By U Diverse Global
As world governments and organizations battle to reverse the effects of climate change, several indicators point at a lack of diversity and inclusion as being a major hindrance to these plans. Many discoveries have been made, suggesting that communities most affected by climate change are often not considered to participate in these societal discussions.
It seemed like only a few years ago when the concept of ‘Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) was included in the global discussions of corporate social responsibility. In fact, throughout our years as active DEI supporters and advocates, we have come to realize that the idea of diversity and inclusion in workplaces, across the world, could not have come at a better time.
For the first time ever, since the industrial revolution, we now understand the limitations of privilege and how the absence of diversity, equity, and inclusion has greatly affected the development of business, trade, and now, climate change for so long. It has become somewhat apparent that, in order for the world to become fully sustainable, the concept of DEI must transcend its ideological framework and be embedded in our day-to-day activities. As the Deloitte review 2018 suggests, there is immense value in considering diversity in corporate and governmental decision-making.
That being said—with the research presented here—as a global HR consultancy specializing in cultural diversity, we do not consider ourselves climate activists, nor do we regard ourselves to be gurus in diversity, equity, or inclusion. Our main focus and goal is to present to the public the link between climate and DEI; and to learn how these fundamental human interactions could just transform the planet we know into a paradise we can love.
Without further ado, what are the facts?
Climate Transition and its impact on DEI
Bottom line: No one such organization or government can save the planet, we need everyone involved including ethnic minorities from across the planet to make the difference; hence the need for a more aggressive DEI strategy. But the question remains, are we making progress in this regard?
A World Committed to Making Better Decisions
Short answer: we are making progress.
Already, government and business leaders from Beijing, London, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Paris— to mention a few—are making great strides in responding to climate change. Currently; as we speak, numerous policies are being enacted that seek to transform existing business strategies and practices, while taking diversity and inclusion principles into account.
It is very simple; we cannot ignore the positive impact of diversity and inclusion any longer.
Why, because climate change affects marginalized groups the most, such as disabled persons and women. To make a decision excluding the input of these people would be counterintuitive to any sort of progress we hope to make. We believe that, by including the diverse views and voices of these marginalized groups, we can deliver breakthrough solutions that are well received by all stakeholders across the world.
Addressing the Problem and Sharing the Burden
With climate change, we cannot attribute fault to just one country or organization. Human beings, in general, are responsible for this current mess. As global warming speeds up, the United Nations climate panel states that sea levels will rise faster than at any time prior to 3,000 years before. To support this claim, the IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, issued a statement, saying humanity’s damaging impact on the planet is now a ‘code red’.
Still, climate change and its effects are experienced disproportionately by different regions. In the North of the entire globe, black, ingenious and people of color, i.e. the BIPOC, are severely affected by changed climate conditions. What’s more interesting is that, according to a survey conducted by Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication, it was found that the BIPOC communities are the most concerned about climate change. Why then is their presence absent from global climate communications?
But there’s more; half the population in Asia lives in the low-lying coastal areas. If we go by the aforementioned UN climate panel’s study, these communities are now extremely vulnerable to storms and inundation. In numbers, this would amount to 2.4 billion people in Asia being susceptible to environmental hazards, in a region where, already 43,000 people a year die in storms, floods and landslides. Another survey conducted by the United Nations, states that women make up 80% of persons displaced by climate change. BBC rounds up this disproportionate inequality, by attesting that the average representation of women in global climate negotiating bodies falls well below 30%. Somehow, statistics like these were often not considered until the COVID pandemic.
Now, there is a chance to ease the burden of climate change, by including underrepresented and marginalized groups around the world. Now, many governments and businesses are addressing climate change, with many of these coalitions ensuring the incorporation of ‘just transition’ principles needed to establish fairness and equity in major decisions.
Seizing the Opportunity and Making a Difference
Today, it is apparent that we need diverse perspectives and a more inclusive approach to climate action. Climate science itself requires an interdisciplinary methodology. We need diverse insights and perspectives from every community to create effective solutions to the ever-complex biophysical, economic and social problems created by climate challenges. We believe that a climate movement reveals the true nature and benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion—the DEI as we know it.
Therefore, we need everyone’s input, regardless of race, gender, economic background, or disability. We need individuals to become advocates for climate education; corporate responsibility and, also for equitable waste management. We must all lend our skills towards fostering a better world. Most importantly, we must strive to uplift all voices equitably.
In our own little way, at U Diverse, we try to effect this positive change on climate and DEI; by working with organizations who care about the environment, along the lines of equitable corporate social responsibility. We strive to do better and learn all we can about climate science. However, we are just one piece in the puzzle; the best shot we have at success is to include everyone, including the future generations.
Let’s save the world together.
U Diverse Global is a human resource consulting agency that focuses on talent management in culturally diverse work environments. We operate on a much more sophisticated level than just providing great HR advice. We also partner with your organization to find the best talents for your business projects. We are a tribe of multicultural, multilingual and multi talented professionals connected to a vast number of external coaches, consultants, facilitators and trainers globally.