Following the UK's decision to leave the EU, one of the most important things on the agenda is the renegotiation of our trade relationships with the rest of the world. There is mounting evidence that current trade rules are a significant barrier to achieving climate change goals. Brexit provides the UK with an opportunity to change this.
It will take a huge amount of political will to bring about a radical change in energy investment strategies across the globe, particularly from wealthier nations who invest in developing countries. Renewable and low-carbon energy generation technologies are becoming less costly and studies show that in the long term, switching investment to these types of ventures will make economic as well as climate sense. The time is right to tip the energy balance but it needs governments to make the first push.
The pressure is mounting for Oxford and Cambridge to do the right thing and pull their money out of fossil fuels. Then they need to go even further. They can't just settle for being less bad. They have to be proactive in doing more good. They need to finance the clean energy future their students want.
Last Wednesday I went to Wales. Not for a typically British summer holiday (although we were all wearing waterproofs), but at the invitation of local campaigners of the United Valleys Action Group on the day Caerphilly County Council decided whether to approve or reject a proposed opencast coal mine at Nant Llesg.
Much of the debate, right now, is focused on the optimal energy mix between fossil fuels and clean energies like solar and wind. Important as this debate is, a potentially bigger and broader issue we face in Europe is creating 'new' flexible systems and infrastructure for clean energy which is much less transportable than fossil fuels.
The advent of a strong voice from the medical profession, in the push for a meaningful climate treaty at the Paris Climate Summit in December, is hugely welcome. It is part of a multi-sectoral mobilisation that is offering increasing hope around the world that humankind can see off the climate-change threat, and spin its collective response into a global renaissance.
The announcement has been heralded as a fantastic boost for the British economy and industry, but hearing the news that we're delighted to have struck oil really feels outdated in an age where the coupling between carbon emissions and economy is breaking, sustainability is getting traction and green innovations are re-defining business practices around the world.