What caught our eye - three key stories
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What caught our eye - three key stories

Transition will be harder & easier than we think; sub-optimal optimisation; new way to protect crops?

Here are three stories that we found particularly interesting this week and why. We also give our lateral thought on each one.


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The transitions will be harder and easier than we think.

There is a tendency to gloss over some of the challenges in delivering the sustainability transitions, to simplify what it is we need to do. And as a result our sustainability plans and proposals can jar with the people who actually have to deliver the change on the ground. This can be especially the case when we talk to financial professionals, who are used to balancing financial risk and opportunity, not ethics.

And this simplification can make it easy for critics to pick holes in the arguments, something we have seen a lot of recently in the UK! A recent pair of blogs from Michael Liebreich picks up on this point. In the first blog he admits that...

"... the transition will also be brutally challenging: every sector of the economy will have to switch to new technologies, consumers will have to change behaviours, new supply chains will have to be built, and all this has to happen in every major economy, in just a few decades, and at the cost of a whole generation’s savings".

Michael is brutally honest about some of the challenges, for instance in discussing renewables he admits that resilience of the electricity grid is a real issue, and that more renewables, especially as we approach 90% clean electricity generation, will make this harder to deliver. And he accepts that batteries on their own will not be enough to overcome this. There is a lot more to his blog, but you will start to get our drift. Yes, we need to talk about the solutions, but we also need to be honest about the challenges, and the costs of solving them.

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