Q&A with Geeta on Climate Action  

Geeta Aiyer was named to the 2023 TIME100 Climate list. The TIME CO2 inaugural list honors the 100 most influential leaders driving business climate action. Hear from Geeta on the progress and opportunities of climate action.  

What sustainability effort do you hope will gain popularity with the general public this year, and why? 

The efforts to address and reverse biodiversity loss and invest in earth renewal. Ecosystems across the world are on the brink of collapse, presenting near-term existential risks to businesses, the economy, society, and human health.  

What is the single most important action you think the public, or a specific company or government, needs to take in the next year to advance the climate agenda? 

The most impactful action will come from government legislation that guides corporate policy and holds companies accountable for their impact on the climate and environment. The public’s role is to demand that lawmakers support legislation that urgently addresses these critical systemic issues. 

Where should climate activism go in the next year? 

Activists must keep humans rights front and center in the fight to protect our planet. We must advocate for government action and policy change. We must create the impetus for investing in solutions and overcome the inertia that maintain the status quo. Climate change is not an abstract threat impacting others sometime in the future. It is happening to us here and now. Let us act with appropriate urgency. 

What would you say to people who feel powerless in the face of climate change? 

Small or imperfect actions today can be worth more than perfect actions tomorrow. The impacts of climate change are cumulative and interconnected, and every bit counts because there is not one perfect solution for climate change. All actions as intentional consumers, parents, voters, and community members will make a difference. 

What is a climate technology that isn’t getting the attention or funding it deserves, and why? 

Technologies that reduce energy demand. We have the opportunity to reimagine and redesign products and processes with energy efficiency in mind. In the past, we may have built things wrong, but today we can optimize to the relevant constraints of a carbon budget, greenhouse gases, resource and water shortages. Old habits have a way of preventing change but human ingenuity is limitless.

What moment in the climate movement (in activism, business, or policy) did you find most inspiring this year? 

The focus on deforestation and biodiversity by investors and companies. These topics were not discussed at COP21 in Paris in 2015 but we now recognize the many fronts for impact and climate action.  

What do you think is the best economic or business case argument for private sector climate action? 

By not focusing on cutting waste in energy, companies are leaving money on the table. There’s great opportunity in being the first mover, building expertise, and creating the future-appropriate products of tomorrow. Companies should start now instead of waiting for it to be required or regulated. 

Published On: December 19, 2023Categories: From the Commons