EDITOR’D COMMENT ISSUE 95Robin Peach - Editor

In August I attended SFPAEXPO 2023 which was held at the Music City Convention Center in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Inside the new, state-of-the-art convention center exhibitors and visitors experienced a modern business atmosphere. On the whole stands were busy and I got to meet the majority of IFI clients who all expressed great support for the magazine.

From important business matters to our continuing theme – Climate Change.

Forests are burning like never before which directly affects the forestry business. Rainforests are declining at an alarming rate further propagating climate change, enhancing the likelihood of escalating severe wildfires, droughts, and higher temperatures around the world.

In our July August issue, I raised issues surrounding the lack of money invested by governments in saving the rainforests. This year alone China and the USA are spending over a trillion dollars on defence budgets with China unlike the USA not interested in contributing to save the Amazon rainforest. With governments failing to address the impending catastrophe is it time for the worlds rich to step forward and take the initiative?

The rich can go a long way to saving the planet

Globally, Forbes* counted 2,640 ten-figure fortunes, down from 2,668 last year. Altogether, the planet’s billionaires are now worth $12.2 trillion Elon Musk, falls from No. 1 to No. 2. Bernard Arnault, head of luxury goods giant LVMH, takes his place as the world’s richest person ($211B) The United States still boasts the most billionaires, with 735 list members worth a collective $4.5 trillion. China (including Hong Kong and Macau) remains second, with 562 billionaires worth $2 trillion, followed by India, with 169 billionaires worth $675 billion.

Whether or not the world’s richest individuals and companies should contribute to climate change funds is a matter of debate and depends on various factors, including ethical, moral, and practical considerations. Here are some arguments on both sides of the issue:

Arguments in favour of the world’s richest contributing to climate change funds:

Wealth Disparity: The world’s richest individuals and corporations often have accumulated vast wealth, sometimes through industries that contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing climate change is a global challenge, and they can play a role in mitigating the impacts of the problem by contributing financially.

Responsibility: Some argue that those who have benefited the most from economic and industrial activities that have contributed to climate change have a moral and ethical responsibility to help address the consequences.

Funding Solutions: Climate change requires substantial investments in renewable energy, technology, and infrastructure to transition to a more sustainable future. The wealth of the richest individuals and corporations can help fund these solutions.

Public Relations: Contributing to climate change funds can improve the public image of wealthy individuals and companies, demonstrating a commitment to corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

Incentivizing Change: By contributing to climate change funds, the wealthy can encourage others to follow suit, creating a ripple effect of support for climate action.

Effectiveness: Critics may question whether voluntary donations from the richest can make a significant impact on global climate issues compared to systematic changes in policy and industry practices.

Wealth Redistribution: While contributing to climate change funds can address climate issues, it does not necessarily address broader issues of wealth inequality. Some argue that more systematic approaches, such as progressive taxation, are better suited to wealth redistribution.

Accountability: There may be concerns about how funds donated by the wealthy are allocated and whether they are used effectively to combat climate change, leading to calls for greater transparency and accountability.

Ultimately, the question of whether the world’s richest should contribute to climate change funds is a complex one with varying perspectives. Many people and organizations argue that both individual contributions and systemic changes are necessary to effectively address climate change. It is likely that a combination of efforts, including financial contributions from the wealthy, government policies, and global cooperation, will be needed to tackle the challenges posed by climate change comprehensively.

Issue95 Oct/Nov 23

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