Source The climate 25
“There are many companies now that would tell you that climate change is directly impacting the bottom line.”
As Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, Paul Polman understands what he calls “the cost of inaction” when it comes to climate change. So while it’s difficult to attribute any particular weather event to climate change, Polman says the impacts of climate change are being felt around the world. And with those impacts comes volatility that affects everything from Unilever’s employees to the price of products for consumers to, ultimately, “the bottom line.”
Concerns like these led Polman in 2010 to create Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to cut by half the environmental impact of Unilever products by 2020, and works in partnerships to address deforestation and sustainable agriculture as well as universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.
Polman is also Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and serves on the Board of the UN Global Compact. He is also on the Board of the Global Consumer Goods Forum.
What is The Climate 25?
There are only a few issues more contentious than climate change in American political life. But while the climate change debate rages in some quarters, in others, most notably among those who study the climate, there is wide consensus. It’s for this reason that The Weather Channel has adopted a position on climate change that can generally be summed up as follows: we report the science, and the science consistently says climate change is real, humans are causing it, and we must prepare for its effects.
While the long-term effects of climate change are broadly agreed upon – an increase in extreme weather and changes to once-consistent weather patterns – the short-term effects can be difficult to pinpoint. “Was this particular storm caused or exacerbated by climate change?” is often unknowable.
All of the interview subjects of Climate 25 are speaking based on the fact that climate change is happening. Some subjects, however, infer from that fact and from specific weather and political events that have occurred, what the future might look like as the impacts from climate change become more common and more severe. In other words, some of these pieces feature opinions. We feel that the opinions expressed here are worth listening to and engaging with. They come from business and military leaders, from people who have seen firsthand the power of severe weather, and even from some perhaps-unexpected voices in American politics. We feel that the opinions featured here are from people who are both thoughtful and informed, and we hope you agree that these are people who are worth listening to.
Climate 25 is part of the The Weather Channel’s commitment to quality journalism, a commitment that has led us over the past two years to investigate everything from the lives of the homeless in Alaska in “Down and Out in Anchorage” to the dangers faced by undocumented migrants after they cross the U.S. border in the Polk Award-winning documentary “The Real Death Valley.”
These videos are also the culmination of a year-long project looking at climate change as a real-world problem that will require creative solutions from all points on the political spectrum. We hope it encourages thoughtful debate and, more importantly, action on an issue that will affect us all.
Editor in Chief