The impact of climate change is already being felt, causing more extreme and more frequent weather events all over the world, and particularly vulnerable are those communities living in coastal towns, cities and villages. With sea-level rise inevitable and in fact already happening at an alarming rate, many coastal communities are already facing the impossible choice: relocate or lose their homes.
In Episode 6 of The Global Safety Podcast, Tom Heap and the panel discuss how coastal communities can build resilience and what the rest of the world can learn from them. Joining Tom are Suzanne Johnson, a Senior Advisor to the UN Global Compact's Sustainable Ocean Business platform, and head of the Lloyd's Register Foundation's Sustainability Program; Dr Michael Bruno, Provost at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Rocky Sanchez Tirona, Managing Director of Rare’s global Fish Forever coastal fisheries program and Professor Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development and Professor at the Independent University Bangladesh.
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TEASER CLIP 1: The sea level rise is more insidious and it creeps up on you, right? People don't quite realise it until you until you realise that you don't have a lot of shoreline left. (Rocky)
TEASER CLIP 2: You know in the past 10 years, they've paid out three hundred billion dollars or something like that for. And that is dwarfed, absolutely dwarfed by the amount to fund to clean up after disasters. (Suzanne)
TEASER CLIP 3: I don't think there is a strong enough recognition of the connection between the indigenous peoples of the Pacific and the land (Michael)
TEASER CLIP 4: It's going to happen everywhere, in the UK and in Germany and in Japan and in Australia and in the United States. It's going to get worse and you're not ready, you're not prepared. (Saleemul)
TOM: The impact of climate change is already being felt, causing more extreme and more frequent weather events all over the world. Particularly vulnerable are those communities living in coastal towns, cities and villages, with sea level rise inevitable. And in fact, already happening, many coastal communities are already facing the impossible choice relocate or lose their homes. And that's not all. Many of our coastal cities are still experiencing an influx of people migrating from rural areas with more mouths to feed and the impact of climate change threatening not only homes, but infrastructure, food sources and water availability. Are we really at a tipping point? So today we're talking about how those coastal communities can build resilience and what the rest of the world can learn from them or possibly do for them. Welcome to the Global Safety podcast sponsored by Lloyd's Register Foundation.
And with me to explore this are Suzanne Johnson, a senior adviser to the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Business Platform and head of the Lloyd's Register Foundation Sustainability Programme. Dr. Michael Bruno, provost of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, who's research and teaching interests, include ocean observation systems, climate change and community resilience. And Rocky Sanchez Tirona, managing director of Rare's Global Fish Forever Coastal Fisheries Programme. Fish Forever is a community led solution to revitalise our oceans and the coastal communities that depend on them.
TOM: We’ll also be hearing from Professor Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development and Professor at the Independent University Bangladesh.
Welcome all of you, and first, I want to explore the impacts of climate change on coastal communities
So Michael Bruno in Hawaii. Any noticeable impact yet of climate change on people near you? [5.4s]
MICHAEL Yes, Tom, in fact, there are many impacts that we are already seeing. Probably the most visible of which is what is commonly referred to now, unfortunately, as nuisance flooding that is at the highest tide of each month. We have flooding along roadways and in parking areas in other parts of our shorelines that did not normally flood. And it's really unfortunate to see that those communities are needing to adjust to this and in a sense, get used to it. The only other thing I would add is we do see changing patterns of tropical storms here in the Pacific. I would say more frequent firing up of extreme storms, happily and most of which have continued to miss the Hawaiian Islands where I live.
TOM And Rocky Sanchez Tirona, tell me where you are and what, what, what's being noticed there?
ROCKY Well, I live in the Philippines and and we get the, you know, really extreme weather events worthy of news headlines all over the world, right? And when typhoons hit the country, they're very, very strong. And now we're seeing like 20 storms a year or more. And so that's really having an impact both for people in the cities, but more and more, especially in the coastal communities, in the rural areas. That's where people really lose their lives, their homes. And even when it's not that extreme, it's also making it very hard for people to earn a living. Rare works with coastal communities and fishers in particular, and we're really seeing how the fishing has changed. It's really driving them further out. The extreme weather makes it harder to fish, damaging the coral reefs [58.7s]
TOM And just on the point of sea level rise. Is it kind of more aggressive, whether if you like on top of a sea, that is that is higher? [8.0s]
ROCKY Yes, there's I think for the most obvious one is really the extreme weather that's really, you know, a lot of destruction and damage. And then the sea level rise is kind of like more insidious and it creeps up on you, right? People don't quite realise it until you until you realise that you don't have a lot of shoreline left. And so in some places when that that's when the storm surges can can really cause a lot of damage as well. [36.2s]
TOM And one of the other impacts of climate change is ocean acidification and in turn, coral bleaching linked to acidity and temperature and coral reefs sometimes will protect the coasts from waves. So is that another way in which communities are growing more vulnerable? [15.8s]
ROCKY Well, yeah. So I think there's the the the coral reefs and the mangroves are really the ones that ideally should buffer communities against storms. But you know, a lot of other factors like overfishing and cutting down of mangroves are are also destroying those habitats in those natural protections, and therefore most places are now much more exposed than they used to be. And then at the same time, the the slow onset kinds of impacts like like bleaching and warming of the water is also driving fish through from from warmer areas to colder areas. And so even the species and the catch that the people are having is also being affected. [50.3s]
TOM: We’re going to hear now from Professor Saleemul Huq from the International Centre for Climate Change and Development - who we recorded earlier - on the impact of climate change in Bangladesh.
Prof Huq: The climate in Bangladesh, unfortunately, is getting a lot worse, so if you were to make a list of all the different kinds of climate change impacts that are going to happen, almost every one of them is going to happen in Bangladesh. So we're going to have more severe floods. We're going to have more severe cyclones. We are going to have more severe droughts. We're going to have more severe heatwaves. And it's a very low lying country susceptible to sea level rise,. So it's very often in any global ranking at ranked as number one, number two and number three in terms of the most vulnerable country in the whole world.
TOM: Well, the conversation on climate science is often dominated by figures on sea temperatures or wave height, so models say X will happen in a few years. But what about people? I guess it's really important to listen to what the communities are saying. Suzanne, what do you think about the hearing from these indigenous voices? [16.6s]
SUZANNE: Well, yeah, thanks, Tom, actually listening to all stakeholders is really important because if you think about the ocean, we need to get so much more out of it in these coming decades. We need to feed a growing population. We need to scale up energy from the ocean to electrify, know electricity to our to our growing planet. We need to transport goods for growing trade. And so we need to take a lot more of it. And at the same time, we need to do that sustainably and in a way that that protects and restores the health of the oceans. But as we scale up these ocean industries and these ocean solutions, you know, how do we do it in a way where old industries are not clashing with new industries, and we're taking into account the indigenous people and the coastal communities, And in the only way we can do that is to is to get all of the stakeholders to be at the table. So talking to indigenous communities and and talking to coastal communities is a big part of it. [108.7s]
TOM And it's important to give those people a voice because they don't necessarily have power in international organisations or commercial organisations at the moment. [8.6s]
SUZANNE But you're you're exactly right. But but also we need to think about this in the context of a just transition. So so how can our lower carbon ocean be done in a way that's that's fair and equitable? And so for those communities and coastal communities, for example, and indigenous communities who might be hurt from losing jobs in fading out industries, how can we make sure that they have access to to to the new jobs or that that they are looked after? Or that we have the skills transfer for them, and that the jobs that they will have access to are safe. And and so it's this just transition to need to think about transitioning our ocean to a lower to a better, lower emissions ocean in a in a just way that benefits people in small island developing states and lesser developed countries, women, for example, as well. So we want access to it. We want all to benefit. [75.0s]
TOM [00:13:56]And I'm guessing that climate justice particularly applies Rocky because a lot of these communities really didn't cause this problem at all, and they shouldn't be asked to bear the brunt of the solution. [9.2s]
ROCKY [00:14:06]Right, exactly. And I think for many of the community, most of the communities that we work with, our focus has really been making sure that they can adapt and cope so that climate agenda shouldn't really just be about mitigation. But if they really should make provisions for helping helping communities come up with their own solutions, that will actually make them more resilient to the effects of climate change. [24.5s]
TOM Given the speed of sea level rise Rocky, some of the big cities are basically going to be able to build walls to protect themselves. And that won't just be London in New York and Shanghai. Presumably that also applies to bigger cities across the global south as well.
ROCKY I don't think walls will cut it. [2.6s]
TOM [00:19:48]Really? [0.0s]
ROCKY [00:19:48]Yeah, I I live in Manilla and a city of 50 million people. Right. And and several years ago, there was a major flooding that just kind of like closed off finalised places that we hadn't thought were close to the water flooded because of creeks overflowing. It’s just all tied together in a big city, run off from deforested areas, clogged waterways, overloaded sewage systems, it’s really not just storm surges from the ocean that causes flooding in a big city.
TOM: What do you think, Michael?
MICHAEL [00:21:04]Well, Tom, I think that we're learning much like Rocky just said, maybe the traditional approaches in these very extreme times, these very extreme storm events are not entirely successful, and we need to look at other often multiple layer approach to where the flooding, the flooding that originates from inland and drives into the cities, the coastal cities, as well as that flooding that comes from the ocean that sometimes, as we saw in Hurricane Sandy in New York City, when the when the sea rises too high, the water from the rainfall cannot escape and so builds up. So so there are other strategies that look like they are necessary. I think there there is ongoing right now around the world, a reimagining and in a sense, reinventing infrastructure in coastal urban environments because of these events. [70.6s]
TOM [00:22:16]Well, [0.0s] a lot of the solutions that are now favoured are nature based solutions, and they might be relevant to both sea level rise and the combination of extreme weather, cyclones, heavy rain. Can you give me some examples of the kind of nature based solutions just a few sort of headline things so people can get the handle of what we're talking about here? [6.3s]
MICHAEL [00:22:43]Well, it begins with addressing some of the root causes of flooding and erosion is the absence of sand because of the damming of rivers and other interventions. So replacing sand along shorelines said it lost it due to primarily inland modifications of the environment. Another another example would be detention basins, so-called capture or store and release solutions. So flood waters come in and are captured in detention basins that look a lot like parks and maybe function as parks, and then eventually are released in a in quieter times after or after a storm. Those are those are two examples that are under way along [50.3s]
TOM [00:23:34]and in the sea itself. Mangroves and possibly trying to re-establish coral reefs. [4.4s]
ROCKY That's a that's a very important piece as well. Right. When reefs are healthier, they're really much more able to withstand the impacts of climate change. So whether it's bleaching or warming, they can recover faster. And so having protected areas that truly make sure that they can recover, it's important. [22.2s]
TOM [00:24:07]And can we encourage these as well as just protecting the ones that are there? [2.9s]
[ROCKY [00:24:11]Oh yeah, of course. And I think when you tie it very closely to livelihood and let's say we're because the communities are dependent on the resource, right, they have to when they understand that protecting the resource also means really protecting their ability to to to derive income from it in the future. That's that's a no brainer. [23.6s]
TOM [00:24:35]Yeah. And Suzanne Johnson, how cost effective for these solutions may be in comparison to some of the hard engineering stuff? [6.4s]
SUZANNE [00:24:43]Well, it's interesting because they've done a study that it showed that if you spend one dollar on Nature based solutions, that's probably equivalent to spending five dollars in engineered solutions. So it really pays off to invest in in nature based solutions. And I want to circle back to when we were talking about the different ways that that vulnerable communities are are getting funds to to build up their resilience. And and you think about, you know, Michael was involved with Hurricane Sandy and resilience after that. That happened in New York, which is a major city which knows how to access US federal funding. But if you think about other second tier cities and communities around the world or even third tier even below and in different countries and even in the United States, they don't they don't necessarily have the wherewithal to access and mobilise incredible funding. So so there's a real variation in terms of to the extent that people can build up resilient and and adaptation to climate change. And that's a that's that's a real concern. So we need to help, you know, not the first tier, but going beyond how help them access funding to to make themselves more resilient. [92.3s]
TOM:]Suzanne, given what you say about how nature based solutions give a better return than some of the hard engineering? I wonder why they're not so popular.
SUZANNE]it's a really good point, but I think they're rising on the agenda. You know, there's a growing awareness about the importance of it. And I mean, if we if we look right now at the insurance industry, for example, they've probably, you know, in the past 10 years, they've paid out three hundred billion dollars or something like that for for four storms. And that is dwarfed, absolutely dwarfed by the amount that governments have paid out and tax payers have paid out to it to fund after, you know, to come in funding to clean up after disasters. And and so the insurance companies now there's a number of efforts and coalitions being built to build resilience and to build nature based resilience in communities around the world because they realised, first of all, insurance companies are going to go out of business that they can't afford to make these payouts. But what they can afford to do is mobilise policy actors and the private sector to try to address it. Nature based solutions to make salient. And there's there's some quite innovative insurance efforts in terms of how we value the risk efforts that we take and can. We helped fund communities, individuals, companies to buy insurance to to to fund, building up nature based solutions to make us more resilient? [91.0s]
TOM ]So all these insurance based funds or solutions, are they only available in the richer world or can they apply globally?
[SUZANNE ]in terms of one actually just announced, it's Ocean Resilience Alliance just announced a pledge towards court today, building in its cross stakeholder base and. And. They are committed to making their focus one of their primary focuses on the global south because. It needs to be I mean, there's a recognition that it can't just be rich countries addressing this, it needs to be a global global approach. [33.4s]
ROCKY [00:28:59]Yeah, I can add onto that. They have that same group, ORA, actually did give us a grant to work on developing a product for small scale fishers and really using that as a way to cushion against the impacts. [17.3s]
[SUZANNE [00:29:18]Yeah. So, oh, that's great, Rocky that's great to hear about. And but to your point, Tom, I mean. We need to do more, we're not doing enough to help the disadvantaged countries and the global south, so. So there is an awareness in their efforts, but a lot more needs to be done. [17.1s]
TOM [00:29:37]Thanks. I'm just wondering if we can't keep the water out. This is maybe a question for Rocky. Michael, if we can't keep the water out, is it an option to move the people away to relocate? [10.2s]
ROCKY [00:29:51]A little bit so in the in the communities we work in, we've seen efforts to to move them to higher ground. But on the other hand, it's it's also taking them further away from their source of livelihood. Right. So it's not a great solution. What you really want is to be able to. Let's see, yeah, plant mangroves and kind of restore those areas so that they they're buffered and and make sure that they can still live the way they're supposed to or would like to. Even in the face of all of this. Yeah. [41.1s]
NEW TOM LINE: Let’s go back to Professor Saleemul Huq now who can tell us how they’re managing migration to Dhaka city in Bangladesh.
(I have put in a generic line here until we get Tom’s new line)
Prof Huq: You know, as the seawater keeps coming in, land will disappear. It'll go under the sea. And the people who are now living there and eking out a living will simply not be able to do that, and they'll become displaced. And so now the government and others, including my centre, are very much focussing on how do we help the children, the young people, to be able to be educated and capacitate so they don't have to end up being fishers and farmers like the parents, and they can then move to towns? And there's another aspect to that. If they all move to Dhaka city, which is where most people want to come, it will burst. Dhaka city is the fastest growing megacity in the world. Another 10 million climate migrants, which is the order of magnitude that we expect is simply going to burst at the seams so we don't want them coming to Dhaka. But we can't force them to not come to Dhaka. So what we are looking at is developing what we are calling a couple of dozen towns, smaller towns into climate resilient, migrant friendly towns and creating opportunities for education and jobs to attract these new, younger generation who can move there, get educated, get jobs, stay there and then take their families, their parents when they want to go. This is a it's not a planned migration. It is facilitated individuals making their own choice.
TOM Michael Bruno, I was wondering what you think about relocation as a as a solution?
MICHAEL I hate it
TOM [00:31:04]Why? [0.0s]
MICHAEL [00:31:05]And I say that because it's something that I'm quite passionate about, even prior to coming to the University of Hawaii, but more so much more so. Having worked with communities here in the Pacific, I don't think there is a strong enough recognition of the connection between the indigenous peoples of the Pacific in particular and the land here in Hawaii, for example, Native Hawaiians believe that they they came from the land and and that the land and the people that reside on the land are in a sense one. And and and so here and elsewhere around the Pacific islands, the notion of climate refugees, climate migration are antithetical to their belief systems, their knowledge systems. I've been in many community meetings where people say we didn't cause this, and now you're telling us because of what you did, you and the developed world, we need to move. Well, that's not good enough. You need to provide us with other solutions that will keep us in our home. And it's it's quite it's quite emotional when you and you as an engineer, I think myself and others need that and need to be responsive to that. [99.8s] This is they have and have not kind of story where we do see areas, for example, with fossil fuel extraction in in Northern Sea, in the Arctic, where where companies have built artificial islands, who seen the same thing happening in the South China Sea, where islands are being created out of essentially nothing. So some of these Pacific island communities say, OK, give us some of that technology, and why don't you go ahead and build up our elevations? Why can't we have an engineered in a sense engineered, but by working with nature, provide us with the sufficient elevation to guard against sea level rise and storm surge? [57.6s]
TOM: It sounds, it sounds almost like a sort of sci fi fantasy, the idea of literally building up an island to keep it above the waves.
MICHAEL Yes, and and that is going to require investment, usually investment from the so-called rich world to to areas that are in dire straits and in desperate need. And I'm not sure exactly how we facilitate that.
TOM So maybe there's a lot of talk at the moment about this 100 billion dollars a year that's supposed to be paid from north to south anyway to help with reducing the the the carbon impact of their economies. I guess that there's a need for another fund to help with adaptation and resilience.
MICHAEL And we have seen that we've seen investments from foundations. Some investments through the Rockefeller Foundation and, for example, the Brazilian cities programme. And I think if you look, a majority of those cities are urban centres on the coastal ocean. So you do see some investment from the international community. Suzanne and Rocky have both spoken about earlier, but also foundations.
SUZANNE [00:38:03]I know you mean, but to that point on financing. That is the fuel for ocean based solutions. And so whether or not we're looking at mitigation or adaptation, it takes money to do all of that. And and Michael mentioned the philanthropic efforts that are certainly there. But actually, in order for funding to make a difference, we need to harness government funding, which there is some going on. We really need to get to the private market. Unlock that funding on the on that on the public side, it's making the case for why a healthy ocean is desirable and the value that that that brings to our society, because today that value a number really hasn't been put up economically. No, really hasn't been put on that on the ocean or it's just starting to be more and more so. So in terms of a sustainable ocean economy and what we take from that and once we can really once we really value it, a number, a number such as three trillion. But that's vastly, vastly probably understated that three trillion dollars a year in terms of benefits we get from a sustainable ocean economy, we can start to factor in those numbers and then fund against that. That will help us to make some progress. [100.8s]
TOM [00:39:45]And just to put that number in context for us just doing another piece of work, I think really the year is pretty much the size of the economy of California and a little bit bigger than the annual economy of the UK. So I think that would make it the fifth largest country in the world. So, you know, that's a big number. And as you say, it's possibly more than that and possibly slightly bogus to put a number on in any way, Suzanne. [22.7s]
SUZANNE [00:40:08]Well, I think we need to. I think we need to right size the externalities and and also, what do we get from no action? What do we get from an ocean that doesn't absorb carbon dioxide? And and, you know, if you think about it, one out of every two breaths we breathe comes from the ocean. What happens when the ocean starts to lose its capabilities of absorbing this carbon and to photosynthesise you know give us this life that we take from it? And what is the value of that? [33.1s]
TOM: Well one country which is already seeing the impact of climate change is Bangladesh. It’s a coastal country already familiar with extreme weather conditions. We’re going to go back to Professor Saleemul Huq now to hear how Bangladesh has become a world leader in resilience against the impact of climate change.
Professor Huq: We have the most effective national cyclone warning and preparedness system in the whole world. And an example of that is that in May of 2020, we got hit by a super cyclone called Cyclone Amphan. It became a super cyclone because the sea surface temperature was two degrees above normal, The higher the temperature, the more intense the cyclone is, the more water it gathers, the more rainfall it brings. In decades past when we had super cyclones from natural causes, the death toll in Bangladesh used to be - has been in the hundreds of thousands of lives lost. We have now improved the early warning, improve the evacuation, improve the building of shelters around the coast so that now everybody can get to a shelter if they get a warning and everybody does get a warning. And so when Amphan came more than three million people got the warnings and went to shelters. And the death from Amphan, was only a few dozen, and they were mostly fishermen who were out at sea and didn't get back to land in time. Almost everybody who was on land made it to a shelter and survived.
Prof Huq: We can evacuate, warn and evacuate three million people at any given time. The satellites can now track the cyclones, Met departments can issue warnings telling us when it's coming. Where to go. There are NGOs and Red Cross volunteers go out with microphones and loudspeakers warning everybody. And most importantly, I would say there's an investment in people knowing what to do, particularly in the coastal area. Every school has a programme on cyclone preparedness. The kids do rehearsals. and every single household. Particularly, you know, old widows who are living on their own is assigned to a school kid to go and evacuate them. Make sure that no one is left behind. And to me, that's the biggest investment people knowing what to do. And, you know, just to contrast that with 200 lives lost in Germany from flash floods just a few weeks ago, that doesn't happen in Bangladesh. The Germans didn't know what to do. They they they knew there was going to be a flood, but nobody told them what to do.
TOM]There are all the things we've been talking about, all the things we've been talking about for most of the programme. Sticking plaster of Band-Aid solutions, if you like where we really need to stop using fossil fuels, Suzanne. [12.7s]
SUZANNE [00:41:02]Well, I think that there is a lot that we can do. And if you if you take a look right now, you know where, as you mentioned, we're going into Cop 26 in Glasgow in the climate negotiations. There's we can start in terms of the ocean by. Including the ocean climate nexus in the dialogue, more because if we think about it, the ocean is going to help us get towards having the emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. Oceans will allow us to scale up mitigation and adaptation through nature based solutions and will be able to and also will hopefully through cop and and and including this ocean climate nexus, be able to start getting the language and the tools to start funding the solutions. So COP is not a panacea, for example, but it's a marker and same with the UN Ocean Conference, which will be in June. These are these are these are moments where we can take stock of our progress, but then we need to keep continuing progress by incorporating national action and private sector action. Both of them towards advancing what the ocean can do to help us towards climate solutions. [83.2s]
TOM [00:42:26]So Rocky Sanchez Tirona Do you think what we've been talking about a largely Band-Aid solutions. [4.5s]
ROCKY [00:42:33]No, I think definitely we we all need to really do our part and in different forms, right? For really reducing our our emissions and getting to net zero and then figuring out a way to reverse the trend. And I think that's going to come from all the things that Suzanne had described. But at the same time, there's other things around individual action as well that adds up. I think the project drawdown data does say that about 35 percent of of the targets for for reducing emissions can be reached through changes in individual behaviour as well. So I think everybody doing their bit, I think, will really all have to add up. And yeah, it's going to be the point where we all have to say this, is it right that we just we just have to get all of it done? [62.5s]
TOM [00:43:38]And Dr. Michael Bruno, do you think these adaptations are a sticking plaster[4.9s]
MICHAEL [00:43:48]I. So when I'm when I'm listening to this conversation, I do tend to focus on the risk equation and this has been brought up throughout our conversation without going right to it. The risk of a of an event, risks associated with events, short term like storms or long term like climate change are essentially the product of the probability of that event times a consequence of that event. How do you reduce the probability of event? As has been said, here you have mitigation strategies. How do you reduce the consequence? You have adaptation strategies and adaptation for me goes to the community. And both of my colleagues have mentioned that here today. The importance of community action right down to individuals. We find time and time again that before, during and after significant events like a hurricane tropical cyclone, it is the community that is a source of resilience. It's the community that is the source of adaptation. And I think a lot of that falls too to us as scientists to educate. It's going to boil down to communities. I really believe that. Yes. [97.3s]
SUZANNE [00:45:31]Yeah, well, I just like to add too in terms of boiling down to the community's part of the communities, our businesses. And Tom, I think you talked about. Carbon based industries. As society asks more of our of our private sector and the members of our community, and as we as we learn more, we have more science based ways to measure the impact of what we're doing. We're going to increasingly ask. The carbon sector, but all businesses to start to adhere to science based targets. And that will be a way to measure advancement and for for companies to state their plans and their goals towards net zero and to measure their progress through science based targets. So we're getting the tools so that. All industries, all companies and all members of the community can be stewards. And and this is rapidly and actively happening in terms of and think about science based targets is just coming out with science based targets initiative that's just coming out with a with a with a new standard for global standard that's going to come in advance, of course. And each month we're progressing in terms of measuring our progress. So, so so there's hope and there's a chance for us all to play a part in advancing us towards a lower emission world and taking some climate action. [105.8s]
[TOM [00:47:19]And quite clearly, from what Michael Bruno said, that adapting to the threat and limiting the threat are both ways that you can basically make that thing less dangerous for you. And so in a sense, they're all the piece. They're not either or other. [16.9s]
SUZANNE [00:47:40]That's right, we need to do both. We need to do both.
TOM Michael Bruno, do you have a kind of line or two of what you would like to see come out of COP26? [4.5s]
MICHAEL [00:47:55]Well, I think we go into these meetings with such high expectations, and I think inevitably those expectations are not are not realised. I. I myself would like to see some, some very direct, measurable and achievable goals agreed to and and perhaps reaffirmed. Suzanne mentioned measurement, measurement based strategies and goals that are measurable and achievable. I think that we need to we need to be more mindful of of monitoring our progress and reporting our progress. I worry that these meetings always seem to, you know, lead to long term, maybe 50 year plus kinds of goals that the public really can't understand. But I think if we can get to a point where we can measure, monitor and report on goals, I think I think Mayor Bloomberg in New York once said, You can't manage what you can't measure. We need to get there. I think we need to measure, monitor our progress and report to the public on progress. I hope that comes out and as part of this meeting. [100.8s]
MICHAEL [00:49:37]So there's nothing clear and identifiable and measurable that you can be held to. [3.8s]
MICHAEL [00:49:42]Yeah, I think I think that's really needed that the public keeps being told of the dangers and the things we need to do. But I don't think we reinforced that with, well, here's what we have achieved. We need. I just think we need to get into that cycle of of adapt, respond, but also come back and close the loop in a sense. Here's what we have achieved. Let's keep at it. Yeah. [28.7s]
SUZANNE [00:50:13]And for for for me, I couldn't agree with you more, Michael. And I'd also I have an ask from COP, and I think one of the biggest things that we can see from from an ocean perspective is to see us incorporate this ocean climate nexus into the dialogue because this is going to create hooks for countries to continue to increase ocean climate action. [23.1s]
ROCKY]I think on my end, we represent over a thousand communities that are amongst the most vulnerable all over the world, right, and the coastal communities. I really hope that Cop can produce both actions and funding that will actually really enable these communities to to increase their resilience and their ability to adapt to the climate change. [30.6s]
Tom: Well I would like to end on something Professor Huq said when we recorded with him earlier, which is a message for Western countries…
Professor Huq: Something very significant has happened in the world in the last year, which is the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group one, they've never said this before. [00:16:33]They have said that they now can prove that climate change impacts are happening unequivocally because of the temperature rise that we have caused by emissions of greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution. They can attribute single events like the floods in Germany, the hurricane IDA in the U.S., wildfires in California and so on and so forth. These are not caused by climate change - they have made a hell of a lot worse because of climate change already, and the intensity is what causes the damage. and it's going to happen everywhere, not just in Bangladesh or in Africa or in poor countries. This is old news to us. It's not new news to us. It's new news to you in the UK and in Germany and in Japan and in Australia and in the United States. It's happening. It's going to get worse and you're not ready, you're not prepared. so Bangladesh can teach the rest of the world how to cope with these events because we have been coping with them a long, long time. Technology and money are useful, but not enough by themselves. You have technology, you have money, and still you have impacts. A huge part of the equation of being better prepared is people knowing what they have to do. People need to be prepared, they need to be able to help each other and that happens and that happens in spades in Bangladesh we all go out and we help each other. That's our first line of defence. We don't wait for the government. We don't wait for the U.N.. We don't wait for the world to come to our rescue. We just do it ourselves. And that's something all countries are going to have to learn to do.
Tom: That was a great discussion thank you all of you. I’d like to wish that the people at Cop could hear that as well because there are lots of powerful ideas for them. So I’d like to thank today’s panel and guests: Suzanne Johnson, Michael Bruno, Rocky Sanchez Tirona and Saleemul Huq. Please do join us next time for another insightful conversation. Just search for us – the Global Safety Podcast - wherever you get your podcasts, and follow or subscribe for free so that you don't miss an episode.