By Asitha Jayawardena
How should we change climate reporting delivered in the media?
The answer to this question is given by Peter McKillop, previously Managing Director at BlackRock and now founder and CEO of Climate & Capital Media.
Climate & Capital Media connects investors and entrepreneurs working on global warming solutions. Their Global News Service develops engaging profiles that deliver investments and leadership insights into the fast-growing community of businesses addressing global warming, and building a more sustainable global economy.
The following extracts are delivered of One-on-One on Climate Action News with him. It is interviewed by Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson, We Don’t Have Time. The interview is premiered on 28 April 2021.
What is your greatest fear in terms of climate change?
My greatest fear is kind of inaction, and the inability of countries and people to recognise the issue and begin to act on it. I’m fearful that if we get to 2030, and we see the kind of stalling and talking that we’ve seen up until 2020. We are going to be hopeless at that point. So, to me, it’s both optimistic and fearful, I’m super optimistic, that won’t happen.
But there’s an awful lot of centrifugal forces at work that would make it easy for major industries like banking and fossil fuels to continue to act without a sense of urgency.
We’re now in a pandemic. What are the learnings of this pandemic when it comes to climate?
First of all, it was the recognition of a global problem, rather than a regional or country problem. But we at least recognise it has to be a global solution. You just can’t have a pandemic in Africa and move somewhere else. That’s one.
The second is the speed to action once things started, Now, of course, they’re going to be mistaken, but the way we were able to move on a vaccine is very good.
But another big lesson is pandemic and climate are very different, there is not going to be a vaccine for the climate. So, in that way, the climate is much more, it’s a much more severe issue and problem because we won’t be able like we have historically been able to win a war or provide a vaccine. So, to me, that’s both the good and the bad of what we’ve learned from the pandemic.
The viewers have seen the drawing of the little hump. That is the pandemic crisis. Then comes the bigger, huge crisis of climate failure if we fail to act. So, you are very passionate about climate action. Where does it come from?
I think it comes from the fact that I was a little kid growing up in Washington, DC and went to the first Earth Day. At that time, in the late 60s and early 70s, parents, kids and everyone started to get very involved. So, to me, that’s where it all started.
I then worked for Greenpeace when I was throughout college. That passion has always been there. But it accelerated after working at BlackRock on some of their ESG funds. I began to understand and recognise the severity of the climate.
So that’s the reason I decided that it was my time to just devote the rest of my life to kind of helping solve it. And the best way I could do that is what I do best, which is kind of journalism and understand the financial systems.
So, tell us about Climate and Capital Media.
It’s a new kind of media news operation. What we started about a year; it all came to life. It grew during the pandemic because we were able to use technologies like we’re using today. And we now have a kind of global team.
The group in the team focuses on really three themes: financial, economic, and social themes. The people who are driving the change, and the companies that are driving the change. And we try to look at what we call the emergence of a new climate economy. And to us, that is only a subset of the emergence of a new climate age. But within that climate economy, there’s going to be such unprecedented change. We want to be able to capture and chronicle that.
So, while we’re more solutions-focused, we’re going to dip into the kind of the nutty, the nitty-gritty of challenges. But that’s what we’re trying to do at climbing capital.
So, tell us about the response over this year from your news?
The response has been extraordinary. When you start a news organisation, you’re not expecting that people, particularly leaders, want to engage with you. They’d rather deal with the New York Times or The Financial Times or whatever.
But that’s hasn’t been the case. Leaders, readers, everyone feels that they’re taking their time to meet and talk with us. And I think, we’re seeing a good growing readership. And they want to talk about how they are doing their best to accelerate around some of the big opportunities that you have in climate.
Recently, Sky News launched the news that they’re actually doing climate news regularly. What do you say about this?
Well, I think it’s happening everywhere. When we started about a year and a half ago, almost no one was focused on the business in the finance of climate.
Our goal at climbing capital is not to compete with those massive organisations like the Financial Times, or the New York Times, but to put the climate of discussion within into context. What are the big themes that have been talked about for that week?
Where do you primarily your readers come from?
The readers, interestingly enough, are mostly in the United States. Then we have a growing readership in Australia, India, and a little bit in Europe at this point. Australia is a really interesting country is in many ways at the fulcrum of where countries need to go as the largest exporter of oil, coal and LNG. So, Australia is an interesting country to be able to follow up.
Climate Action News: One-on-one with Peter McKillop
We don’t have time https://wedonthavetime.org