who were already suffering.
The need for action is immediate. As a trusted technology partner with hundreds of thousands of customers globally, spanning nearly every industry around the world, we believe our biggest opportunity is to enable greenhouse gas emissions reduction at scale. We do this by helping our customers dramatically improve their energy efficiency, resulting in a positive impact on the living conditions of people around the world. Our technology can enable economic opportunity and sustainability more broadly—a powerful and motivating combination.
1Science Brief Update 2United Nations Paper 3PLOS ONE Paper