South Africa: Optimism Is Not Enough - a Response to Discovery's Adrian Gore On the Climate Crisis


Corporates and corporate leaders need to do much more than make well-intentioned statements about the climate crisis - they need to actively look at their business models to see whether they are doing enough to fight the crisis.

Adrian Gore, Group CEO of Discovery Limited, is as well known in South Africa for his regular public expressions of optimism about the country's future as he is for heading one of its most successful companies. This positivity can be very valuable. Gore recently wrote a post on LinkedIn which expresses similar optimism about our ability to tackle climate change. While it is good (and still very rare) to see a South African corporate leader speaking publicly about climate change, the post drastically oversimplifies the problem and risks entrenching complacency in those who value Gore's opinion.

There are two main reasons for this: first, Gore's reasons for optimism involve the achievement of vast, unprecedented changes in the way we run our economies and our societies, but he frames them with no reference to the actors who must drive their implementation. Second, while hoping that "our biological coding will kick in" as climate change intensifies, and that "the market will drive change", he...

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