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Give climate change a voice

An initiative to find effective solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

by Anna Volpicelli
20 April 2020
4 min read
byAnna Volpicelli
20 April 2020
4 min read

In the Japanese culture, kaizen is a word that explains how good improvement and effective progression in a company works. It means continuous and gradual advancement in an activity in order to create more value and less waste. It is a concept that is at the foundation of the industrial and production areas, which translates into constant growth that involves the entire company structure, starting from employees.

It is exactly from this starting point that Bill Weihl, known as the “green energy czar," launched ClimateVoice, a project aimed to mobilize the voice of the workforce to urge companies to go all in on climate. The initiative, launched on February 22, 2020, calls on employees and college students to speak up and motivate their companies to act upon federal, state and local actions to find solution to the climate crisis.

“We need to collectively reduce emissions much faster" explains Weihl. "To do so we need not just companies like Google, Facebook, Ikea, Walmart and Microsoft, just to mention a few examples".

Public policies would be welcome in order to have a positive impact on the renewable energy industry and the sustainable electrification of building and vehicles, also to support environment-friendly agricultural practices.

Fighting for green accountability

Since the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations guidelines for assessing the science related to climate change, many companies around the world have worked to decarbonize production.

“The IPCC was clear that we need to reduce the global carbon emissions 50% by 2030" says Weihl, who formerly worked on green initiatives at Google and Facebook. "That result can come through different ways like land restoration, forest protection and more. The goal is to be at net-zero emissions by 2050" adds Weihll.

In response, Jeff Bezos announced he would donate $10 billion to fight climate change. Similarly, eBay executives prioritized its charity program in support of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a non-partisan think tank and educational charity deeply concerned about climate policies.


Bill Weihl, founder of ClimateVoice and former Google's "Green Energy Czar"

Climate change is a problem that touches all our lives, and young people are worried about their future. They are on the front lines to disrupt companies' traditional and polluting business models and to invite governments to make the good health of the environment one of their priorities. ClimateVoice embodies this urgency. Run by volunteers, it asks students and employees to sign a pledge committing to “prioritize," “vocalize" and “mobilize" on climate action.

“Our goal is to recruit and empower many thousands of students to make clear to companies that they care about the climate and want their future employers to go #AllInOnClimate," says Weihl.

Head on the right path

Accordingly to Weihl, in the next 10 years, the contribution to the fight against climate change should come with more laws, regulations and policies related to renewable energies, energy efficiency, zero-emissions vehicles and buildings. “We need to shift on that prosperous path so we need companies to step in and get the necessary policies" he adds.

One of the first pledge launched by ClimateVoice followed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which encourages the state to transition the electric grid to 100% clean energy by 2050. 

The organization also plans to work on the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, including the District of Columbia, that aims to improve transportation, reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector and continue to develop the clean energy economy.

The author: Anna Volpicelli

Editor and journalist Il Sole 24 Ore, The San Francisco Chronicle, SOMA MAGAZINE, D la Repubblica delle Donne, L'Espresso (print & web), Marieclaire.it, A, Leiweb.it, Yoga Journal Italy, Vogue Sposa & Vogue Bambini.