Updated: Jun 21, 2022
Letters to the Earth is partnering with Aviva Investors to host a group workshop on 29 June with the Coalition for an International Platform for Climate Finance, as part of London Climate Action Week 2022.
If you work in climate finance please register for our workshop on 29 June by midday, 27 June, as places are limited. Link here
The workshop offers those working in climate finance a unique opportunity to come together in-person to share their personal stories, visions and commitment to a fair climate transition.
As many of us know, this is a make-or-break moment for the climate movement, with the war in Ukraine and ‘cost-of-living crises’ driving an energy policy debate threatening to tip nations back towards short-term, fossil-fuelled solutions.
We’re co-hosting this workshop with Aviva because the finance sector plays a critical role in the global transition to mitigate and adapt to climate change, restore ecosystems, and correct capital markets, so that they can amplify rather than undermine the ambition of the Paris Agreement.
We’ve seen that writing a Letter and taking part in our workshop process can have a transformational impact on the people who take part. In the case of corporate leaders, it can help them reconnect with the heart of their work, while also crafting a powerful new message as they advocate for change.
This new element of our campaign began in the run-up to COP26, when we joined forces with the Business Declares Network & Vivobarefoot, to pilot a new strand of engagement with CEOs and the business community. More than 30 leaders wrote a letter and engaged their substantial networks.
How much difference can a Letter to the Earth really make?
Here’s what Bevis Watts, CEO of Triodos Bank UK, had to say:
“The Letters to the Earth project allows anyone to get involved in sharing their ideas and feelings through an inspiring and creative format. For business leaders, in particular, not only does this project allow them to show the importance of compassionate and thoughtful leadership, but it also highlights the key role that businesses can play in taking urgent action around the climate emergency.”
And from Amanda Powell-Smith, Forster Communications:
‘Writing the letter was a powerful process of considering what else I can actually do to make a difference.’
There are more testimonials below which show us that something vital and unexpected happens when leaders sit down to write such a Letter.
When people take just half an hour, or in the case of our workshop, 90 minutes - either by themselves or with a group of strangers, or colleagues - a deeper level of change feels possible.
As you can see by some of the letters written, leaders speak from the heart about how the climate crisis affects them and their work with their communities.
Dozens shared their Letters on social media, particularly on LinkedIn, and called on their colleagues to get involved. Many in turn responded, celebrating the efforts and passing the letter on, or indeed sometimes picking up a pen to write their own.
Guy Watson-Singh, founder of Riverford Farmers, even included his Letter to the Earth in the veg-box which goes out to more than 50,000 homes around the UK every week.
This kind of initiative helps us cut through the overwhelming pace and volume of policy and fiscal debates generated by how to respond to climate change. These Letters allow a more human and heartfelt perspective to come through, from people responsible for making big decisions that affect all of us.
From Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors:
“We now know that the free markets are harming all our futures. We are the first generation to know about climate change and the last generation to be able to stop it. There is enough money to stop climate change. There is enough scientific evidence that we have to. There is even enough political will. Morally, societally, economically, and financially, everyone now needs to do everything we possibly can. How else will we be able to look our children in the eye?”
Letters to the Earth is a unique opportunity to press pause and lead a different kind of conversation — to connect with others, build resilience and galvanise new possibilities.
Here are some other leaders sharing their experiences:
“A fantastic opportunity to stop, reflect and discuss issues relating to the climate crisis which are affecting us - and do this is a safe, calm environment with like-minded people” ~ Ben Tolhurst, Business Declares Network
"A really positive way to reflect on the climate crisis and to connect with others." ~ Angela Monaghan, Bates Wells
“An important experience in that it helped spread the message that we all need to embrace radical change, particularly business leaders.’ ~ Martin Bunch, CEO Bates Wells
“It has impacted the way I talk about the bigger context more openly” ~ Tom Greenwood, CEO Wholegrain Digital
“I didn't know how much I needed this exercise until I had written my letter. It has helped me articulate the feelings under the surface of my day-to-day approach to this crisis.” ~ Will Skeaping - Acting CMO, Vivobarefoot
If you work in climate finance please register now for the workshop on 29 June, as places are limited. Link here
If you’re interested in your business or community hosting its own workshop, you can find out more about what we offer here.
For more information or to discuss anything else about the work we do, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org