There is a red herring problem with technology. If we look at COP26 that recently took place in Glasgow, almost all the global leaders are putting out their grand plans to become net zero countries or significantly reduce emissions by 2030, by 2050, by 2060. The problem with these long-off dates is that you have to be very careful that the leader of a country isn't thinking ‘if I say 2050, it'll be fine because some great technology will come along before then and save us’. That is not the right thinking at all!
A well-known eminent scientist told my father, an environmental campaigner, 26 years ago ‘stop worrying about climate change because nuclear fusion is just around the corner’. Now we're still hearing the same thing, so when it comes to technologies like carbon capture and nuclear fusion, we absolutely must not rely on these, and we absolutely must not let governments convince us that these are the answers, because they're probably not. They're probably not going to happen any time soon and, more importantly, it should not be how we build our strategy.
What the governments all around the world need to do, in my opinion, is three things. Firstly, they need to implement carbon tax. Secondly, they need to implement accountability processes on companies for the products that they create to ensure that products are genuinely recycled, repurposed or reused. Thirdly, there is still a huge amount of lack of understanding and apathy in all of us, so we have to implement rules and laws that acknowledge that.
These three things will happen, and then that's when we’ll get far more acceptance of a lot of the technologies that startups are building now. We can't reduce if we can't measure, and there are some great startups that can, and they're trying to help companies, countries and people to understand what they're using and what emissions they are responsible for eradicating.