Climate change – protests on the street and in the boardroom

19 April 2019

From protesters being arrested in London and Edinburgh to the boardrooms of major banks and investment companies, climate change has been under discussion this week. At the same time the BBC has launched a natural history film fronted by one of Britain’s most trusted voices. Sir David Attenborough is presenting Climate change – the facts on the BBC.

In London and Edinburgh, the group Extinction Rebellion have been disrupting traffic and spending time in police cells to highlight the need to have clear action on climate change. They are demanding that governments ‘tell the truth’ about the perilous situation facing the planet.

Legal and General fund managers have stated that they will vote against board members re-election if they feel that they have taken “insufficient action on climate risks”. LGIM oversees over $1 trillion of investment, so this threat is meaningful.

Adding to the focus, governors of central banks in Britain and France have cited global warming as a major threat to world economies in an open letter.

The letter is co-signed by the chair of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). It highlights current effects of climate change, ranging from "blistering heatwaves in North America to typhoons in south-east Asia and droughts in Africa and Australia".

However, the letter also warns that managing the change to greener energy sources could also have negative effects on existing businesses and therefore any changes must be well-thought out.

The full NGFS report adds that "while urgent action is desirable, an abrupt transition could also have an impact on financial stability and the economy more broadly".

"The speed and timing of the transition is crucial," according to the NGFS. "An orderly scenario, with clear policy signalling, would allow adequate time for existing infrastructure to be replaced and for technological progress to keep energy costs at a reasonable level.

"In contrast, a disorderly, sudden, uncoordinated, unanticipated or discontinuous transition would be disruptive and costly, particularly for those sectors and regions that are more vulnerable to structural change."



Discussion

What is the best response to climate change?

Do you believe it is happening?

Can business alone stop climate change?



Vocabulary

Find a word or phrase in the text that matches the definition.  Highlight below for solutions

arrested – taken by the police

a boardroom – the meeting place for senior managers

climate change – the process of warming the earth (or cooling it)

to launch – to start, to commence, to make public

to front – to present

to disrupt – to stop, prevent a normal process

a cell – a jail, prison

perilous – dangerous

board members – senior elected managers

insufficient – not enough

to oversee – to manage

meaningful – realistic

to cite – to talk about

blistering – very hot

thought-out – planned carefully

abrupt – sudden

adequate – enough



Grammar

Continuous forms. What different continuous forms are used in the text. Why are they used? Highlight below for solutions

Rebellion have been disrupting traffic // They are demanding

Present perfect continuous and present continuous. One describes events that started in the past and are still ongoing, the other describes an ongoing event without reference to the past.

 

 

 

 

Present simple and present continuous

The present continuous is used to describe something:
1. that is happening at, or around, the, moment of speaking
2. that is being done currently, perhaps a temporary project or situation
The present simple is used to describe something that is generally true, something which happens all the time.
Forms:
The present simple uses the base form of the verb, but adds an ‘s’ for the third person. - I walk to work every day / He walks to work every day.
The present continuous uses ‘to be’ followed by the ‘ing’ form of the verb. - He is talking to the boss.
Question forms:
The present simple uses the auxiliary ‘do / does’ to create questions. - Does he live near here? Do you have a car?
The present continuous simply reverses the verb and the subject. - Are you working on something interesting? Is he still waiting on the train?
Negatives:
The present simple uses ‘don’t / doesn’t’ to make negatives. - He doesn't work here anymore.
The present continuous adds ‘not’ or ‘…’nt’ to the part of ‘to be’. - He isn’t living in Atlanta now. I am not waiting any longer.
State verbs:
Some verbs, such as ‘to believe,’ ‘to understand’, ‘to like’, express a state rather than an action. They are not used with the continuous form.


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