The consequences of the environmental crisis are growing and have implications for economies around the world. Into the future, these impacts will grow, demanding more resources with potentially huge knock-on effects for societies.
These effects could present major threats to realizing more sustainable, resilient and equitable societies and to avoiding the most catastrophic environmental outcomes.
The implications for future leaders could be acute. Emerging Millennial-age leaders will be in their fifties by 2040, around the average age of current national leaders across Europe. As recent Chatham House research has shown, many of the consequences of the environmental crisis could be reaching increasingly severe levels by this point, presenting systemic risks. Future leaders will have to steward a rapid transition to a sufficiently sustainable and more equitable world while also contending with these worsening impacts.
But, as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, leaders can be both poorly or better prepared for complex and systemic crises. It is therefore important that more attention be given to anticipating the challenges facing future leaders and to support them to be better prepared to deliver effective mitigation and adaptation strategies under these conditions.
The panel explores three main questions:
- What are the potential major risk trends of a more environmentally-destabilized world?
- What leadership challenges will these risks pose?
- How can future leaders be better prepared?
Ana Yang, Executive Director, Sustainability Accelerator, Chatham House
Laurie Laybourn-Langton, Visiting Fellow, Sustainability Accelerator, Chatham House
May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org
Dr Kate Guy, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State
Gadir Lavadenz, Global Coordinator, CBD Alliance
Dr Daniel Quiggin, Senior Research Fellow, Environment and Society Programme