Trust must be earned. Keynote speech – EURAC SSPCR 2022

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At SSPCR 2022 (EURAC) Marine Cornelis shared some thoughts on transforming anger into action, the importance of citizenship and finding joy in climate action

🔥 These are really complicated days for anyone who works in any way with climate and energy issues. 

🍀 So when Eurac Research asked me to give the opening keynote speech at the SSPCR – Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions, I thought: “okay, now is a good time to try to step back and plant some seeds of #hope in the heads (and hearts) of the researchers and planners present that day.” 

🍦 In essence, we explored the call from 3 French energy CEOs for more energy #sufficiency, the absent-mindedness of politicians and the media on the real climate issues (if it’s hot, eat ice cream!); and the apparent widening inequalities between the poorest and the richest. 

🍋 But against eco-anxiety, I also shared my admiration for those who turn anger into action, and reminded us that we can all, at our level, act for the greater good. There are already many tools we can use. When life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade, limoncello, or lemon sorbet. 

💚 Many cities and regions are taking action and showing that another form of #leadership is possible. Fostering #education, joining energy communities, voting for climate leaders or turning to the courts or #ombudsmen… the states, the companies must be accountable to us, because we are citizens, and we have rights. 

🧩 But there is no one-size-fits-all. We all have our own permanent or temporary personal circumstances that affect our relationship with energy and the climate. If we want trust, our policies and business models must put the needs of citizens at the centre. We need holistic and intersectional perspectives that look at systemic discrimination too. Otherwise, we risk creating even more inequalities. 

🫀 The planet doesn’t need a handful of impeccable climate heroes. It needs more humans doing their share. It starts by taking the time to listen to other people’s stories, educate yourself and others on concepts like energy sufficiency, to encourage everyone to think out of the box and span across boundaries. And also, understand that we all have superpowers we can use to become an agent of change and be part of the solution. 

🎯 I recently discovered the Climate Action Venn by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. I think it’s an amazing tool showing that we can even find joy in climate action if we capitalise on what we are and have. This is our way to #trust and resilience. It is our way to make a just transition WITH the people.

🌱 Our shared future doesn’t have to be so bleak. There are seeds of hope in all of us – and we can share them. 

🌳But, it’s impossible to address climate change without addressing gender equity and a range of other injustices and inequalities. 

🌵The good thing is: there’s already a wide range of ideas and tools to act for a better future. 

🍨 It’s time to share our best gelato recipes with the rest of the world.

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