Maria J. Santos was invited to talk on the Portuguese television station RTP discussing climate change, the environmental themes at WEF 2020 and the inaurgural World Biodiversity Forum in 2020.
See the interview here: https://www.rtp.pt/play/p5289/e447373/jornal-2
Q: In your opinion and given the recent developments in Portuguese coastal and riverine areas do you think we should look at climate change in the present and in the short term?
R: Indeed climate change is here, changes in weather and extreme events are occurring and this is no longer an issue to be dealt with in the future. We have to think about how these aspects are occurring today and how they have changed in frequency and intensity and how can we adapt to these ongoing changes.
Q: The World Economic Forum will have the environment as key foci of discussion next year ; however, everytime there is a climate change convention of the parties is difficult to achieve agreement.
R: Indeed, the themes for WEF in 2020 are in great part related to environment and sustainability, and the risks they pose (financing and environmental). In order to get to agreement it is important to discuss, to bring multiple sectors together, that there is room for discussing themes that matter and affect everyone.
Q: Many strikes and street protests have occurred during this year but despite this, when it comes to personal choices and actions regarding behavioral changes to meet and deal with climate change there is a lack of understanding from the public or lack of timely response.
R: Indeed, there is a need to inform the public opinion. The knowledge needs to be translated and effectively transferred across the different societal actors, how their actions might matter. This is also one of the reasons why we are organizing and hosting the World Biodiversity forum, to promote communication and a debate arena for biodiversity loss and climate change, and what are possible avenues for the future, as 2020 is a fundamental year for setting new goals for biodiversity.
Q: How is it possible to ally this with economic growth and lobbies, and how can we reduce our dependency on fossil fuels?
R: These two efforts bring together to the table parties that often don’t communicate, it is important to debate, listen, assess options and risks and highlight our role as participants of these economies and with that that we have power to elicit the change that is necessary. There are new thoughts emerging on how to do sustainable financing, degrowth, and how to develop new economic models that are biodiversity and climate inclusive.