Despite the growing awareness of climate change, little real action is taking place to mitigate it, according to the first “Social Intelligence for Climate Action” study, conducted by Dassault Systèmes, Capgemini and Bloom.
Analysis found that between February and October 2022, consumers reported an increase in eco-anxiety due to the lack of reliable data available on climate change.
The study aimed to gain a better understanding of the barriers hindering climate action while exploring effective strategies to overcome them. This research, therefore, aims to help mitigate the consequences of global warming.
AI platform, Bloom, conducted an analysis of the “global conversation on climate,” asking over 330 million people to contribute to the study over the course of eight months.
"In the fight against climate change, two elements will make a difference: scientific and accurate measurement, and collaboration and dialogue among all stakeholders,” says Philippine de T’Serclaes, Chief Sustainability Officer at Dassault Systèmes.
“Our scientific measurement, simulation and planetary diagnosis capabilities have considerably progressed in these past few years, allowing for more and more precise simulations and projections thanks to AI. At the same time, we need to reinforce our capacities to listen to all stakeholders and citizens so that everyone can contribute to the necessary changes at their level.”
The five key barriers to mitigating climate change
The report outlined five key themes that emerged as barriers to mitigating climate change. Below, they are listed in order:
- Disconnected optimism: Many businesses have false optimum regarding their environmental progress, whether significant or minor. Due to the challenge of accurately assessing ESG initiatives, the practice of over-communicating positive developments is sometimes in conflict with expert analyses – otherwise known as greenwashing, which can create mistrust and hinder proactive measures. Disconnected optimism also encompasses those who believe that technology alone can resolve the climate crisis, leading them to overlook the necessity for immediate action.
- Lack of reliable information: Consumers interested in finding accurate information face dilemmas as they encounter conflicting or false information. Once again, this can cause mistrust. In 2022, there was a surge in online discussions and engagement around greenwashing, marked by increased negative emotions.
- Fear of the negative social impacts: The climate conversation is centred around social justice, which has an increasing focus on the rising cost of living crisis currently facing many counties. This has become an increasing issue, especially when considering the significant lifestyle changes required to restrict global warming to 1.5°C – including areas such as energy, transportation, and food.
- Delegation of authority: Many consumers and businesses hold the belief that climate action is the responsibility of others. The report highlights that companies have the greatest impact in the long run, ahead of individual action.
- Climate change despair: Many people are left feeling helpless, as a result of climate change, to the point where they are discouraged from taking any action.