My aim is to avoid talking politics, given that climate change and resource consumption are global challenges transcending affairs of state. However this apolitical stance is currently proving difficult to maintain with the current US administration having caused shock waves by abandoning its countries’ commitments made during COP21 for the Paris Agreement, sadly the elephant in the room can no longer be ignored.
As a board member of two important conferences around sustainability that took place in June, I can thankfully confirm that the tenor at both the Langenburg Forum for Sustainability and the Austrian World Summit was that now – more than ever – everyone sees the rally to the cause of our planet as an absolute obligation.
Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) gave the keynote speech at the Langenburg Forum for Sustainability. His wisdom, coupled with his calm and serene nature, form a reassuring rock in the turbulent waters of current affairs. He highlighted the need for a closer relationship between Europe and Africa in combating the root causes of immigration, many of which lie within the scope of the fight against climate change. Having seen the world divide over the crisis of the second Iraq War, both Joschka Fischer, Germany’s former Foreign Minister and founder of the Green Party in Germany and Annan pointed out that the the same world could unite in the fight against climate change. Even current internal political tremors in the US will not change this; on the contrary, it will drive the European Union and other countries to step up.
Positive messages were re-iterated at the Austrian World Summit, a global event organised by Austria’s new president Alexander Van der Bellen in collaboration with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his R20 (Regions of Climate Action) organisation. Key leaders within the UN and World Health Organisation (WHO) attended, in addition Laurent Fabius the actual architect of the Paris Agreement. Fabius’ optimism following the ratification is only slightly dented after the US’s decision to pull out. And as Schwarzenegger said, ‘Washington is not the US’ and most US states and city governments are firmly committed to stick to their climate goals continuing the process, which was started under the former administration.
Considerate Hoteliers clients, members, partners, worldwide, all know that it makes more business sense to operate responsibly. And they also know something that the current resident of the White House seems to have forgotten… there’s no Planet B!
I hope you enjoy the content we have put together for you, to help your hospitality business thrive on Planet A!
Xenia xu Hohenlohe, Partner/Marketing Director