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Changes: Christiana Figueres

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Annie [00:00:05] Hello and welcome to Changes, my name is Annie Macmanus. Today's episode is about changes which feel insurmountable. The 28th UN Climate Change Conference, or COP28, as it's known, starts next week. Our guest this week on Changes is Christiana Figueres. Miss Figueres is the hugely decorated, internationally recognised leader on global climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016, which involved orchestrating global negotiations resulting in the historical Paris Agreement of 2015, a seemingly impossible task involving 196 countries. The level of diplomacy and resilience to achieve an agreement like this is astounding. In this episode you will hear about climate change, but also the changes Christiana experienced and witnessed in her own life that made the impossible possible for her today. She is the co-founder of an organisation called Global Optimism, co-host of the podcast Outrage and Optimism and is the co-author of the recently published book The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis. I started by asking Christiana what the process of reaching the Paris Agreement was like and what exactly the countries were agreeing to... 

Christiana [00:01:33] It was basically, Annie, what should I say? Pick up a disastrous political process that had come out of also a multilateral negotiation in Copenhagen in 2009, and that resulted in nothing other than everyone throwing rotten tomatoes at each other, one delegate standing on her desk with a bloody hand, you know, screaming at the president of the cop- 

Annie [00:02:00] Wow. 

Christiana [00:02:00] It was pretty dramatic and traumatic for those of us who were there. So I was given the task of picking up the pieces out of the trash can and seeing what I could do. And so I dedicated myself for five years to first re-establishing confidence in the process, in fact, even re-establishing the will to talk because everybody was so angry with each other that they didn't even want to talk to each other. So getting 196 countries back to the table and saying, no, no, no, no, okay, we all threw a tantrum, me included, I threw my tantrum there too, but we're all adults and so can we actually return to the table and talk respectfully and listen. After five years of very hard work, what they agreed to basically is a pathway for the global economy to get decarbonised. That means to get all of the carbon that is embedded in the economy, get it out by 2050. So it's a long term business plan that has been agreed to by all governments for the transformation of the global economy, which is no small feat since the global economy has been basically running on high carbon, that means burning fossil fuels, for the past 100, 150 years. So the Paris Agreement says, okay, fossil fuels were fine last century, they got us some development but they are unacceptable in this century because we know that it is fossil fuels that produce climate change and that produce this craziness that we have had this summer! These heatwaves, the droughts, the floods, the wildfires. It has been crazy this year. 

Annie [00:03:51] What will the reality of our lives be like in 2050 if this isn't adhered to? And also, what would it be like if it is? 

Christiana [00:04:00] So, one possible reality which would be the result of not decarbonising, of not depolluting- because let's just understand that these carbon emissions are global pollutants, they are polluting the atmosphere for everyone. So one description of a possible future is that we would be able to remove all of these pollutants from the global atmosphere, and we then have a world where we are producing energy, electricity cleanly without polluting, where it's actually cheap, where every country is producing its own electricity, no one has to import dirty fuels from states that are unreliable. It is a world in which cities would no longer be congested because we would have much more efficient transport that everyone shares. It's a world in which cities are actually *whispers* silent. I mean, how awesome would it be? You know, we walk through cities and we assume that the noise from cars and motors and all of that, and plus the fumes, are inevitable. They're not inevitable! We can definitely change that and once we moved cities that are- where to all transport is electrified, we will notice, oh my God! How did we put up with all that noise and with all that pollution for such a long time without realising what we were doing? Here's the thing, if we do not depollute the global atmosphere in a timely fashion, then we not only say goodbye to that world that I've just described, but actually we go into a world of constant destruction. So the heat that has been experienced around the world this year would continue to grow. It would eventually make it very difficult for people to work outside. I did a lot of gardening, I was just telling you Annie, I did a lot of gardening this weekend. That would probably be practically impossible to do that. Workers, construction workers, I don't know how they would work. It would actually be- 

Annie [00:06:22] And this is because of the heat, this is because of the high temperatures? 

Christiana [00:06:26] Yeah, the heat. Because of the high temperatures, because we're already much higher than we were when we started the industrial revolution and we would just continue to heat up the planet, making it practically necessary for all of us to live under air conditioning, *emphasis* those people who can afford it. But Annie, here's the question, what happens to the millions and millions of people who don't even dream about air conditioning, who have never had air conditioning, who cannot afford it? What happens to those people when their crops just completely fail because there's no water and it's too hot? What happens, right? And what happens is huge migration. You think we're having, you know, migration problems now into Europe and into the United States. This is nothing compared to the migration pressure that we would have if we don't depollute the atmosphere in time. 

Annie [00:07:24] So it's been eight years since this Paris climate agreement happened. You know, it carries on annually. I suppose, have things gone the way you envisioned in those eight years? 

Christiana [00:07:37] Well, first of all, I'm old enough to know that life is completely uncertain and that everything is impermanent. So, I didn't have any plan for the eight years, which is not to say that science is not demanding from us. So science, climate change, science, has told us very, very clearly that we have to reduce the global pollution to one half of what we have right now by the end of this decade, and scientists call it the decisive decade. So have we done so? Well, sort of, yes and no I would say. Yes and no because greenhouse gases in the atmosphere tend to accumulate on each other. We are still increasing our accumulation of greenhouse gases and that is what everyone is so worried about and will be discussed at COP28. However, what is very exciting is that we are now seeing that we have quite a few of the technologies that would be able to depollute the global atmosphere that are no longer progressing along a linear, marginal, gradual path, but actually are exponential. And exponential, Annie, is so important to understand, especially when you're really looking at change. And the exciting thing is that we are now seeing exponential change in many technologies. For example, in wind energy, so that's the electricity that is produced by wind through turbines, that is just going through the roof. So much wind power is being installed, so much solar power is being installed. Cost of batteries have come down 60%. Electrification of vehicles is going up exponentially. And so that is really the crux of this conversation Annie and that's why I love the name of your podcast. Our podcast is called Outrage and Optimism because we have to be outraged about what we haven't done and optimistic about what we could do. But right in the middle is the title of your podcast, which is Changes, okay. How quickly are we changing? And if we understand that the changes that can benefit us are now occurring exponentially rather than linearly, then we understand that wow, that means that we do have a chance to make all the difference that we need to make by the end of this day. 

[00:10:22] *Short musical interlude*

Annie [00:10:32] I'm going to speak for some people here about just the state of the world at the moment and how unbelievably overwhelming and frightening things are with war, with climate change, with everything happening. And I can imagine that it's very easy to feel completely helpless when you have a problem that seems so insurmountable. How have you found the motivation and the resilience to create change in this world? Where does that come from? 

Christiana [00:11:04] Stubbornness *Annie laughs*. Yeah, I mean, I could use a different word, maybe something that is more, you know, PC but honestly- 

Annie [00:11:14] I love stubborness. 

Christiana [00:11:14] Okay. Well, I just think- and for many years I really struggled because people said 'ahh, you're so stubborn' and, you know, as though it were like a negative trait. I mean, I would say yes, it's a negative trait if you're stubborn about things that are for yourself, okay. But being stubborn about the common good, frankly, is a responsibility! We have to be stubborn about the common good. So for me, it's a choice that I make every day, Annie. I wake up, you know, and I read the news. And yes, I could choose to become incredibly dejected and, you know, just heart broken about everything that is happening. And I very likely do for a little bit, but then my brain kicks in and I go like, okay, is this the world that we want to inherit to our kids, to our grandkids? Is this what we want? Do we want to continue along this path of destruction and heating and more wildfires and more hurricanes and more droughts? Is that the world that we want them to live in? The resounding answer to that is no. The next question is, if we don't want them to live in that world, can we do something about it today? The resounding answer to that question is, yes! And that's the thing, Annie. It is only us who are adults right now who can actually change the course of this depollution that we have to engage in because, for your parents maybe, but my parents because I'm 68, my parents for sure did not have the science, they didn't know about this, the technologies weren't there, the finance wasn't there. So my parents could not have done anything about this because they didn't know and they didn't have the technologies. So my kids and their kids, it will be too late, because it will be after 2030. So who is sandwiched in between? My generation. We are the ones who know the science. We know that the capital is out there. We know that the technologies are out there and therefore it is up to us to make the changes that are necessary before 2030! And I feel like such a broken record on that date, but that is the date. And so for the next seven years, we really have to make an incredible effort to be able to change the course. It doesn't mean that we solve things by 2030. If you've been on a big boat, you know that the captain, you know, steers a little bit if he has to, you know, make a curb, change the course to the right, he just moves the wheel a tiny little bit and that ends up in a very, very different course. That's what we have to do, is move the wheel a tiny little bit to one side off the course that we're on now and that ends up on a completely different course. That's what we have to do over the next seven years. 

Annie [00:14:21] So, you mentioned your parents. You grew up on a farm? 

Christiana [00:14:23] Yes. 

Annie [00:14:25] What did that do for you? 

Christiana [00:14:27] I mean, I learned to ride a horse, probably when I was negative three, I have no idea *Annie laughs*. I had a mare, but I remember that I used to step up on a rock and then climb up into a tree so that I could then plonk myself on my mare *Annie laughs*. And I was just riding, riding my mare with my brother next to me who was riding his horse that seemed waaay too big for me, and we just rode horses all day long. So how wonderful to grow up, until I was like about six or seven, first of all, with such an intimate relationship to an animal, and secondly, riding in and among the trees and the bushes and, you know, across the river is so intimately related with nature. And then when I was six or seven, maybe seven, then my mother decided that we had to leave the farm and go into the city because we had to go to school. And that was like so boring! I mean, can you imagine how boring it is to go to school after you've been on a horse your whole life *laughing*? 

Annie [00:15:34] Yes, yes, yes. So that was in the city and also like such a huge change in terms of your environment as well. 

Christiana [00:15:42] Yeah. 

Annie [00:15:44] Um, could you tell me about your father and his stubbornness and what that did for him? 

Christiana [00:15:48] Yeah, well, my father, what a figure! My father was three times president of Costa Rica. 

Annie [00:15:57] Wow. 

Christiana [00:15:57] In the 1940s. He was a farmer and he, like every other Costa Rican, became aware that the government that was in power did not respect the democratic elections a couple of times. And he decided as a farmer, because he was no politician, he was no nothing, and he just decided he would organise and lead a revolution to stop the government from what they were doing, their anti-democratic measures. And he led the revolution, and he won the revolution against the forces of the national army. 

Annie [00:16:38] That's incredible! 

Christiana [00:16:40] Yeah, it's an amazing story. So he took over power for 18 months. He decided that Costa Rica could not afford an army because an army that was there to quell democracy was of absolutely no use. So he outlawed the army and he took the budget that had been given to the army, he reallocated it to the Ministry of Education and to the protection of nature, much better investments than into an army. 

Annie [00:17:09] *In agreement* Mmmm. 

Christiana [00:17:09] He then sent all of his revolutionary colleagues- he said, you lay down your arms right here and you go back to your ploughs and your shovels, everybody back to farming. He rewrote the constitution so that it is much strengthened in terms of balance of power and strengthening of democracy. And then after all of that, he called the candidate who had won the two previous elections, but that the government did not want to accept the result of those elections, he called that candidate and he said right here you are, this is a strengthened democratic country, you were elected democratically, here you are. I'm going back to my farm. How's that?! 

Annie [00:17:57] It's remarkable. 

Christiana [00:17:59] It is really pretty amazing. And then later on, he stood democratically for elections and was democratically elected twice. So that's why he was head of state three times, once as the victor of the revolution and twice democratically. 

Annie [00:18:17] What kind of a father was he to you? 

Christiana [00:18:21] Well, you know, Annie, very interesting. First of all, huge difference in age. He was 50 when I was born. My mother is a second wife to him and so there's a huge age difference. But more than the age difference, he was a man who, when I was born, was still a farmer but had become a national figure. He had become the father of the country, not one who would, you know, sit on the floor and play Legos with you at all. In fact, I do remember one time that I must have been, I don't know, maybe five or six or something like that on the farm. A journalist came to interview him about politics and economics in Latin America and at the end of the interview the journalist said, 'so Don Pepe, how many children do you have?' and without losing a beat he said, '3 million'. 3 million was the then population of Costa Rica. So you can imagine for a little child, right, to hear that, I was shocked. I was completely shocked. I went like, wait, what?! What happened to us, right? But he was right. He was the, you know, he was the father of the country. And it took me, frankly, it took me years to understand that and to understand then finally as an adult, that I was very privileged to have had a father like that. And that a public figure like that doesn't happen all the time. That he imbued me with values and principles that have been huge for me in my life. And that, you know, I forgive him for not sitting on the floor and playing Legos with me because he gave me the most marvellous country in the world. 

Annie [00:20:13] And talking of Costa Rica, what makes it remarkable to other countries today? It feels like a very special place. 

Christiana [00:20:22] It is a special place. And, you know, one thing that we've already talked about is we have no army. 

Annie [00:20:27] Yeah. 

Christiana [00:20:27] And no one here would ever even dream of reinstating an army. And so we are very, very peace loving. We're very close to nature. It's not just me who grew up in a farm, but because we have protected our biodiversity so much over the years, we have 5% of the global biodiversity in this tiny little postage stamp country. All our electricity is renewable. We get all our electricity from hydro, from wind, from solar, from geothermal. And it's just an absolutely spectacular country! 

Annie [00:21:03] Hearing about your father having that kind of, I suppose, that resilience of thought, did that directly impact you, I suppose, in the way that you go about your work today? Do you think that the patience and the diplomacy and the stubbornness it took to bring all of those countries and organisations together to agree on one thing is a result of like knowing your father's achievements, I suppose? 

Christiana [00:21:26] Definitely, Definitely. I think, you know, my father imbued us with values and principles. It was, it was very clear from the time that we were growing up that his expectation is that we would live a life of service. Where we wanted to give service was up to us, but definitely a life of service. It was also very clear that he just didn't use impossible in his language at all. If something is right and needs to be done, even if it's difficult, you make it possible. And that was his, you know, attitude in life and we all inherited that. And it's a good thing Annie, it doesn't make for an easy life because, you know, we're constantly scaling one mountain and then once that one is done, and then we look for the next mountain that needs to be scaled. So, it is a life of constant service and breaking boundaries but I am, I am very grateful. I would say I haven't had an easy life, but I've had a very meaningful life. I am truly indebted to, to my father, who never played Lego with me, but I'm truly indebted to him for not just imbuing me with those values and principles, but being such a role model. 

[00:22:47] *Short musical interlude*

Annie [00:22:58] What's been the biggest hurdle, obstacle for you in your professional career? 

Christiana [00:23:06] ... Annie *Annie laughs* Annie, no one has ever asked me that. 

Annie [00:23:09] Wow. 

Christiana [00:23:10] That's such an interest- it's a fascinating question and it's also fascinating that no one has ever asked me that. I think the biggest obstacle has been myself in the sense that I for sure, but I don't think I'm the only one, I am so prone to minimising what I could do, minimising my agency, to paying attention to this, you know, horrible myth that we all grew up with, I'm not enough. What a detrimental thought. What a mental handbrake to anyone who wants to do anything. When I set myself, you know, a challenge, my first immediate reaction is 'hmm, can I do it? Am I enough?'. No, I'm not enough because I was told that I wasn't enough this, I wasn't enough that *rolls her D's*. 

Annie [00:24:10] Who told you that? 

Christiana [00:24:10] Oh, everyone! My mother, my brothers and sisters, society, my teachers, mostly all the men around me, etc., etc., etc.. I don't think I'm unique in that. The greatest obstacle is myself and my mindset and I, you know, I have learned over the years to cultivate my mindset very intentionally. So, you know, the power of mindset, that's the greatest obstacle. 

Annie [00:24:39] And stubborn optimism, something that you preach and talk about, that is what you're talking about really there isn't it? It's being committed to positivity. 

Christiana [00:24:48] Yeah, and to understand optimism is not the result of having achieved something, or the result of a success for me, optimism is the input that if we set ourselves something, if I set myself a challenge, I want to do X, Y, Z, then I have to enter and step into that challenge with optimism. Because if I step in not believing that I can do it, with this 'I'm not enough to be able to do it' mentality, I probably will not be able to do it because it is a self confirming thought. And so optimism for me is a choice that no matter what the challenges that you have ahead of you, whether it's a personal challenge, a little one, a big one, a corporate one, a family one, a global one, a political one, whatever, if you have a challenge in front of you that you actually go at it and step into it with optimism, with a sense of agency, perhaps not knowing how the heck you're going to do it because that's what happens to me mostly, I don't really don't know exactly how I'm going to do it, but I really am very intentional about, okay, I'm going to set a mindset here that this can be done. Most likely not by me myself, because the bigger the challenge, the more people you need. So, you know, be open to working with others and I am such a fierce defender of collective wisdom, collective effort, because that's what it takes very often. But go into it knowing that you have agency or that I have agency, that I have people around me who can also contribute, and that if it needs to be done, if it's for the common good, it can be done. 

Annie [00:26:39] So let's talk through some things now for anyone listening who feels overwhelmed about climate change, who feels like what's the point of me doing anything? I'm just one person in this world. You know, that kind of helplessness when a problem seems so huge, so beyond them that it feels impossible to even know where to begin. Can we go through some practical things that our listeners can do to make a difference with this regard? 

Christiana [00:27:09] Well, the very first thing Annie, is to check what you're thinking, okay? 

Annie [00:27:15] Yeah. 

Christiana [00:27:15] Because honestly, yes I know it's very huge, yes I know it's very scary, I know that there are so many people, myself included, in deep pain. But if we stay in that black box, then we will not answer the challenge. That is for sure. So the first thing is to go, yep, I understand this is big, it is overwhelming, it's really huge AND I want to do something personally to contribute to it because I want to contribute to a different world. So first go in with that mentality, because if you go in with a defeatist mentality, you know, you just stay in bed, pull up the covers and never leave there. So first, check what you're thinking. Secondly, step up and figure out what you can do. If what you can do is, you know, restore a soil that has been degraded, plant a tree. If what you can do is go in and take a look at your electric devices at home, your boiler, your air conditioner, and go like, okay, well, how old are they? Are they completely inefficient? Am I paying more than I should because they're so inefficient? So most of the things that we can do for climate change actually are money saving things. I used to live in the United States, I live in Costa Rica now, thank heavens. I used to live in the United States in a very old home and it was not insulated properly. And I had to, you know, actually insulate the home because in the winter I was heating up not just my home, but, you know, everybody else's backyard and front yard. Why are you doing that? Make sure that every single little bit of electricity that you use is actually well used, not wasted. And in the United States especially there is a huge level of energy inefficiency and energy waste. So even if that's what you do, do that, you're helping yourself and you're helping the planet. But then, of course! 

Annie [00:29:23] Yeah. 

Christiana [00:29:24] Political activism. Figure out who in your vicinity, in your community, in your city is working on climate issues. Go join them, become aware of what the local implications of climate change are, become aware of what your neighbours, your friends, your new friends to be are doing on climate change. Very, very important to get leaders at all levels of the political system, to get leaders who understand that climate is both a huge threat and frankly a huge opportunity to build a much better world, and those leaders that understand that should be the leaders that get your political support. And finally of course, finances. For those who have the privilege to already have a pension or already have some savings, find out from your asset manager where those savings are. If those savings are in high carbon, I am sorry but you are burning the future of your great grandchildren. That's what you're doing. So find out. 

Annie [00:30:34] How did it feel for you, Christiana, when Donald Trump announced that the US were going to cease all participation in the Paris climate agreement? And three years later when they did actually leave, for a brief period, but they did actually leave. Like the work that you did, the years and years of work just ruined like- 

Christiana [00:30:54] Well not ruined. 

Annie [00:30:54] When someone that big pulls- yeah, true. Well, that's the question. 

Christiana [00:30:58] Yeah, yeah, not ruined because actually most of the US economy continued to decarbonise despite the White House, or the Dark House as I used to call it *laughs*. 

Annie [00:31:07] *Laughs* but how'd that feel when that happened? 

Christiana [00:31:09] Well, I tell you exactly. I was travelling and of course everybody knew that he was going to make the speech in the Rose Garden and you know, it was, it was well, well published, etc., etc., etc.. So I was travelling and I remember I sat on the edge of my hotel bed with a little piece of paper and a pen, and I said to myself right, every time that in this speech that has been so well prepared and, you know, with a lot of input from knowledgeable people, every time that he states something that is correct and true, I'm going to write it down because I want to know, you know, wow, that is really interesting that they got that, okay, that they understand that. So I'm sitting there literally, you know, with a piece of paper and my pen, listening very attentively to the whole speech. End of speech, white paper *Annie laughs*. And I thought, oh my God, there was not one sentence in that speech that was correct, that was factually correct. Not one sentence. And so that said the world to me, right. That really explained what was going on here. This was complete dogma, complete, you know, deliberate misinterpretation of everything. And so when you have that situation then, there's no conversation to be had because you can have conversations about factual issues but it's very difficult to have a conversation when it's just these are my beliefs, these are my myths, and I'm not, you know, I'm not going to stray from them. So, yeah, so I was in part laughing that my piece of paper was still completely unwritten, and in part really pained for the U.S.. I was really pained for the U.S. because the fact is that the decarbonisation, the depolluting of the economy is occurring for sure, and that it is the competitive edge of any economy. And I thought, wow, you know, this is just going to leave space for Europe to continue to depollute their economy and produce all of the technologies that are competitive, certainly leaving space for China, certainly leaving space for Korea, Japan, all of the other countries that are continuing to be committed and developing all of the technologies that we're now using. So poor the United States, you know, are they going to be left in the dark ages here using obsolete technology and not being able to export any technology because nobody wants it anymore. So that was my thought. But luckily, most of the U.S. economy continued to decarbonise and to invest in clean technologies such that when Biden came back in, it was pretty easy to just pick up. And I should say, the three pieces of legislation that were put in place by the Biden administration, the three pieces together on climate change, have constructed such a competitive advantage for the United States that now the United States is actually leading on all of these technologies and being able to reap many benefits from them to the point where the Chinas and the even the Europes of the world are like scrambling to keep up. So we have a race to the top now. 

[00:34:41] *Short musical interlude*

Annie [00:34:52] What would you say to climate change naysayers if you met someone on a park bench and they went, *scoffs* 'it's all a myth' and they had been- found out from disinformation online or whatever. 

Christiana [00:35:04] You know Annie, I don't waste my energy with those people anymore because, I mean to me, it's the equivalent of somebody telling me, 'now I'm going to tell you something! I don't believe in gravity. It doesn't exist. It's not here. It doesn't have anything to do with me. It doesn't have any effect on me'. I'm like, okay, that's fine. I just, I see you sitting on the park bench. You're probably sitting there because there's gravity, but if you don't want to believe it, that's fine. Just sit there. I don't waste my time. I mean, honestly, it's just such a faff. It's as realistic as gravity. And if somebody, you know, really insists that gravity doesn't exist and that the world continues to be flat, it's fine. 

Annie [00:35:51] I read that a practical thing to do is to think, I mean, obviously about the right leaders, the leaders who are invested in climate change, but they're statistically women. Female leaders are more prone to support climate change than males. Why is that, Christiana, in your opinion? 

Christiana [00:36:11] It is so true. How cool is that? 

Annie [00:36:16] It's very cool. 

Christiana [00:36:16] It is very cool. 

Annie [00:36:17] Totally unsurprising. I don't know why, but it --- 

Christiana [00:36:19] Exactly, exactly *laughing*. So there could be many reasons for that, and this is not meant as a dismissal of men, okay, but it is- it has been shown by many studies that women tend to think longer term than men and that, you know, that is probably caused by evolution where men had to go out and hunt or, you know, protect the home from the tiger that was attacking. So short term. Whereas women went out and planted the fields and watered and were much more longer term, right. Longer term food, longer term subsistence. So and climate change is about long term. It's also true that women tend to put their children in the centre of ah, of decision making much more than men. It's also true that women tend to be more inclusive and more collective thinking and acting than men. Circles of women have been occurring for thousands and thousands of years. And it's also true that women tend to stop and listen more instead of immediately acting. I've come to the conclusion that it's because of all of those traits and the good news is that there are many wonderful men who also have those traits. So it's about the traits, it's not about your gender. 

Annie [00:37:58] Yeah. 

Christiana [00:37:59] It's about those traits that are completely necessary now. 

Annie [00:38:04] Yeah, I find that, I find that really fascinating. Okay, so we have things we can do. I suppose, what is your plan, Christiana, for the future? What would you like to achieve that you haven't achieved yet, or what would you like to change that you haven't changed yet moving forwards? 

Christiana [00:38:21] What I would like to achieve- I would honestly want to see that we make the 2030 deadline, which is cutting global pollution by one half by 2030. But also Annie, I would love to see that that is a numerical or a physical fact, but that it is accompanied by a change of mindset. Because for me, achieving that goal which has been established by science, is just as important as how we achieve it. So if we get to 2030 and we have cut global pollution by half and we have understood that we have a collective responsibility to co-create a nourishing, fair, just clean future for civilisations to come, I will be a very happy camper. I will be a very happy camper. So I would love to see the numbers come down and the awareness and the consciousness go up. 

Annie [00:39:36] Well, thank you for all the work that you've done thus far. And if you're listening and you want to hear more of Christiana's work and learn more about it, go to, listen to her podcast Outrage and Optimism, or of course read that book, The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis. We'll put links to it in all of the show notes. Christiana, thank you so, so much. 

Christiana [00:39:59] Annie, thank you so much and thank you for asking me questions that nobody has ever asked. I'm so thrilled. Made me think! *Laughs*.

Annie [00:40:06] I'm glad to be that person. I'm glad. Thank you *laughs*. 

Christiana [00:40:09] Just wonderful. Thank you so much. 

Annie [00:40:13] Do please rate, review and subscribe to Changes. It is so appreciated and if you fancy sharing it on social media too, that would be amazing. The more people we can get listening to these episodes the better, we want to tell our stories far and wide. Changes is produced by Louise Mason through DIN Productions, and I'll be back next week with more! See you then.