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Philip Galkin
Philip Galkin

[S1E1] People Can Change


MD: I am from Senegal, I grew up next to the sea. My family is coming from St Louis. St. Louis, in Senegal, there were some places where I used to play when I was a kid, which has been totally eroded. And the coast there has been totally devastated. And as a consequence, people are getting in boats and going to Europe and dying in the sea. So for me, it's about human beings living today, and about our children, and about our present.




[S1E1] People Can Change


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DC: Absolutely, we're speaking about how it impacts the most vulnerable among us and how people with means, people with money to a degree will be able to insulate themselves somewhat. But those that are living at the fringes, and those people who are, you know, coming up against it, subsistence farmers, people who live off of the sea, are the ones that are going to be most greatly impacted. And when I think about the intersections of all of these things--you know, we talk about intersectionality a lot in the work that we do, specifically with the group that I work with, the Solutions Project, that looks to figure out solutions, again, for those that are that are suffering the most and that are the most disenfranchised, and we're always talking about climate justice, and how we can make sure that we are doing the most for the least amongst us. Where do you see the main focus? I know that you are big on development, you know a lot about economics, obviously. Where do you see where our most concerted effort has to be, with regards to the people that are doing the worst.


MD: There is a nice paper recently, and TED talk, about the link between conflict and climate change. That's really a powerful message. Because people are talking about these things in isolation. In fact, all this climate change is creating huge shocks in the communities. And when there are scarce resources, the reaction of people is to channel through a conflict, the use of these meager resources which are around them. I want to relate it to the great work that you did in Hotel Rwanda. You are a powerful advocate of showing the link between climate change and some of the things that we saw in the world like genocide.


What we can do is empower people, I think that it will not be a solution of people sitting in big conferences, talking about it, that will make it happen. We need to find solutions which are important for people and which involve them in the realization of it. I think that also work with you on reforestation, preserving the ecosystems. The Great Green wall that is being built now in Africa is something very important. How to convince the rest of the world sort of exploitation of the marine resources, or the Arctic resources in the seas in Africa will lead to conflict and will lead to to misery and will lead to migration and have a mechanism where we give some more credit, we save some resources to people to be able to make a living out of it and to protect the environment.


So polluting cars are sent to the poorest country, while people are very happy to green their transportation into the richest country. So things that we can work together is to bring the world community to say, while we are doing that in our country, we need also to take measures to stop exporting those very old polluting cars, but also to give opportunity to people out there to get access to cheap transportation, maybe by finding a way to subsidize this or to find other means.


DC: And we need to have those people who are most affected egregiously by this be a part of the solutions, I believe, and be a part of letting people know exactly what and how they need it, so that is not, again, something that's sort of a top-down approach, but something where we're reaching toward the people to say and and how can we specifically, based on your experiences based on your specific needs, bring you into the fold and not just be dictating what it is that you need? And I think that's important for all organizations to think about that, that the people that, you know, we're professing to help need to be at the table to explain to them how to be helped.


It will work for a while, but at some point it will not be sustainable anymore. And I think that the lesson of last year, what happened in this country and other places in the world was a big awakening for all of us. You know, there is some, racial injustice will, cannot continue forever, you know, at some points there is something which will happen, which may make people wake up and say, um-um, and it can be brutal. It can be violent. It can be soft. We hope that it's not violent. We never wanted it to be, but if it happen, so the change would happen and that's the same for sustainability. We can build a world that is sustainable, meaning peaceful, friendly in nature, and inclusive.


MD: What are you focusing on now is that we will be in two years 85 percent Paris-aligned in our lending operations, and in 2025, 100 percent Paris-aligned. So it means that we are really putting a lot on that front. The kind of things that we are doing now, we are doing more and more blue bonds and green bonds, where we are really issuing bonds, to be able to do some investment in green activities. For instance, recently in Indonesia, we had a loan to one of our companies to help them recycle marine plastic. So just, as you see, we are doing more and more, working with banks, we are trying now to push them to not to add any more carbon in the atmosphere. And just what we are talking about when talking about being Paris-aligned, just the hard work, because small companies in developing countries don't have the capacity to have access to the right technology to our processes. We're not emitting but we are accompanying them with loans and by technical assistance, and helping banks also to screen and have the climate change lens when they are making and extending loans to companies. So this is the kind of things that we are doing practically.


DC: Absolutely. I think people need to be sensitized to these issues, and specifically to climate change, in a way that makes them feel something, that it's not a cerebral thing that's happening. We can talk about CO2, we can talk about, you know, your carbon footprint, we can talk about the level of, of sea rise that we have to make sure we keep it under, and you know, I'm always trying to figure out ways to smuggle these messages in, so to speak. You know, to get people nodding their heads, and then they leave later and go, wait a minute, did I just learn something? Or did I just, was I just inspired now, and I didn't even know it, you know. So I think it's important to do both. Because I think if things become too preachy, if something feels like it's proselytizing, I think people want to reject it or fold their arms. And that's why I think music is so great. And art is so great, because it's disarming, because it has the exact opposite effect, it has the ability to get in and get past your defenses and get you in your feelings in a good way, and kind of out of your head. And I think that's what we need. I think a lot of people can just wide-eye and become overwhelmed. But art can have an impact on people in a way that that gets past all of that noise.


DC: Absolutely. And, and, and I will say art slash storytelling, I don't. To me, those are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Not only are they not mutually exclusive, they go hand in hand. So it's, it's how to make sure that the art that we're creating is speaking, you know, to the nerve of the issue without again, being too soapbox. But you know, being something that invites in and sometimes being confrontational and in your face, I mean, any way that you have to get to these results, we have to get, we have to get to them. I think it's also very important that we are clear that it's one thing to talk about individual responsibility. But I think that often that we focus on that much more than we focus on responsibility of corporations, you know, that when we're talking about relative to the pollution, and relative to the negative effects that are impacting the environment, they're much more heavy on the side of the corporations and much more heavy on the side of, of people who are making billions and billions of dollars off of these practices than they are about individuals who drive a gas car, or you know, neglect to do the best in recycling. We are not the ones, human beings individually are not the ones that are having the greatest impact. So I think in everything that we do, we have to be sure that we're focusing on the corporations and focusing on the entities that we know are raising the heat level and contributing more to greenhouse gases, and find ways to inspire the individuals to collectively hold them to account because that's really where the focus should be.


MD: I think you're perfectly right, we need to make sure that we don't ask the same to the person who is trying to make a living every day, the same countries also, we know we need to listen to what they say. We need to be very attentive when people are telling you, listen 20 percent of my population has access to electricity, so what do you want me to do, we have to listen to that, we have to solve that problem. But the beauty is that with technology and advancement, today there is a possibility of doing it in a way which is sustainable, and that that transitions that we need to beat together and convinced the world together, put the resources to be able to finance and I think that one of the challenges also commitment, which others made in financing the transition needs to be put at the table. So resources have been pledged needs to be put at the table. And I think that's the way we will be able really to do what you are suggesting. And I think that art is at the center of it.


DC: Um, I have kids, my kids are in their twenties now and grown, but you know, I, I know that, you know, if they have children, we're talking about people that we can touch, uh, who we are trying to protect and save for future generations. So it's very important. The work has to be done and we have to do it now. It's very important. The work has to be done. And we have to do it now. So I would just like to say I appreciate you. I appreciate the IFC. I appreciate anyone who's throwing in to try to get us to the result that we need to get to. 041b061a72


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