October 15, 2015

What do you do to protect the earth?

“Some nights, I can’t fall asleep,” Christiana Figueres, the UN’s climate chief, said during her keynote speech at Oslo’s climate conference on October 14. During her sleepless nights, she hears the voices of future generations asking her “Christiana - what did YOU do to protect the earth?”

This is the fundamental question we all need to ask ourselves, as we approach the COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, which starts on 30 November. But will the world’s governments be able to come together to hammer out a new binding climate agreement?

Many prominent spokespersons have referred to COP21 as ‘the most important Climate Summit since the 2009 meeting in Copenhagen’ – because now, more than ever, we need a firm commitment not only from the nation states, but also from civil societies and businesses. “We have come a long way since the COP15 in Copenhagen – In 2015 governments and businesses have realized that it is in their own interest to fight climate change. I remain optimistic – if we act now,” Ms. Figueres said at the Oslo conference.

Partnership for Paris

Yara has been engaged in the climate change debate for many years. Since 2004 the company has reduced its greenhouse gas emission by more than 50 percent. But Yara wants to do even more. That is why Yara has joined forces with the Norwegian climate expert organization Bellona, the CICERO Institute and the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Climate and Environment.

“We have teamed up to find solutions to reduce CO2 emissions – and to share knowledge in the run-up to the Paris negotiations,” said Yara CEO Svein Tore Holsether during a press conference that marked the launch of this unique cooperation. The four parties underlined their commitment to fighting climate change later that day by attending and speaking at Oslo’s Climate Conference. Here Svein Tore Holsether and Ms. Christiana Figueres discussed how private businesses can contribute to safeguarding our planet.

What would you choose?

The world will be populated by 9 billion people in 2050. This means we need to grow 60% more food to feed everyone - sustainably. “800 million people are suffering from hunger today, and we cannot solve the climate crisis without securing global food supply,” Holsether said. “It means we will have to produce more food per liter of water, per kilo of fertilizer, per square meter of arable land. The key is collaboration between politics, research and business. Here, Yara plays a key role, through Climate-Smart Agriculture and by sharing knowledge with farmers worldwide on improved agricultural practices and fertilizer applications,” he said.

If you had to choose, what would you choose? Feed millions of hungry people or protect the climate?

Thankfully, we do not have to choose! Bellona, CICERO, the Norwegian authorities and Yara know that we can do both if we team up and work together.