Humankind faces one of its biggest challenges in the current climate and biodiversity crisis. This challenge has been building for decades; many experts concur on the understanding
that we have at most a ten-year window of opportunity to address the changes needed to slow down and stabilise the worst-case scenarios of runaway climate change before an
irreversible tipping point is reached.
We write this statement in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. It is noteworthy how swiftly people have changed their behaviours in response to the pandemic, how they have
come together to collaborate, share resources and do what needs to be done in the face of danger. This response provides many clues and possibilities for useful actions as we face the
ongoing greater threats to our climate and ecology which equally provides us with a landscape of learning.
The facts of the ecological crisis are compelling and can be seen in reports by organizations such as the IPCC2. Hundreds of organisations, including governments, have acknowledged
and declared a climate emergency. The WHO have estimated that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from
malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress alone3. For some climate change represents a concern for future generations. For others crop failures, floods, economic breakdown and
stark choices around survival are a current reality. The crisis is highly complex with many interlocking aspects, ranging from protection of natural environments to economic and
social issues to mental health concerns.
The interconnectedness of all species and earth systems means this situation can only be tackled through collective action and collaboration at local and global levels. Thankfully,
collaboration and connection are hard wired into our DNA and offer us the opportunity to come to this challenge with hope and love, rather than with fear and anxiety.
Coaching and mentoring are ultimately concerned with developing the potential of human beings, of raising awareness to enable people to take responsibility for their actions and
ownership for their contribution. Coaches have a significant role to play in creating a new way of being in service to a healthy human society and a healthy planet.
As professional bodies who are dedicated either wholly or in part to the role of coaching, mentoring and supervision, both in developing individuals, and in creating social value, we
have committed to work together to play our part in addressing the climate emergency.
We consider our role in four dimensions:
It is in this fourth dimension, as a collective of professional bodies, that we make the following joint commitments. These are based on two principal acknowledgements: that
pace of learning is critical and that well informed coaches and mentors building on the core skills of raising awareness and responsibility, envisioning and positive mindset, are well
placed to make a significant contribution in this area.
To address the reality and urgency of the climate emergency we commit to:
1 IPCC reports on climate change – https://www.ipcc.ch/reports/ https://www.ipcc.ch/2018/10/08/summary-for-policymakers-of-ipcc-special-report-on-global-warming-of-1-5c-approved-by-governments/ and https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/
2 IPCC reports on climate change - https://www.ipcc.ch/reports/ and https://www.ipcc.ch/2018/10/08/summary-for-policymakers-of-ipcc-special-report-on-global-warming-
3 WHO (2018) Climate Change and Health: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-and-health
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