Climate Change: ‘The Fierce Urgency of Now’

Climate Change: ‘The Fierce Urgency of Now’

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 8:00am

CAMPAIGN: Business in a Climate-Compatible World


By Eva Dienel, Associate Director, Communications, BSR

In her plenary address at the BSR Conference 2013, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson used the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. to describe the climate challenge. She called it “the fierce urgency of now.” 

“We are running out of time on this issue,” she said. “We all have to do much more than we have been doing.”

News coverage of the most recent IPCC report has underscored Robinson’s message. The New York Times noted that climate efforts are falling short, and the Economist said the report signaled a departure of “climate exceptionalism” (a problem like no other) and the arrival of “climate realism” (something that is affecting us in many interrelated ways and must be addressed now). The journal Nature captured a distinct sense of urgency with an article about experts who are demanding specific guidance on lowering emissions. 

In that context, BSR is launching two major reports today, on Earth Day, to provide business with guidance on building climate resilience. Our first report sets forth BSR’s theory of change for business action on climate, and the second provides a concrete application of this theory for one of the top projected sources of greenhouse gas emissions through 2050: transportation fuel.

Over the next two years, through BSR’s Business in a Climate-Constrained World initiative, we will issue specific guidance for companies across eight industries. Today, we are offering several items that will set the stage for this work. We encourage you to read this material, share it, follow the conversation on Twitter (#BCCW), and engage with us and others on the fierce urgency of climate change. 

As BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer writes in the foreword of our climate report, “Our climate depends on it. Business depends on it. And even more importantly, humanity depends on it.”


  1. BSR’s New Climate Strategy: Ambition + Collaboration = Impact: BSR has launched two important reports through our new Business in a Climate-Constrained World initiative: The first outlines our strategy for how business can increase ambition and impact in climate activities, and the second applies this theory of change to the commercial transportation fuel system in the latest guide from our Future of Fuels program.
  2. Mobilizing Ambitious Business Action on Climate Change: This summary of BSR’s new anchor climate report offers highlights of our multiyear strategy to translate climate risks for business, help build an “architecture of participation” for climate action, and help global companies stabilize the climate system through “resilience wedges” that BSR will create for eight industries.
  3. Transforming Transportation Fuel for a Low-Carbon Future: A New BSR Guide: This summary of BSR’s new Future of Fuels guide highlights our roadmap for North American ground fleet operators and their partners—including energy producers, vehicle manufacturers, retailers, and investors—to develop practical strategies to accelerate the transition of low-carbon fuels. 


Read all of BSR's content for Business in a Climate-Constrained World at


CATEGORY: Environment