In 1968, the UK passed its first legislation to ban drink-driving. It took over 20 years before the recognition that being drunk in charge of train should also have criminal consequences. Today, there is an accepted social norm that drinking and driving is just plain wrong, whatever the mode of transport, though the Christmas campaign will no doubt still be needed. We are perhaps seeing the same thing emerge for the use of mobile phones whilst driving, but in 2022, you'll still see someone every day using their mobile phone whilst driving.
As politicians from around the globe discuss how humanity can tackle climate change at COP27, I sense that their narrative and general awareness of the issue has more urgency. Globally, we have witnessed, for example, a 20cm increase in global average sea levels between 1901 and 2018, and a 65% thinning of Arctic ice since 1978. Here in the UK, we have had the ten warmest summers on record since 2002 and six of the ten wettest years since 1998. These impacts and reported changes will no doubt cause some of us to ponder our consumer choices. I know that when it comes to my personal vehicle choice, I will have to stare harder into a mirror before I make my choice, and having no car has to be one of my personal options.
However, the sense of urgency won't be enough to tempt, cajole, and incentivise people to make informed choices to protect the planet's delicately balanced ecosystems. We will need to help people change their behaviours through improved access, knowledge, incentives, and community cohesion. We will need to create stimuli to cause individuals to ponder choices as well visible progress for the contribution of collective and individual actions in the short-term. In this regard, it was great to see this week that the "I Came By Train" initiative (I Came By Train | Sustainable Travel | Green Low Carbon Trains (thetrainline.com)) sponsored by thetrainline.com. Here, travelers can understand the potential benefit of rail use and pledge their journey to the mission of decarbonisation - the messaging is clear and slick.
Steer will be stimulating conversations on community, investor, and individual behaviour change in our forthcoming webinar series on the challenges of decarbonisation, which you can find described and register for here: NET ZERO: MAKING IT HAPPEN | Steer (steergroup.com) . Perhaps one thing that will emerge will be the challenge of moving the paradigm on personal and community choices for decarbonisation far faster than it took for drink driving and is taking for mobile phone usage?