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  • Penny Clark-Hall

A problem shared is a problem halved

As I got ready for the Climate Leaders Coalition this week, the irony was not lost on me when the first thing I saw that morning was a Forest & Bird advert on TV calling for action to clean up our waterways.


Oh how far we’ve come yet how far we haven’t.


The time for divisiveness should have stopped when action replaced debate. The opportunity to make meaningful change is together not a part. There needs to be room for everyone to adapt and take brave steps towards a more sustainable future. If people, businesses and industry don’t feel safe to put themselves out there and try then we’re not going anywhere fast and we’ll all lose. It’s time to stop using polarisation tactics to get ones point of view in centre. Real leadership is about taking people with young creating a safe place for people to ‘rumble with vulnerability’, as Brene Brown would put it.


The point of difference that I can see in how we are going to do better with climate action is how we are starting with sharing the problem. There is also, for the primary sector a benefit of hindsight on how much time and trust was wasted on trying to make things fair and clear, but the big thing here is the opportunity for collaboration and collective accountability ‘we’re all in this together’. When everyone excepts their role and gets on with trying to understand how they can do their bit we can collaborate to get there quicker. Just like I saw at the voluntary Climate Leaders Coalition, born from nothing but cross-sector leaders wanting to be do their bit and ensure there is a long and bright future ahead.


The sentiment amongst those in the Climate Leaders Coalition, which is made up of organisations from all sectors of the economy and represents 60% of New Zealand's gross emissions, is that we need to make a start and do the right thing. Focusing on what we can do and being brave enough to help each other along the way. Putting egos aside, knowing that we won’t always get it right, all 109 coalition partners are sharing knowledge and support to help each other support the governments commitments within the Zero Carbon Bill.


So, while some might attest that efforts to date have not been good enough or your efforts in the future might I again borrow from the brilliant Brene Brown and ask you to reflect on Roosevelt’s wisdom.


“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”



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© 2019 by Penny Clark-Hall of Social Licence Consulting. All rights reserved.

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