We are witnessing firsthand the escalation of the tangible fallout of climate change (heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, tropical storms, floods, deforestation, pollution, biodiversity loss, ...) and of its terrible human consequences (climate migrations, epidemics, inequality, conflict, ...).
Faced with this reality, and with the ever more pressing entreaties of scientists, doctors, sociologists, economists, etc., many actors, including our own children, have decided to take action for a fairer, more sustainable world that respects its inhabitants.
The broad consensus in the scientific community is that current efforts are woefully inadequate and will not allow us to limit global warming to 1.5/2°C. Indeed, current predictions indicate that temperatures will rise by 3 to 5°C.
We need to face the facts, not with guilt but with courage: the trajectory we are following is headed for ecological disaster, the unprecedented effects of which will be felt by all countries and all populations well before the end of this century. However, it is still possible to greatly limit the extent of this disaster, if we initiate radical change immediately.
While these changes will be difficult to implement, they are also a source of hope. But they will only be possible if we all take action, massively and very rapidly.
We must act, each on our level and with the means at our disposal, to collectively create a better future and support the cause that our even our children have begun to defend.
The Earth is a complex system that is impacted by each and every one of our choices and activities. We can correct the imbalances we have caused by acting at different levels, using different environmental and social entry points, and first and foremost by responding to the climate crisis.
Indeed, climate change has been on the scientific radar for decades now, and possible remedial actions have been identified. Equally, environmental imbalances (pollution, biodiversity loss, increasing scarcity of natural resources, etc.) are well-documented, and effective and realistic solutions do exist. It is up to us to implement them in our professional and personal lives. In order to tackle current environmental and human challenges, we must realign our habits and our activities, ensuring that they are more respectful of the planet and of our fellow human beings.
In doing so, we will increase the resilience of our companies and organisations in the face of climate change and render them more attractive to the many graduates of all age brackets who no longer wish to have to choose between their work and contributing to a better quality of life on Earth .
As alumni, we do not want to let our chance for timely action pass us by. We are many, we are active, and we are present across all sectors. Together we can guarantee, not only our survival on this planet, but also a better quality of life for all.
Our involvement will increase awareness and understanding of these challenges. It will accelerate the implementation of new solutions, new investments, new organisations, new ways of producing and consuming, which will limit global warming and environmental imbalances while also tackling the social (fight against inequality) and economic (preservation of jobs) aspects of the climate question.
As alumni, we have a decisive role to play:
Alumni for the Planet, the graduate network for the climate and the environment, was created in May 2020 to contribute to the systematic and large-scale mobilisation of higher education graduates.
With the support of the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles, the Conference of University Presidents (CPU), the Conference of Deans of French Schools of Engineering (CDEFI), and Engineers and Scientists of France (IESF), Alumni for the Planet is sending out a call to action to all higher education graduates to effect change within your companies, your cities, your local communities and your personal lives; to become climate literate; and to share information regarding environmental issues and solutions to combat climate change that take all of its social and economic impacts into account .