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#itmustbeNOW is our call-to-urgent-action, our trumpet call, our rallying cry!
We are at an urgent and defining moment for our planet … our ecosystem is in decline, our population is rapidly multiplying, more than a billion people lack access to safe drinking water, food and electricity, and the gaps between rich and poor are widening. Humanity has become a force of nature and we cannot escape our negative impacts affecting all countries, our oceans and the wildest corners of our planet. We are causing our climate to change and it is the biggest threat of our time. And the worst part is … we have brought this on ourselves!
In December 2015, 175 nations agreed to sign the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement. A year and a half later, the USA superpower that emits the highest greenhouse gas per capita pulled out of the Paris pact, a reckless and indefensible act opposed by 67 North American cities that united to sign the Chicago Charter, saying that Mr Trump was wrong, and committed to greater climate action. At the December 2017 Paris One Planet Summit, the message was clear from French President Macron, global leaders and philanthropists – “We are loosing the battle. We know the seriousness of the situation. We are not moving quickly enough. We must do more and we must do better.” Commitments were made to innovate on climate action and finance one trillion dollars in public and private funding. Will this be enough to save the planet? Will all countries move cash investments away from dirty, polluting energy, and instead invest in clean energy to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees? Will every country ramp up climate action, peaking emissions by 2020, followed by continued rapid cuts? The scale of the challenge we face clearly cries out for a radical and immediate response from all of us and not a fallacy of incremental change. This underlines the urgency and the need to step-up to our individual responsibility and action.
As a mother of two children, I am deeply concerned, but I am also cautiously optimistic and boldly empowered. We are entrusted to protect our natural heritage and safeguard the future of our children, and so far, we are failing at it. This has inspired innovations and prompted real changes in the way many of us live our lives, but at this most urgent of times, each person must do more. We have seen the threat of climate change move slowly and then accelerate with horrifying speed. This must shake our collective consciousness and ignite bolder actions from each of us to scrutinize and demand wider responsibility and accountability from our governments and the companies we reward with our business. Be empowered … as citizens we hold the vote and as consumers we hold the wallet! We are the problem … and we are the solution.
In my career in media and hospitality, I was privileged to travel for work and leisure. Travel and tourism are powerful economic drivers which can influence the way countries and companies treat their citizens, foreign workers, indigenous people, wildlife and the environment. This also means that as travellers, we have enormous power to help make a difference in the destinations we visit or reside. Over a billion people travel today and it is a booming trillion-dollar industry, but so are the massive negative impacts that need to be changed.
itmustbeNOW.com is our urgent response. NOW is a Force for Good with a mission to boldly advance sustainability, social responsibility and principled business practices in the places we call “our home away from home.” More hotels and resorts have committed to sustainability and are doing excellent work, but few visibly communicate this to travellers. Many miss the real purpose by choosing quick certifications, ignore audits, or ‘sit on the fence’ citing the lack of traveller demand as their reason! Decades spent listening to green marketing spin that deceptively promote eco or environmentally friendly credentials, marks or badges has fine-tuned our B.S. Detector. Greenwash diminishes our support and makes us sceptical and distrustful, so how do we unravel the spin? itmustbeNOW.com accepts no more excuses, no more greenwash, and no more fake or manipulated news … just the visible, transparent and independent proof of sustainable actions we expect, and the honesty we deserve.
Be inspiring and join the NOW Community. Be empowered and be a Force for Good. Radical change starts with us. Our positive strategy is simple. We are raising the bar on accountability and transparency around sustainability. We will wholeheartedly support inspiring and responsible hotels, resorts, lodges and cruise liners that are trying to make the world a better place and improve lives.
At this urgent and defining moment for our planet, I believe that each of our empowered action can lead to a fundamental change. Empowered and holding the wallet, we have a mighty and compelling voice when we say “we want this planet to be healthy and habitable for us, our family, and everyone’s … family.”
Starting 2018, we are inviting inspiring and responsible hotels, resorts, lodges and cruise liners to join the NOW Force for Good Alliance to raise the bar on accountability and transparency around sustainability. They will be listed in the NOW Track & Book so travellers can find them, track sustainability performance and progress, discover What’s Good Inside and Outside and book direct (NOW does not believe in charging commissions so benefits can be passed on to travellers instead). In mid 2018, we will invite inspired and empowered travel agencies to join as well.
We have only one planet and it is our home. It’s time to accelerate the momentum to improve our lives and build a desirable world for future generations.
It must be NOW!